Create and edit scenes

Physical Cameras

With PocketStudio you can simulate real-world cameras such as a Red, Arri Alexa or Panavision camera. It is not uncommon to see multiple cameras used for various aspects of the filmmaking process.

Cameras in PocketStudio have physical properties such as f-stop or shutter angle that allow you to simulate effects such as depth of field or control motion blur as you would with a real-world camera.

You can import a list of predefined camera models and lenses that fit the needs of your project. A camera model contains a sensor (filmback) size (width and height in mm) and a list of lenses to choose from.

To create a camera:

  1. Navigate through the scene to choose a viewpoint you would like to record the scene from. This will become the camera view.

  2. To create a new camera, click on the icon on the Toolbar to open the Camera panel, then click on the Create button located in the top left corner of this Camera panel. A thumbnail will show up below the window’s menu bar. It represents a view of the scene, as seen from the newly created camera.

  3. To change the camera name, click once on the default camera name. Once the text field becomes editable, type a new name.

To delete or duplicate a camera using the Camera panel, Click on the icon on the Toolbar to open the Camera popover. Select the camera you wish to delete by clicking once on its thumbnail. Then:

  • to delete a camera click on the icon located in the top right corner of the Camera panel,
  • or to duplicate a camera, click on the duplicate button.

You can also use the Scene Graph:

  • To delete a camera: select the camera you wish to delete in the Scene Graph, then press delete.
  • To duplicate a camera: select the camera node in the Scene Graph then do ctrl+c followed by ctrl+v.

ps docs camera popover

When you enter a camera viewpoint, they are locked by default. You need to unlock the camera to be able to move it.

Click on this icon in the top left of the viewport to unlock the camera. Once unlocked, you can use the viewport navigation controls to adjust the camera position. Click on the icon to lock it again.

If you think of the 3D scene as the film set; when navigating around in the viewport it is as though you are walking or moving around the set.

When you create a virtual camera, you can think of it like adding a physical camera to a film set. When you enter the viewpoint of a virtual camera, the UI changes a little and this signifies that you are now looking through a camera on the film set.

We call these two modes walkthrough mode and camera mode.

Looking through a camera

  1. Click on the icon on the toolbar to open the camera dialogue. The camera dialogue shows the list of all the cameras contained in the scene.
  2. Double click on the thumbnail of the camera you want to look through. The viewport will switch to this camera’s viewpoint.
  3. To exit the camera view and switch back to the walkthrough navigation mode, click on icon in the upper left corner of the viewport.

When you look through a camera, some icons are added to the top left of the viewport:

  • Click on this icon to get out of the camera view and back to the walkthrough navigation mode.
  • Click on this icon to unlock the camera transformations; once unlocked, you can use the viewport navigation controls to adjust the camera angle. Click on the icon to lock it back.

ps docs camera viewporticons

You will also see some new tools and information in the viewport too. Such as the icons to control the render and film gates (top, right), the camera name and model (top, center), and some lens and focus information (left hand side).

ps docs camera viewport icons

Three windows on the 3D scenes need to be accounted for: the viewport itself, the film gate and the output gate. You can somehow look at them as Russian dolls.

  • the viewport: is somehow analogous in this context to your own eyes. This is sort of what you see of the world around you.
  • the film gate: the film gate is a window within that view. It defines the part of the viewport that the sensor of the camera actually captures. In the real world the sensor of a camera has a width and a height. For example the ARRI Alexa Mini LF camera sensor has a size of 36.7mm x 25.54mm. The sensor size has an impact on how much of the scene we capture but the point here is that the film gate aspect ratio depends on the sensor size.
  • the output gate: this window is always contained within the film gate itself (Maya has an overscan mode in which the film gate can be contained within the output gate but PocketStudio doesn’t support this mode as it stays true to the physical world when it comes to camera). It can be seen as a window within the film gate window, and the content of that window is what will actually be rendered out when you will export or play the movie.

Let’s take an example. The ARRI Alexa Mini LF camera uses is a 36.7mm x 25.54mm sensor. The Film Gate thus has roughly a ratio of 1.44:1. You can see the result of a scene rendered through this camera with a 40mm lens below. Part of the viewport that is “viewed” by the sensor of this camera is represented in the viewport by a white rectangle.

However let’s say we want our final movie to have a much wider ratio, say 2.35:1 for the output to look more cinematic. What we do then is remove the top and bottom part of what is actually captured by the sensor of the camera to only output part of the image that is contained within the boundaries of a rectangle having a 2:35:1 ratio. This is the output gate which in PocketStudio is represented by the red rectangle in the camera view. As pointed out before, this rectangle is always contained within the Film Gate.

How much of the scene you see through the film gate is defined by the sensor size which in PocketStudio can be defined in the Camera Model group of the camera properties, and by the focal length (also part of the camera properties).

The Output Gate’s aspect ratio also called Output Aspect Ratio is a global properties of the project. As such it can be edited in the Project Global Settings.

ps docs camera gates

Accessing the camera settings in the properties panel can be done in two ways:

  1. Click on the camera name in the Scene Graph.
  2. Click on the camera icon on the toolbar to open the camera popover. Then double-click on the thumbnail of the camera you want to edit.

For cameras, the Property Editor panel is divided into three groups:

  • Node Properties: the camera translation and rotation values.
  • Camera Properties: focal, f-stop, shutter angle, etc. properties.
  • Global Properties: an easy access to the settings of the Project Global Settings window that are somehow related to cameras and how they are rendered in the viewport.

Camera Properties

The focal length of the lens used for that camera (in millimeters). If you change the focal length, the angle of view will be updated automatically and vice versa.
Horizontal angle of view (computed from the sensor width). If you change the angle of view, the focal length will be updated automatically and vice versa.

For the depth of field properties see Rendering: Depth of Field.

For the auto focus properties see Rendering: Depth of Field.

For the motion blur properties see Rendering: Motion Blur.

The Camera Motion (AR) group is only displayed when the camera is animated (maybe you created it with PocketStudio’s AR app),

Smooth the camera moves. For cameras created with PocketStudio's AR app, try values in the range 1000 to 5000.

Camera Model

You can choose a model from a list of predefined models or create a custom model by setting the sensor width and height with your own values.

A camera model contains the camera’s sensor width and height as well as a list of lenses (optional). Lenses can be a prime (fixed focal) or a zoom (the focal length can vary within a certain range). If you choose a prime lens, the focal length and angle of view parameter will be fixed (read only).

For more information regarding how to add camera models to the predefined list of models, see Add your own camera models.

Where you can either choose a camera model from the list of existing models or set your own custom values for the sensor.
Choose a camera model from the list of predefined models. When you do so, the sensor width and height are updated with this model's values. If lens data was set for this model, the lens pulldown menu will also be populate with a lise of possible lenses for this model.
The sensor or film width (in mm).
The sensor or film height (in mm).
If a list of lenses was provided with the camera model, then you will be able to access them from this pulldown menu. Alternatively you can use the option **free** from this pulldown menu; this will allow you to change the focal length for this camera and all its parameters freely.

Global Properties

See Physical Cameras: Camera Global Properties.

You can set a list of predefined camera models that fit your project’s needs.

A camera model contains a sensor size (width and height in mm) and potentially a list of lenses to choose from. For each lens you can set a min, max and default value for the focal and f-stop parameters.

  1. Download this camera presets example (JSON file) and edit the file to your needs.
  2. Drag and drop the file onto the viewport. The new models are now accessible for all the cameras in the scene.
{
    "camPresets": [
        {
            "name": "Canon EOS 5D Mark IV",
            "filmSizeInMm": {
                "width": 36.00,
                "height": 24.00
            },
            "lenses": [
                {
                    "name": "35mm",
                    "focal": {
                        "min": 35.0,
                        "max": 35.0,
                        "default": 35.0
                    },
                    "fStop": {
                        "min": 2.0,
                        "max": 22,
                        "default": 5.6
                    }
                },
                {
                    "name": "50mm",
                    "focal": {
                        "min": 50.0,
                        "max": 50.0,
                        "default": 50.0
                    },
                    "fStop": {
                        "min": 1.4,
                        "max": 22,
                        "default": 2.8
                    }
                },
                {
                    "name": "70-200mm",
                    "focal": {
                        "min": 70.0,
                        "max": 200.0,
                        "default": 100.0
                    },
                    "fStop": {
                        "min": 2.8,
                        "max": 22,
                        "default": 4.0
                    }
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "name": "Super 35 3-Perf",
            "filmSizeInMm": {
                "width": 24.89,
                "height": 13.9
            }
        },
        {
            "name": "IMAX 70mm",
            "filmSizeInMm": {
                "width": 70.00,
                "height": 48.5
            }
        }
    ]
}

Imported camera models are shared across all users in a project.

When you use a camera presets file, the default camera used in the scene will take values from the first item in your camera presets file.

If you need to adjust camera presets you can make your adjustments in the file and re-import. Existing cameras will be updated with the new values. You can drop in as many camera-presets file as you like, new cameras will be added to the list.

Some more sample files:

To get the correct sensor dimensions for a specific camera, you can check the VFX Camera database (external link).

To delete camera models, open the project global settings and click on the icon next to the camera model you wish to delete.

ps docs ui settings

This provides an easy access to the settings of the Project Global Settings window that are somehow related to the camera, and to the way cameras are rendered in the viewport. These settings are global to the project.

Overlays (gates) are not displayed in the high-quality mode at the moment.

Display the film and output gates in the viewport as white and red rectangle respectively.

The film gate (white) represents the part of the viewport that is being captured by the sensor of the camera.

The render or output gate (red) defines the area of the film gate that is actually being saved to file (render region). An alternative name for render gate is film guides or guidelines (used in film). The render gate is controlled by the film output aspect ratio which can be set in the Project Global Settings.

The render gate is always contained within the boundaries of the film gate (there is no overscan option).

When on, part of the viewport that is outside of the film gate is cropped (not rendered).

There are two possible options:

  1. Fit Film Gate to Viewport: the film gate takes all the available space on screen (with the output gate contained within).
  2. Fit Output Gate to Viewport: the output gate takes all the available space on screen (the film gate is out of screen and is thus not visible).

If you watch the video below you can see that the content of the output gate doesn’t change when switching between the two options.

To find out how to navigate a camera, check out the viewport navigation controls on the shortcuts and hotkeys page.

You will also find f to frame the camera view on a selected object, and F9 to toggle the visibility of camera frustums useful, from the scene editor hotkeys table. Make sure your camera is unlocked before trying to move it!

To create animated cameras using PocketStudio’s native augmented reality application, see create virtual cameras using AR.

To export all the cameras contained in the scene to a FBX file, do as follows:

  1. Click on the Camera icon on the Toolbar to open the Camera panel.
  2. Click on the floppy disk icon located in upper right corner of the Camera panel. A file browser will open up. Navigate to the directory where you want to save the file, enter a file name and click on the export button.

Exporting AR cameras with smoothed out motion: set the Smoothing camera property to 0 if you wish to export the AR camera’s raw data.