Common Camera Parameters
 
 
 
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Create panel Cameras Target button or Free button Parameters rollout

Most of the camera controls are common to both kinds of cameras. This topic describes those controls.

Procedures

To view a wider area, do either of the following:

  1. Use the FOV spinner to increase the camera's field of view.
  2. Click a button with a shorter focal length. Use the Lens spinner to give the focal length a value other than the preset "stock" values on the buttons.

To view a narrower area, do either of the following:

  1. Change the FOV parameter to decrease the camera's field of view.
  2. Click a button with a longer focal length. Use the Lens parameter to give the focal length a value other than the preset "stock" values on the buttons.

    In a camera viewport, the FOV button lets you adjust the field of view interactively.

    The camera viewport Perspective button also changes the FOV in conjunction with dollying the camera.

    NoteOnly the FOV value is saved with the camera. The focal length value is merely an alternative way to express and select the FOV.

To set the camera lens size:

  1. In the Stock Lenses group, click a button to choose a stock focal length.
  2. Set the Lens spinner to a custom focal length.
    TipIf you want to maintain the same lens, avoid using the FOV or Perspective controls among the navigation icon buttons, and don't change the FOV spinner.
    ImportantWhen a camera viewport is active, changing the Output Size or (custom) Aperture Width in the Render Setup dialog will change the camera's Lens setting.

To match a camera to a film or video format:

  1. On the Render Setup dialog, in the Output Size group Output Size group, choose the type of output you want. Use either of the following methods.
    • Choose a preset, such as HDTV (video), from the drop-down list. The Aperture Width is locked to the preset's values.
    • Choose Custom, and then set the desired Aperture Width value. (You can adjust the other output values at any later time. They have no affect on the camera lens settings, although they do affect the cropping of the scene.)
  2. After setting Aperture Width, set the Lens value for the camera to the type of camera lens you want to emulate (for example, 50mm).

    To maintain the same lens, avoid using the FOV or Perspective controls among the navigation icon buttons.

To find a lens's focal length:

To display a camera's cone:

To display a camera's horizon line:

To change the environment range:

To see the environment ranges in viewports:

To set clipping planes:

  1. Turn on Clip Manually.

    When Clip Manually is off, the camera ignores the location of the Near and Far clipping planes, and their controls are unavailable. The camera renders all geometry within its field of view.

  2. Set the Near Clip value to position the near clipping plane.

    Objects closer to the camera than the Near distance are not visible to the camera and aren't rendered.

  3. Set the Far Clip value to position the far clipping plane.

    Objects farther from the camera than the Far distance are not visible to the camera and aren't rendered.

    You can set the Near clipping plane close to the camera so that it doesn't exclude any geometry, and still use the Far plane to exclude objects. Similarly, you can set the Far clipping plane far enough from the camera that it doesn't exclude any geometry, and still use the Near plane to exclude objects.

    The Near value is constrained to be less than the Far value.

    If the clipping plane intersects an object, it cuts through that object, creating a cutaway view.

    The effect of clipping planes

To apply a multi-pass rendering effect to a scene:

  1. In the Multi-Pass Effect group, turn on Enable and choose either Depth Of Field or Motion Blur.
  2. In the Multi-Pass Effect group, turn on Enable.

    Depth Of Field is the only multi-pass effect that is provided with 3ds Max Design by default.

  3. In the Multi-Pass Effect group, turn on Enable and choose Depth Of Field.
  4. Use the Depth Of Field Parameters rollout or the Motion Blur Parameters rollout to set the values for the effect you chose.
  5. Activate a camera viewport.
  6. In the Multi-Pass Effect group, click Preview to preview the effect in the camera viewport.

    The Preview button has no effect if a camera viewport isn't active.

  7. Render the scene or animation.

Interface

Lens

Sets the camera's focal length in millimeters. Use the Lens spinner to give the focal length a value other than the preset "stock" values on the buttons in the Stock Lenses group box.

Changing the Aperture Width value on the Render Setup dialog also changes the value in the Lens spinner field. This doesn't change the view through the camera, but it does change the relationship between the Lens value and the FOV value, as well as the aspect ratio of the camera's cone.

FOV Direction flyout

Lets you choose how to apply the field of view (FOV) value:

  • Horizontal(The default.) Applies the FOV horizontally. This is the standard way to set and measure the FOV.
  • VerticalApplies the FOV vertically.
  • DiagonalApplies the FOV diagonally, from one corner of the viewport to the other.
FOV

Determines how wide an area the camera views ( field of view). When FOV Direction is horizontal (the default), the FOV parameter directly sets the arc of the camera's horizon, measured in degrees. You can also set the FOV Direction to measure FOV vertically or diagonally.

You can also adjust the field of view interactively in a camera viewport by using the FOV button.

Orthographic Projection

When on, the camera view looks just like a User view. When off, the camera view is the standard perspective-like view. While Orthographic Projection is in effect, the viewport navigation buttons behave as they ordinarily do, except for Perspective. Perspective function still moves the camera and changes the FOV, but the Orthographic Projection cancels the two out, so you don't see any change until you turn off Orthographic Projection.

Stock Lenses group

15mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, 200mm

These preset values set the camera's focal length in millimeters.

Type

Changes the camera's type from a Target camera to a Free camera, and vice versa.

NoteWhen you switch from a target camera to a free camera, any animation applied to the camera's target is lost, because the target object goes away.
Show Cone

Displays the cone (actually a pyramid) defined by a camera's field of view. The cone appears in the other viewports but does not appear in a camera viewport.

Show Horizon

Displays the horizon line. A dark gray line appears at the level of the horizon in the camera's viewport.

Environment Ranges group

Near Range and Far Range

Determine the near and far range limits for the atmospheric effects set on the Environment panel. Objects between the two limits fade between the Far % and Near % values.

Show

Displays rectangles within the camera's cone to show the Near and Far range settings.

Top: Conceptual image of the Near and Far ranges.

Bottom: Result after rendering.

Clipping Planes group

Sets options to define clipping planes. In viewports, clipping planes are displayed as red rectangles (with diagonals) within the camera's cone.

Clip Manually

Turn on to define clipping planes.

When Clip Manually is off, geometry closer to the camera than 3 units is not displayed. To override this, use Clip Manually.

Near Clip and Far Clip

Sets near and far planes. Objects closer than the near clipping plane or farther than the far clipping plane are invisible to the camera. The limit of the Far Clip value is 10 to the power of 32.

With manual clipping on, the near clipping plane can be as close to the camera as 0.1 unit.

WarningExtremely large Far Clip values can produce floating-point error, which can cause Z-buffer problems in the viewport, such as objects appearing in front of other objects when they shouldn't.

Conceptual image of Near and Far clipping planes.

Multi-Pass Effect group

These controls let you assign a depth-of-field or motion blur effect to the camera. When generated by a camera, these effects generate blurring by rendering the scene in multiple passes, with offsets. They increase rendering time.

TipThe depth-of-field and motion blur effects are mutually exclusive. Because they rely on multiple rendering passes, applying both to the same camera could be prohibitively slow. If you want to use both depth-of-field and motion blurring in the same scene, use multi-pass depth-of-field (using these camera parameters) and combine it with object motion blur.
Enable

When on, previewing or rendering uses the effect. When off, the effect is not rendered.

Preview

Click to preview the effect in an active camera viewport. This button has no effect if the active viewport is not a camera view.

Effect drop-down list

Lets you choose which multi-pass effect to generate, Depth Of Field or Motion Blur. These effects are mutually exclusive. Default=Depth Of Field.

This list also lets you choose Depth of Field (mental ray), which lets you use the mental ray renderer's depth of field effect.

NoteThe rollout for the chosen effect appears, by default, after the Parameters rollout.
Render Effects Per Pass

When on, applies rendering effects, if any are assigned, to each pass of the multi-pass effect (depth of field or motion blur). When off, applies rendering effects only after the passes that generate the multi-pass effect. Default=off.

Turning off Render Effects Per Pass can improve the render time for multi-pass effects.

Target Distance

With a free camera, sets a point to use as an invisible target so that you can orbit a camera around that point. With a target camera, indicates the distance between the camera and its target.