How To use The Camera Tools] In this second tutorial, I’ll be showing you some of the Cinematography skills you can learn using the free offline Xtranormal State animation software. This relates to the camera and how to use it to create an outstanding animated movie.
What is Cinematography
The word Cinematography comes from the Greek words (kinema – κίνημα “movement” and graphein – γράφειν “to record”). T his means you will be learning how to record movement or in cinemgraphic terms use a camera to record your movie. What I hope to achieve with this tutorial is, help you learn how to use the Xtranormal State camera tools to record the movement of your animated movie.
You will learn the basics of how to be a animation Cinematographer. If you live in the US, you may be familiar with the filmmaking term DOP (Director of Photography) which is the same title relating to a Cinematographer.
What’s Important About Camera Angles?
If you watched a movie on television, where the camera stayed in the same position and didn’t move through out the whole film. You and the audience would eventually get bored watching it, and change the channel.
Using camera angles or cutting to different shots in a film is really important because it:
- draws your audience into the story
- builds the audience emotion
- builds anticipation
- helps the audience relate to the characters
- makes your movie enjoyable to watch
When I shoot a film, I use a lot of shots (camera positions) as a story telling tool. People have complained about my films, because they felt the film was too short and they wanted to see more.
Why? Because I used a lot of camera angles that drew the audience into the story, without them knowing it. This is the most important point that all fimmakers should be aware of. In laymens terms, and I have told a lot of filmmakers this, so they understand ‘Slap your audience across the face to get their attention, and suck them into the vortex of the story’. Now this is symbolic speech to help filmmakers understand:
- In the first scene SHOCK!!! your audience
- Get their attention
- use camera angles so the audience has to keep watching the film or else they’ll miss pieces (puzzle) of the story (visually)
- Edit each shot so the actors movements flows from one shot to another.
How To Use Xtranormal State Camera Tools
I have created a video tutorial to help you learn how to use the State camera tools. You can watch it in HD (1280×720).
In the previous tutorial, I showed you how to start a scene in xtranormal State. I have choosen the Playgoz Showpak for this tutorial, which is installed in State by default. The reason for this is because the Playgoz Showpak has a street location that will help you learn how to use different camera angles to tell your story. Remember, different camera angles draws in the attention of your audience.
State Camera Tool Short cuts
Some of you, may like using shortcut keys to speed up your animation editing time. I have provided the camera tools shortcut keys below.
- Orbit [ALT+Left mouse button] Oribits the camera around the actors in a horizontal direction (left-right)
- Pan [ALT+Middle mouse wheel held down] Pan and Crane – Moves the camera in X (left-right) and Y (up-down) direction
- Look [ ALT+Shift+Left mouse button] Tilt POV – moves the camera in the X (left-right) and Y (up-down) POV (Point of view) direction
- Roll [Alt+Shift+Middle mouse wheel held down] Dutch Angle – tilts the camera side to side at an angle offsetting the horizontal plane e.g. -90° – +90° degrees
- Dolly [Mouse Wheel spin] Dolly or Tracking shot – moving the camera in and out of the composed shot. * Note (this is only for setting up the camera, not movement while filming).
- Zoom to selection [Alt+Shift+Right mouse button held down] Select the area you wish to zoom to. * Note (this is only for setting up the camera, not movement while filming)
Now that you know how to be a animation cinematographer using the Xtranormal State camera tools you can produce some very entertaining movies.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment on:
- What you thought of the tutorial?
- Do you have any questions?
- Do you have any suggestions for future tutorials that I can write about?