Documentation

Your Guide to Using SLATE

Dynamic Shot Controller

The Dynamic Shot Controller is a feature that can be found on all Camera Shot clips and allows you to create dynamically animated shots based on a set of settings and without keyframing the camera shot. Within the Dynamic Shot Controller section of the camera shot clip, you can specify one constraint for the position of the shot and another constraint for the rotation of the shot. As the help text suggests, if you do, the related parameter (position and/or rotation) of the shot will be disabled since it will be overridden by the constraint chosen.

The options for Position Constraint are either Offset Tracking, or Rail Tracking.
The option for Rotation Constraint is currently only Frame Composition.

Offset Tracking

Offset tracking constraints the position of the camera to always be at an offset from a target gameobject’s position.

  • Target. The target to track.
  • Target Offset. The desired offset to have from the target.
  • Offset Mode. Whether the offset is in local space of the target or in word space. The default is local space which means that an offset of (0, 0, -2) is always behind the target for example.
  • Smooth Damping. The smoothness of the camera shot position as it moves with the target.

Rail Tracking

Rail tracking basically puts the camera on a rail defined by two points and moves the camera on that rail to the closest position possible from the target with optional offset.

  • Target. The target to track.
  • Target Offset. An offset from the tracking target position.
  • Offset mode. Whether the offset is in local space of the target or in word space. The default is local space which means that an offset of (0, 0, -2) is always behind the target for example.
  • Rail Start. The starting point of the rail (you can edit this in the scene view!)
  • Rail End. The ending point of the rail (you can edit this in the scene view!)
  • Rail Offset. An offset from the closest possible position on the rail.
  • Smooth Damping. The smoothness of the camera shot position as it moves on the rail.

Here is an example for a better understanding of how Rail Tracking works.  Notice that in this example there is an offset set from the target. Thus the camera here is tracking that offsetted point which is in front of the character (the black dot).

Frame Composition

Frame composition affects the rotation of the camera so that it is looking at a target but at the same time tries to constraint the camera rotation so that the target stays within a specific frame within the shot.

  • Target. The target to use.
  • Target Offset. An offset from the target’s position always in local space. So in the above image we use offset to target the head of the character rather than its feet.
  • Target Size. A screen space size of the target. Together with the previous settings makes up for the target frame we want to track (that is the green rectangle).
  • Frame Center. The center of the frame we want to keep the target frame within in screen space.
  • Frame Extends. The extends of the frame we want to keep the target frame within. Together with the frame center above makes up the contraint frame (that is the white rectangle).
  • Dutch Tilt. An optional tilt to the camera.
  • Zoom At Target Frame. If enabled the camera will zoom in/out as required so that the target frame matches the constraint frame as much as possible. (enabling this option will disable the Field Of View parameter).
  • Smooth Damping. The smoothness of the camera shot rotation as it rotates to track the target frame.

Combining Constraints and/or keyframes

As explained earlier, position constraints only disable keyframing the position of the shot, while rotation constraints only disable keyframing the rotation of the shot. As such, you can for example have the Frame Composition constrain for the rotation of the shot, but keyframe the position of the shot manually to move it around.

Similarly, you can combine the Frame Composition constraint with the Rail Tracking constraint. In the previous Rail Tracking example above, as you can see the camera does not rotate as the character is moving beyond the rail on the right since the Rail Tracking only affects the position of the shot. Combining this with the Frame Composition constraint we can have something like this for example.

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