20
Nov
08

What do Clipping Planes and Custom Cameras have in common in iClone3?

When objects in your scene obstruct the camera view use Clipping Planes to edit the renderable range of your shot

When objects in your scene obstruct the camera angle you wish to shoot use Clipping Planes to edit the render-able range of your shot

What’s up iCloners out there, today’s tip is one that just might take you back a bit. Remember the good ol’ days before Teletubbies and Barney and Dora the Explorer, a more simple time where Grover explained in depth the infinite differences between NEAR and FAAARRR! Well then, your going to pick up on the new Clipping Planes in iClone3 quickly. How do the to relate you ask? It’s like this you see, the Clipping-Planes provide two parameters, Near and Far, to define the render-able range of a camera.

Clipping Planes are effected by the lens of the custom camera in use as well, so a lower lens setting will allow you to use a lower Near value to clip objects in the foreground

Clipping Planes are effected by the lens of the custom camera in use as well, so a lower lens setting will allow you to use a lower Near value to clip objects in the foreground

Here’s how it benefits you in 99% of your projects, if your actors are indoors, the walls of the rooms will always hinder the view of the camera in most cases. Or, if the actor is outdoor you may want to remove obstructions in the shot such as plants or architecture. Use the Clipping Planes – Near to filter out the objects within the foreground or background of your project. Making it easier for you to shoot in tight places in your scene or also help to only see what is necessary for the shot.

Use lower Par settings to drawn your background or sky domes closers to the foreground

Use lower Par settings to drawn your background or sky domes closers to the foreground

Also, if you are dealing with an extremely large scene that is big in simply size to the point that even the Extremely Large Scene camera still is unable to cover all the ground in your project, use the Clipping Planes and set a Far value to expand the visual range of the camera. To edit the Clipping Planes in your production go to the Camera Modify Panel for any custom camera in your scene and follow the steps below or watch the high speed video build.

  • Load a Project where you wish to use Clipping Planes (tight spaces or shots are ideal for this)
  • Go to the Stage tab
  • Click the Camera button
  • In the Modify Panel click the Add button
  • Use the Pan tool to set an obstructed camera angle
  • Locate the Clipping Planes portion of the Modify panel (the Lens MM will greatly effect the values)
  • Set a Near value to clip unwanted objects from the foreground (for this example I use a 50 MM lens and a value of 30 )
  • Use the Zoom tool to get the range just right for your shot
  • Set a Far value to clip unwanted objects from the background and drawn it closer to the camera
  • Once pleased click the Add button in the Content Manager to Save the new custom camera
  • Name the new camera, your Clipping Plane settings will be maintained

Make changes to the Clipping Plane values, then reapply the new camera to see that the values are saved along with any animation data, D.O.F. or other settings that you have created for each shot. Clipping Planes are one of many new aspects to the iClone camera system that when used along side other new features, it can really make a dramatic impact on your viewers. Cameras are one of those most holy of production elements that we all must pay respect to in our projects, like Lighting, they are essential components to all animations. Being well versed in the editable qualities offered to you in any camera related scenario will most certainly prove to be in your best interest and save you a headache or two along the way for sure.

Clipping Planes are simple to master and a sometimes misunderstood and underutilized new feature added to the Camera system in iClone 3. This is sure to benefit users that are a bit more film-makers than production artist, those who harvest others models and props from outside content sources to create their movies inside of. Imagine if real directors could build entire sets that cover every shot in the film, then simply have the power to make walls and other objects invisible whenever they feel it necessary. Then an endless amount of camera angles and shots would be available to them and production time would decrease a great deal I would imagine. But, understanding and using Clipping Planes to your advantage is a simple way to apply props and scenes they way you really would like them to be arranged and still accomplish the shots and angles you have in mind. Below is a output clip of a confined scene, like most of the backyards here in South Florida, that is a perfect example of a case scenerio where Clipping Planes will help to remove some tropical obstacles. Followed by a high-speed build showcasing the method of use. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “What do Clipping Planes and Custom Cameras have in common in iClone3?”


  1. November 20, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Nice music and an excellent tutorial. Clip away, dude. Thanks!

  2. November 20, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks again Ricky,

    Yeah this is one that helps out a ton in urban scenarios as well. Try that and see what ya get.


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