Camera movement helps you enhance the stories you tell. Whether you’re creating an explainer video, a training scenario, a product demo, or just about anything else, the camera choices you make can be used to elevate your storytelling. With that in mind, it’s important to know when and how to best use camera movement in your videos — animated or otherwise.
Watch our video producer, Taylor, teach you how to tell better stories with camera movement, and how to do it in Vyond.
Note: Vyond was GoAnimate at the time of this webinar. Some elements of Vyond Studio have changed slightly, but camera movement is the same.
Taylor provided insights to help you recreate the camera movements you see on TV and in movies. Watch above and read along to learn how to master some of the finer points of camera movement in Vyond. Whether you’re an expert in Vyond, or you’ve never made a video before, you’ll walk away with tips and new ideas for creating high-quality, engaging, video content.
In the recording above, Taylor covers:
- Camera movement theory
- Why and when to move the camera
- Examples of storytelling with camera movement
- How to use camera movement in Vyond
Taylor presented entirely in the Vyond Studio. At the time of this webinar, Vyond was GoAnimate.
Types of Camera Movement
In the first section of the webinar, Taylor covers the basic types of camera movements before showing you examples. Here’s a recap of what he covers at the beginning:
When you move the physical position of the camera forward. This can tie characters together with other people, props, or places without the need for dialogue. A camera push can say a lot on its own. If you do have dialogue, a push can change the feeling of it completely. A push is great for scene or character introductions and directs attention to what’s on the screen. It gives more importance to what’s on the screen compared to if the camera was static.
When you move the physical position of the camera backward. Pulls can signify the separation of characters from other people, props, or places, without the need for dialogue as well. It can invoke feelings of leaving, conclusion, or abandonment. A pull or a zoom-out can be a great way to end a video because of this.
Zooming is done with the lens, without moving the camera.
Zolly or Dolly Zoom
This is done by either zooming in while pulling the camera out or zooming out while pushing the camera in. The point of focus stays the same size while everything else in the frame is changing size. Zolly or other dramatic and fast camera movements can be used to simulate change, tension, unrest. They’re a good way to draw attention exactly where you want it. When the camera moves in a strange or fast way, it immediately draws attention.
Pan (Left or Right) and Tilt (Up and Down)
These are typically done with a tripod head, or the camera movement tool in Vyond. The camera position is locked down and objects hold their relative position to one another. Like with a zoom, the camera position does not change, so, objects in the frame hold their same relative position to one another.
A slide is done by moving the physical position of the camera movement left or right. Like a push or a pull, a slide creates a parallax effect with the objects or people on screen. It allows more motion to happen on the screen than a pan would. These shots work best when there are foreground, midground, and background elements.
A crane is done by moving the physical position of the camera up or down. A crane also creates a parallax effect with the objects or people on screen and gives your scene more movement. These shots work best when there are foreground, midground, and background elements.
Customer Q&A on Camera Movement
While we tried our best to answer questions in real-time during the webinar, we thought some of your questions deserved a more detailed reply for everyone to see. Here are some of the customer questions from the live webinar, along with Taylor’s answers:
Q: Would it be easier to say that a Zolly Push means you’re zooming into the background while pulling back on the subject? Same with a Pull Zolly where you zoom out on the background while pushing into the subject?
A: A Zolly-In is pushing into the subject with the camera while Zooming Out on the subject with the lens. A Zolly-Out is pulling away from the subject with the camera while Zooming In on the subject with the lens. The most important thing is your subject should stay the same size.
Q: Are the motion paths in Vyond starting at the same time? And if so, is there a time when you have a delay in between motion paths?
A: The motion paths all start at the same time to match the exact timing of the camera – this is how it would work in real life. If you delayed certain motion paths, such as staggering objects to move one slightly after another, it would create a more stylized push or pull effect, something really only achievable with animation. I would say your preference is your best choice.
Q: Your examples had foreground elements, midground elements, and background elements. Are there just three planes? Or could you have planes between those by making more groups and motion paths and adjusting the sizing and movement accordingly?
A: Foreground, midground, and background are the three sections that exist in 3D space when working with camera movement. These three areas can contain as many or as few subjects as you like. You can think of the foreground as being anything from one to three feet in front of the camera, the midground as anything from four to ten feet, and the background as ten feet and greater. The thing to remember is the closer an object is to the camera, the longer the motion path it should have compared to the midground and background elements having the least or no movement.
Q: How do you shoot a Vyond character from the back, over-the-shoulder like you’re showing here?
A: It can be achieved by placing shapes over the front of a character and matching the colors and sizes to make it appear as though it’s the back of a character. This really works best in close-ups, like over-the-shoulder shots. In the new video maker, you can group these shapes to the character so that the shape follows when the head moves. This workaround can still be tricky, so we’re working to make “back of the head” shots easier in the future.
Q: Can you add more than one camera movement to a scene in Vyond?
A: No, only one camera movement per scene. To add a series of camera movements, add a scene, and the camera will start where it ended on the scene prior.
Q: In Vyond, is there a way to manually adjust the secondary camera composition size to a custom size, not a relative static size?
A: You can resize the secondary camera composition to almost any size you like, and drag it to whatever position you want.
Q: The Vyond restaurant scene you showed had a wide-angle, then two over the shoulder close-ups. My question is regarding the scene background. Were they made up for the two over-the-shoulder shots?
The over-the-shoulder shots were made from the original wide restaurant scene, with alterations of course. For the benches, I stretched them to the width of the scene by holding Shift while resizing from the sides. This gave the look of what the bench would have looked like behind them.
Q: Are there any scenes in Vyond that are not horizon perspective and instead have a vanishing point?
A: No, but you can achieve a vanishing point in a custom background by shrinking an asset during a motion path as it moves away from the camera.
Q: I’ve just tried a Zolly In in Vyond, how would I make my next scene the exact same as the end of the Zolly?
In the new video maker: click on the down arrow next to the Add Scene icon in the timeline or Right-Click the clip with your Zolly, and select Continue Scene. The scene that is created will have a camera already added to match the ending camera position of the previous scene, whence it came.
GoAnimate is now Vyond. Learn more about the changes.
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If you have more questions about camera movement, our community is a great place to get your questions answered by Taylor, the rest of our video team, and the Vyond customer community of helpful video makers.