Chapter 17: How to Set Up a Scene

Setting up your scene can be compared to building a set for a television show. This is the point when you position each scene element such as the camera frame, the background elements and the characters.

Positioning the Camera

The scene action occurs inside the camera frame, so it’s really important to set it up correctly. You can adjust the camera resolution and other parameters in the Scene Settings window—see Scene Settings.

The Camera layer is static which means that if you need to animate it, you must add a peg—see Animating the Camera.

You need to add a camera layer to your scene, so you can edit the camera frame. You can only see one camera at a time. If you add several cameras to your scene, you can use the Camera list to select the active one. You could use this feature if you are still working on your scene composition and have different camera framing to try out.

You can reposition your camera frame directly in the Camera view, using the advanced animation tools. Another way to set up your camera frame is to type the coordinates directly in the camera's properties. Doing this positions the camera precisely where you want it to be rather than gauging it visually—see Positioning an Element Using the Layer Properties View.

You can easily reset the camera to its original position. Using the Reset command, you can reset the value of the selected element to the initial value of the active tool. For example, if the Rotate tool is active, the transformation angle will be reset to 0 and if the Transform tool is active, then all parameters values will be reset.

Positioning Objects

Setting up the scene also involves positioning the different scene elements within the camera frame.

NOTE: Refer to How to Animate Objects and the Camera to learn how to animate objects.

Repositioning the Pivot

Transformations, such as rotation, scale, skew and flip, are made relative to the pivot point position. You can reposition this pivot point anywhere using the advanced animation tools. See Positioning an Element Using the Layer Properties View to learn how the original pivot is set.