hi all-

trying to pan and zoom the camera between two characters talking … I can get one but no matter what I try, I cannot get the camera to pan and zoom over to the other character and back again - I have tried two cameras, I tried following the manual, I have tried cutting my wrists :), but I must be missing something … in short, I have an office - supervisor comes in, camera pans to him as he talks - someone in the back makes a comment - camera pans to him - following that comment, camera pans to the supervisor … any suggestions or particular part of the manual I should be concentrating on - I am using TB3.0 … thanks in advance … d

Please have a look at the QuickTime movie “Create Camera Moves”
that explains it all very nicely.


That’s a great video, but it may not be clear when keyed frames are being set or why, so I suggest that you read Using Toon Boom Studio to Make a Cartoon which will give you some detailed insight to the usage and need for keyed frames at each shot transition point in your shot sequence. Basically, every time the camera reaches the end of a move (pan move or zoom move) you need to set a keyed frame to lock down that end point then you can hold there or start a new move again using a keyed frame to establish the start of that move. You must have a keyed frame at the start and end of each move to designate the segment for your tweening. Hope this helps -JK

hi Guys -

thanks, I appreciate input from both of you … the quicktime movie was good as it gave me a better understanding of the camera functions … the narrative was great as it broke down the points I need to consider along with setting the key frames… thanks, dan

Hi Dan,

There also was one full article created about camera movement that you might want to consider reading:

Best regards,


Hi All -

Thanks for all the feedback … I am trying to follow each example but I must be stupid, because no matter what I try, all I get is a static rendition of the last image manipulation … here is what I am doing -btw, I am using TB3 …and trying to panning as I can get the cut effect…
I create a new peg - peg2
I create a new camera - camera2 (I go up to the dropdown box in the upper right and select camera2 (properties = static)
I attach camera2 to peg2 (it is indented so I know it is attached)
I select the camera2 element in the timeline, move the red scrubber bar to position 1 - I go to camera view, use the slide bar at the bottom of the box to enlarge char 1 so that it fills the 720x480 frame size. I go back to timeline, move the scrubber to position 20 (last row), still have camera2 selected. I go to camera view, use the slide bar to enlarge char2 … when I move the scrubber bar back and forth on the timeline, all i get is the effect from the last action - in this case char2 no matter if the bar is in position 1 or 20 or anywhere in between - I have tried to use the function editor, camera properties set to dynamic, selecting peg2 and adding motion points but I am getting nowhere but frustrated… thanks in advance for your patience … Dan

It sounds like you still have a constant segment between your camera peg’s keyed frames. Most likely in your preferences you have TBS set to always create constant segments which is fine, but that means any time you want tweening between keyed frames you have to go to the menu Elements>Pegs>Set Non-Constant Segment command while you have the first keyed frame of the pair selected in the time line. Hope this fixes your issue. Keep at it you’re almost there. You will see a line displayed between the keyed frames on your peg track if the segment is set to non-constant, which means the in between frames will be tweened. -JK

hi j -

definitely solved one of the problems as it was set in the prefs… still having some problems as I cannot seem to get the camera to snap from one character to another more than once … i have a conversation going on between three charactes and I want to try and snap to them each time they talk as well as adjust the size, as one panel may have one person in it, while another has two … I have tried multi level pegs, key frames, even motion points but either I get only the last one throughout or nothing … I know I must be doing something wrong, but I just can’t put my finger on it … for example, the first guy is speaking from 1-231, second guy (with two people) goes from 232-280, then back to the first guy from 280-350, then back to the second guy from 351-365, etc … can I even do this with TB3 or do I need to upgrade to 3.5? thanks for all your patience … dan

Yes you can absolutely do it in V3 and I have almost infinite patience particularly if I have had my morning coffee that day.

OK, lets start with some basic concepts. The camera has a red rectangular view window for a purpose, that window indicates what will be visible on any specific frame of your movie, it is the camera view finder so to speak. So any shot is described by what you see in that view finder window at that particular frame. Now the purpose of a keyed frame is to lock down a particular parameter that is applied to any associated elements or objects at a specific frame. So if you position your camera North South East and West horizontally and vertically and you adjust its position Front or Back in 3D space you describe and can view what the shot at that frame will look like. Just like you can see the shot if you were using a real camera’s viewfinder. Once you get the desired shot, you lock that shot down with keyed frames. Because multiple parameters are involved that actually means multiple keyed frames. This concept is often confusing to people as they read the term keyframe and think singular but in fact at any given frame there can be many key framed parameters. That’s why in TBS it is critical to understand the relationship between each scene planning tool and the specific type or types of parameters that tool is used to key frame. The transform tool is the most versatile, as it sets keys for all types of parameters at the same time. The rotation tool only sets rotation keys, the scale tool only sets scale keys etc. This concept goes even further in that segments between keys are also set based on the specific tool selected. The transform tool lets you set constant or non-constant segments between all key framed types, while the rotation tool only lets you set segments between rotation key frame pairs. So when setting keys or segments be careful you have the appropriate tool selected first. This may seem complex but it is part of the power of TBS that it gives you such excellent control over animating parameters.

You only need one camera in your scene to do all your shots. You never switch cameras in a scene you just change the set up of your single camera at the start of each shot. As I described above the set up of the viewfinder of your camera establishes the starting point of a shot. Once set up you lock it down with appropriate types of key framed parameters. Then you move to the ending position of your shot and if it requires the camera to move as in a zoom or pan , you set up the end of your shot and lock that down with appropriate types of key framed parameters. Then to see your shot you just set the segments between those keyed parameters to non constant to tell TBS to interpolate the changes in the parameters that are needed to transition from the start of the shot to the end of the shot. A shot is therefore defined by a set of key framed parameters at the start of the shot connected to a set of key framed parameters at the end of the shot. The connection is the segments between like types of keys.

So in your example you have a shot that starts at frame 1 and ends at frame 231. Then you have a second shot that starts at frame 232 and ends at frame 280. Then you have a third shot that starts at frame 281 and ends at frame 350. And a forth shot that starts at 351 and ends at frame 365. So you have camera set ups at frame 1, 231, 232, 280, 281, 350, 351, and 365. Each of those camera set ups needs to be made at the appropriate frame as desired and locked down as I outlined above. Each shot is independent of the previous shot. Each shot has a starting set up and an ending set up. Each shot can even have totally independent subjects and view points from other shots in the same scene. They are not a single continuous shot, they are independent shots that all belong to the same scene. You can even have a camera movement inside a shot that transitions into a hold position for some sequence of frames before you start a new shot. Keep asking questions if this is still not turning on the lights for you, but the concept of setting up shots is just a matter of the camera set up for the start of the shot and the camera set up for the end of the shot and then tweening the transition from start to end. A simple shot can be a held viewpoint with the starting and ending camera set up being identical while a complex shot will have a viewpoint change between the start of the shot and the end of the shot. And a really complex shot is just a series of complex shots strung together in what appears to be a continuous flow. Hope this helps -JK

Hi JK -

That was awesome … I understand what you are saying - I was definitely under the impression that a keyframe was a single instance … I tried to implement what you outlined but I must be missing something … hope you have had your coffee :slight_smile: … I have my camera attached to a peg … I move the scrubber to frame 1 and add a keyframe onto the peg (though one seems to be there already). I then click on the camera element and move/resize the image to where i want it … I move the scrubber and go to frame 231 add another keyframe onto the peg but do nothing to the camera as the image is as I want it. I move the scrubber and add a keyframe to 232. I click on the camera and adjust the image to where I want it. I click back on 231, and what i set in 232 displays… I guess I am not sure what or how to set the keyframe values… the effects at is exactly what I am looking to do - with panning, movement, resizing, jumps, etc … it would have been nice if there had been a step by step tutorial on how it was done to help us brain dead individuals :slight_smile: whatever info you can supply in fingerpaint format would be greatly appreciated … thanks, Dan

Glad you are making progress. Here are a few additional tips that may help you, also, learning to use the camera is a trial and error type of process, so it takes awhile to understand and master.

I typically collapse the peg that I have attached to the camera, which hides the camera track and keeps me focused on the camera’s peg track. Also, when doing camera moves I use three panels, the Camera View, the Top View and the Side View.

I rarely ever use the Camera View except as a reference window because it is usually easier to do the actual camera moving in either Top View or Side View. Top View is great for doing East -West moves as well as Front-Back moves. The Side View is great for doing North-South moves and sometimes Front-Back moves. If you have not used these panels before then take some time to familiarize yourself with them and how to interpret them.

Another step that I usually do when wanting to do camera set ups and moves is to go to the Tools menu and select Tools>Set Peg Only Mode ON which is keyboard shortcut M. I also have my scene planning preferences set to create linear splines and create constant key frames that way I decide when I want to add “tweening” and when I want to adjust “velocities” using function curves. (ease outs and ease ins etc.) I also make sure that Tools>Snap Last KeyFrame is not selected. That feature is great for “cut out” animation but can be a pain in camera moves. (by your previous post I suspect you may have it set ON)

One additional point to mention here is that there is a difference in peg elements between V3 and V3.5 that is subtle but needs to be accounted for in their usage. In V3, when you create a peg it automatically has two keyframes created, one at the beginning of the peg and an identical one at the end of the peg. In V3.5 there are no automatically created keyframes which is much friendlier because that second duplicate keyframe created on V3 pegs usually isn’t what you want at the end of the peg anyway. When working in V3, I usually start out by extending my peg track one or more frames longer than the associated elements attached so that the last duplicate keyframe on my V3 peg has no real impact. Not a big deal but mostly a nuisance.

I usually perform all my camera moves using the scene planning transform tool, as that way I know that I don’t have to worry which type of keyframe parameter I am setting because the transform tool is universal and sets all types of parameter keys. Don’t use the scene planning select tool to position your camera as it doesn’t set keys but it does reposition your camera as if you shifted its tripod location. That tool is mostly good for setting the start position of an element when you first place it in the scene but otherwise should be avoided in camera moves.

One last conceptual reminder about segments. A constant segment between a like pair of key frames means that you will get a “snap” or “jump” between the keys. That is great for “hard cuts” between keys. A non-constant segment between a like pair of key frames means that you will get a TBS created transition “tween” that incrementally moves from the beginning key to the ending key. The nature of that incremental transition is controlled by a velocity curve. A linear velocity means equal or balanced increments while a non-linear velocity means the spacing of the increments will vary to match the shape of the curve.

OK, that’s quite a bit to digest, so try applying this additional information and hopefully it will move you forward in your mastery of the camera. -JK

Please keep asking questions and letting us know how you are progressing. Your questions and your issues with performing complex camera moves are things that plenty of other people are or eventually will be having. So this dialog and discussion is helping many people learn about this topic. I have to tell you that one of the most underrated and misunderstood areas of animating is the use of the animation camera. So many people think that because they see all these complex shots in movies and on TV all the time, that there is nothing to reproducing them except pointing and shooting a camera. Animation camera work even in the digital environment is still a complex subject and takes time and experience to really master. And there is no such thing as an easy camera move, the most basic camera moves still require thought and planning to execute properly. -JK

Hi Jk -

I am feeling really stupid … I tried to follow your outline but seem to be getting all kinds of strange results…I created a peg and camera, attached the camera to the peg, selected the camera in the drop down list, then went about doing what I thought was logical - elements are 30 frames, so I set the peg to 31 to bypass that last keyframe… here’s a summary of my attempt … pan from char1 to char2, snap to char1 then snap to char3, then pan back to char1… and this is what i did to try and accomplish it …
in pos1 did shft/ctl/L (non constant seg), moved the ‘v’ from the top view over until char 1 was centered and resized. I then moved the scrubber over to pos10, added a keyframe and moved the ‘v’ over to char2. I moved the scrubber to pos11, added a keyframe and did a Ctrl/L(constant seg). I moved the ‘v’ from the top view over to char1, resized and centered him. Moved the scrubber over to pos20 and added a keyframe. I moved the ‘v’ over to char3, centered and resized him. I moved the scrubber to pos 21 and added a keyframe along with the shft/ctrl/L. moved the scrubber to pos 30, added a keyframe, moved the ‘v’ over to char1, centered and resized him. When I moved the scrubber back and forth, nothing happened… I redid everything got some panning, but char2 somehow ended up replacing char1 in the first pos … seems like i can get a good pan from pos 1 to 10 - but after that, no matter what I do, seems to overlay the first ten pos… hope you have had your coffee…I may start hitting the jack daniels :slight_smile: … if you tell me what the heck I am doing wrong or outline how you would accomplish the above scenerio step by step, I would greatly appreciate it … I am at a point where I feel like just duplicating the elements I need into a single element and mickey mousing it … thanks for your help and above all, your patience … Dan

I will reply later today (Monday), unfortunately I have a deadline to meet on a project that gets first priority - hang in there - we will solve this together -JK

First off, let me apologize for the delay. We lost our DSL connection to the studio and I wasn’t able to go online until it was repaired. Also I want to apologize for not going back to V3 and verifying some of the differences between V3 and V3.5 particularly concerning the usage of the transform tool. V3 does not allow you to use the transform tool to position the camera peg in the Top View or Side View. I do this all the time in V3.5 and forgot that it is an interface improvement between the versions. So in V3 you will position your camera peg using the motion tool.

I’m going to try to walk you thru the steps to do the camera shots and moves you have described. I’ll give some frame numbers as references but please realize that this is just my way of trying to get close to your goal and your actual frame numbers and actual shot compositions may well be different from my examples.

Also I will use some reference names for the characters just to help describe the action clearly. Character one will be Bob, character two will be Fred and character three will be Tom. So the scene as you describe it will work something like this.

Shot 1: Close up of Bob talking
Shot 2: Pull back and pan over to reveal Fred and Tom
Shot 3: Cut to medium shot of only Fred and Tom talking
Shot 4: Cut to close up of Bob talking
Shot 5: Cut to close up of Fred talking
Shot 6: Pull back and pan to revel Fred and Bob talking
Shot 7: Zoom in to close up of Bob talking

Before we begin executing the camera work we need to set up some of our environment in TBS so be sure you have the follow things set up:
1. Preferences, Sceneplanning Tab, Create Constant Key Frames and Create Linear Splines.
2. Tools>Turn Peg Only Mode On
3. We want to have a camera in our time line and we want to give that camera a parent peg which we will name something like “Camera-P” . We also want to stretch the peg out a frame or two farther than the last exposure of our drawing and image elements for this scene. In my example the scene runs 400 frames so the end of Camera-P peg will be at frame 401.

I am assuming that you have positioned your characters on the “stage” so to speak and have animated them speaking their dialog etc and now you want to just use the camera to add some action to the “talking heads”. Therefore I will not explain anything other than setting up shots and moving the camera.

From this point forward we will only be using Camera View as our view finder window and will do everything in either the time line or Top View. I’m not using Side View just to keep things simple, obviously you can also use Side View to add to the way you position your camera if that’s what you want.

Before you start, please read and understand this next part. Do not touch the red camera view finder or the little slider at the bottom of the camera view finder, we will get all of our view point changes by moving the camera’s view point in Top View. What I mean by the camera’s view point is the “V” shaped construct in Top View. Also the thing we are going to move is the red circle which represents our peg. Uncheck all the tracks for all your other pegs including Camera-P and be sure that View>Pegs>Show All Pegs is not selected as well as View>Pegs>Show Frame Markers . You don’t want all that extra peg information confusing you.

You will make all your moves and set all your keys using the scene planning motion tool (keyboard shortcut 0). Scene planning tools are dual purposed tools which is somewhat confusing. They are used to manipulate objects and they are used as “switches” to specify what type or types of parameters you want to key to the current frame. So make sure that before you do any of the follow steps that you still have the motion tool selected, if you don’t have the motion tool selected and you have some other tool selected you will not be setting keys correctly. A motion key looks like a black square in the center of the peg track. Except for the automatically generated keyframes at the beginning and end of a V3 peg all your Camera-P keyframes will just be motion keys. If you see a black rectangle above or below that black square in the middle of the peg’s track then you are setting other types of keys for that frame and that’s not what you want to be doing for this exercise. So please take care to keep the motion tool selected through out your setting up and moving the camera.

OK, we are ready to get started: so please follow these steps and do them in the order I present them as the sequence of doing things can effect your results.

  1. Go to the timeline and collapse the Camera-P track to hide the Camera track. Make sure the motion tool is selected. Move the frame marker (the red line) to frame one. The frame number is displayed at the top of the timeline panel and should show [Frame 1]. Select the Camera-P track. Now you are ready to create shot 1. Bob is talking and continues to talk and we want to stay on a close up of him for the first 150 frames. But as you can see at frame 1 we have Bob,Fred and Tom all visible in the camera view finder. So at frame 1 we need our first camera set up. So open the Top View panel if it isn’t already open. Move your cursor to give the Top View panel focus. Find the red circle in Top View that represents the Camera-P peg. When you move the cursor on top of that red circle it will change to a four directional arrow. Click on the red circle and drag it while watching your camera shot in the view finder in Camera View. The camera view point is moving in Top View as you drag the peg circle and you see the results in the view finder. Keep draging the red circle until you get your close up of Bob in the center of your viewfinder. You don’t have to add a keyframe this time because frame one had one already, but you just changed the parameter value of the motion key that was on frame one. Notice that throughout this exercise you never select or use any other timeline track other than Camera-P.

    2. Now back to the timeline and move the red frame marker to frame 150. Make sure you still have the Camera-P peg track selected and of course the motion tool is still selected. Now right click your mouse and from the context menu select Add a Keyframe. You should see a black square displayed in the center of the Camera-P peg track at frame 150. Because you have preferences set to create constant keyframes there will not be a line from the motion key at frame 1 to this new motion key at frame 150. That’s it for frame 150. We just made sure that we have locked down our camera shot from frame 1 to frame 150.

    3. Now advance the frame marker one frame to frame 151 and Add a Keyframe. You will see a black square in the center of the Camera-P peg track to indicate the addition of this new motion key at frame 151. This is the start of shot two where we will pull back and pan over to Fred and Tom. We want the pan to end around frame 232. So move the frame marker to frame 232 and Add a Keyframe. Then move the frame marker back to frame 151 and set the segment between the motion key at 151 and the motion key at 232 to non constant. You do this by using Element>Peg>Set Non Constant Segment. There is now a single line connecting the motion key at frame 151 and the motion key at frame 232. If not then you didn’t have the motion tool selected.
    Ok, now move the frame marker back to frame 232. Be sure you have the Camera-P peg track selected. Now go to the Top View and move your cursor over the top of the red circle and click and drag the circle while watching your view finder and keep draging the red circle around until you get the desired view of Fred and Tom in the view finder. This will be the ending position of your pull back and pan move. Be sure you are constantly saving your work as you go. So now test your scene to see if it is working so far. You should have Bob close up talking for 150 frames and then the camera pulls back and pans over to revel Fred and Tom till the end of the scene.

    4. Now back to the time line, Select the Camera-P peg track. Advance the frame marker to Frame 233 and Add a Keyframe. Then go to the Top View and drag the red circle until you get your shot three view in the view finder which should be a medium shot of just Fred and Tom talking. You just made a hard cut between frame 232 and 233. And we want to hold this shot until frame 280. So go back to the time line, select the Camera-P peg track and move the frame marker to frame 280 and Add a Keyframe. Good that locks down the shot. And we can now do shot four which is a hard cut back to a close up of Bob talking.

    5. On the Camera-P peg track move the frame marker to frame 281 and Add a Keyframe. If you still have the motion tool selected it will be a motion key and by now you are tired of me reminding you. So go to the Top View and place your cursor over the red circle and click and drag it around while looking in the view finder until you get your desired close up of of Bob talking. You just made a hard cut between frames 280 and 281. Good old Bob will be featured until frame 350 so move the frame marker to frame 350 Add a Keyframe and then move the frame marker to frame 351 and Add a Keyframe then go to the Top View and drag the red circle until you have a close up of just Fred talking in your view finder. You just made a hard cut between Bob close up in frame 350 to Fred close up in frame 351. You are becoming a cinematic wizard.

    6. That takes care of shots 4 and 5 we are ready to do shot 6 which is a pull back to show both Bob and Fred talking. So go to the time line and on the Camera-P peg track move the frame marker to frame 365 and Add a Keyframe then advance the frame marker to frame 366 and add a keyframe then move the frame marker to frame 380 and Add a Keyframe then go back to frame frame 366 and set the segment between the motion key at frame 366 and the motion key at frame 380 to non constant. Then move the frame marker back to frame 380. Now go up to Top View and drag the red circle until you get a medium view of both Bob and Fred talking. Nice pull back there.
    So go back to the timeline and on Camera-P peg track move the frame marker to frame 381 and Add a Keyframe. Then go to the Top View and drag the red circle until you get your final close up of just Bob talking. You are almost home, so on the timeline move the frame marker to frame 400 and Add a Keyframe. Except this time before you add this last keyframe select the transform tool instead of the motion tool just so that this keyframe is actually a set of keys for all parameters. A nice idea to lock everything down.

    If you followed the steps and I didn’t forget anything then you now are pretty much a camera moving master. Well you still need some trial and error on timing of moves and using velocity curves to make them really slick but that’s for another day. -JK

Dan, don’t hesitate to continue asking questions if you have any problems working thru this exercise etc. I’m back on line after a full day of having our DSL service on the fritz. They had to replace an entire run of underground telephone trunk line cable, much digging and sweating was involved. I’m sure glad I didn’t have to pay for all that work. Also I had to break the write-up into several posts because the forum software kept rejecting the post as “too big”. I did try to be complete and cover your question in detail and I have never been accused of skimping on the number of words in my posts -lol- JK

Hi Jk -

IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! ;D … the light has finally dawned on marble head and I understand the concept as well as the means to get there … where I was screwing up was setting the pan in the end keyframe and not the start frame… I can’t thank you enough for your time and excellent instructions… if you ever write a how-to book, let me know and I will be right there to buy one…
Glad to see that you are back online - I was in IT for a lot of years servicing networks, servers, pcs, customers, etc. and I fully understand the frustration of being down and being on the spot to get the problem fixed…
Again, thanks a lot - I owe you, and big time … Dan

Totally my pleasure. I am so glad that I was able to assist you. I look forward to the opportunity to be helpful in the future. And it is very rewarding to know that together we succeeded. Best wishes -JK