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Camera and Scene Setup

2.2_Camera-Scene Setup-v2

0:04 One of the most important steps in the render process is done here in SketchUp.

0:11 Our viewing angle and what we decide to show or not in the camera frame sets the stage for all the moves we’re going to make later…

0:19 which is why it’s important to take some time now to set up a dynamic and dramatic composition.

0:25 If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to open our cabin model included with your exercise files.

0:34 Once open you’ll notice that it’s just the cabin with no context or scenes saved.

0:41 Of course, it would have been easier to just provide you a preset camera...

0:46 but I wanted the opportunity to walk through the process together.

0:53 We can also open up our V-Ray Asset Editor window as we’ll be adjusting some settings in V-Ray first before fine tuning our view in SketchUp.

1:03 Under the ‘Settings’ tab, expand the ‘Render Output’ section and then the ‘Aspect Ratio’ pulldown.

1:11 In my experience, it’s a good idea to set your render aspect ratio first because if you switch it after your camera is fixed...

1:19 it will change your field of view and therefore making your redo your camera positioning.

1:25 Let's also tart by turning the ‘Safe Frame’ on so we can see what will and will not render in our view.

1:34 Then switch the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 1:1 Square.

1:40 I chose square orientation so I didn’t have to render a bunch of context on either side of the cabin.

1:48 With our V-Ray settings dialed in, let’s next change our field of view.

1:54 By default, SketchUp’s camera focal length is 35mm…like a typical point-and-shoot camera.

2:02 But the human eye has a wider field of view…something between 40 and 60mm should feel more natural.

2:10 So let’s split the difference and go with ’50’.

2:15 Now we can zoom in to this line that I’ve drawn representing the position and height of the viewer.

2:22 I want them to be looking straight on to the cabin nice and close.

2:27 Now all we have to do is use the 'Position Camera' tool.

2:32 Start by clicking the top of the line and before letting go of your mouse button…

2:38 pull it towards the cabin until the green inference line locks in...Then let go.

2:46 You can check the eye height in the corner which is a little higher than an average person as it accounts for the fact we’re standing just beneath the paving.

2:57 Next, we’re going to pan around to get our cabin centered but before doing that...

3:03 set the camera to two-point perspective which helps by locking our camera so we can then pan around while keeping our camera angle in tact.

3:14 So let's pan and drag the view down so that the horizon lines sits at about the lower third of the SketchUp window and the cabin stays centered.

3:25 If eyeballing the composition isn’t working, I’d recommend the option of using a composition grid to help.

3:35 To add a composition grid, start in the ‘Styles’ tab and browse to ‘Edit’…then to ‘Watermarks.’

3:45 Add a new watermark and choose the grid image I included with your exercise files.

3:53 Set it to ‘overlay’…fade it back…and uncheck ‘lock aspect ratio’.

4:04 Now we can see clearly where the lower third grid line is for the horizon to line up with as well as the vertical lines for centering the cabin.

4:18 The final step is to save this view to a scene.

4:24 Feel free to name it whatever you like. I’ll call mine ‘Render’.