3D Camera angle question/issue

Note: To aid the explanation of this issue, I used the dimensions roll, pitch and yaw which are usually used to describe the rotation of an aircraft.

I encountered a weird behavior of the 3D camera: When it is in "normal" (0°) rotation, all axes work as expected with the X-axis controlling the pitch, the Y-axis controlling yaw and the Z-axis controlling roll. But when the camera is rotated -90° along the Y-axis (for example to view an object from it's right side) both the X- and the Z-axes control the roll and the Y-axis controls the yaw.

How can I control the camera's pitch when rotated as described/shown?

I know that there are the Orientation controls, but when trying to move the camera around an object these are rather restrictive for animations since they can only be adjusted in the positive dimension from 0-360°, making some camera moves impossible to realize.

I'm not sure if this is a bug or whether I'm just not seeing a way to adjust the camera as described.




  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Long story short, what you're encountering is an issue known as "gimbal lock." This is a known, and unavoidable consequence of the Euler rotation used by Hitfilm (and other 3D programs).

    I'm going to tag @spydurhank, as our resident Blender expert can verify this can happen in Blender as well. 

    This article will discuss gimbal lock in more detail. 


    Quick note on Orientation vs Rotation. As you've noted, Orientation is absolute values, 0-360. Additionally, Orientation will ALWAYS move along the shortest path. While Orientation can be keyframed, it's not actually intended for animation, but to point an object on its first frame so all Rotation animations start at 0.

    Since you're doing a plane type animation, you'll probably also have noticed Hitfilm always calculates rotation in the order X, Y, Z. Aircraft actually "move" better Z, X, Y. The way to get around this is to use a multi point "Yoke" rig - which also has the advantage of bypassing gimbal lock since the multiple points split up the math. 

    Watch this series. 





    First one is all about Hitfilm cameras lenses, including information on matching a real camera's focal length you won't find anywhere else. Second one discusses scene scale, camera controls, Euler rotation, and the Yoke rig.

    The next two are all about different virtual rigs. The fourth one is effectively a collaboration with @FilmSensei, who improved one of my rigs, then I improved his improvement. 

  • @Cronoxyd ,

    For sure watch all of the @Triem23 videos on his channel. There is gold in that channel.

    It is not really a bug but a known limitation. It is best to do as @Triem23 suggests and create a rig. He has a video for that.

  •  @Triem23 thank you for this detailed explanation! I was unaware of your YouTube channel but I will be watching the entire series since I clearly still have to learn about 3D animation and cameras :)

This discussion has been closed.