By Michael Burns | on June 08, 2006
Price When Reviewed: 270 . 214 . 53
Pros: Simple to use, versatile set of plug-ins. Input is customizable, and multiple inputs can be used together. Supports all DirectX input devices.
Cons: Fairly expensive, and only works with 3DS Max and VIZ. Plug-ins must be purchased individually, and Help is Web-based.
Craft Camera Tools is a set of 3D camera plug-ins that allows you to record travelling, flying, or wandering cameras through scenes in Autodesk 3D products. The plug-ins work with 3DS Max and VIZ, and Maya versions are in the pipeline.
The setup is simple, and consistent across the set. You choose a camera and configure it for input, then record the real-time movements applied by the user. The resulting animation keyframes can be edited afterwards.
Input can be in the form of a keyboard, 3D mouse, joystick, or gamers steering wheel. For example, using the HeliCam plug-in (below), you choose the input settings (we used a joystick) and select from a range of helicopter profiles. The default model allows you to flit around the viewport with ease, while a ‘massive military’ profile adjusts the physics model of the helicopter, making it heavier and slower to respond.