View scenes with cameras

Learn how to use, create, and edit cameras to navigate the 3D scene.

In Adobe Substance 3D Stager, you use a virtual camera to navigate the 3D scene. Cameras are used to capture views, add depth of field, and set the size of image exports.

Navigation in 3D scenes

Before working with any 3D content, it’s important to learn how to navigate in a 3D scene. The viewport displays a view of the 3D scene through virtual camera objects.  

You can move the camera using three tools:

  • The Orbit tool rotates the camera.
  • The Pan tool moves the camera left and right, up and down.
  • The Dolly tool moves the camera forwards and backwards.

Each of the camera tools is available in the toolbar or through the mouse shortcuts below. You can also use the quick access shortcuts to temporarily switch from your original tool to the camera controls. Release the shortcut to make your original tool available again. 

Note: Default shortcuts are shown

 

Tool access

3-button mouse

2-button mouse

Orbit tool

1

Alt + Right click

Alt + Right click

Pan tool

2

Alt + Middle click

Alt Left+ Right click

Dolly tool

3

Alt + Left click

Alt + Left click

Press F to move the camera to focus on your selection. If you have nothing selected, F will focus on all the objects in your scene. 

Use cameras to navigate a 3D scene.
Use cameras to navigate a 3D scene

Camera objects

Viewport camera and camera objects

Every Stager scene comes with a default viewport camera. You can also create camera objects using Camera > Add camera.  

Use add camera on the viewport control bar
Use add camera on the viewport control bar

Switching cameras

In the Viewport navigation bar, use the camera selection dropdown to switch which camera you are looking through. The camera tools and shortcuts will always edit the active camera. Once you’re done editing the camera, return to the viewport camera to keep working on the scene without changing the camera.

You can also move between cameras in the scene panel using the view camera and exit camera action. 

Select a camera in the viewport navigation bar
Select a camera in the viewport navigation bar

Cameras can have unique sizes and backgrounds which lets you setup many views for export.  The viewport camera lets you work without changing your export cameras.  Together, they can be powerful! 

Each camera has a unique size illustration
Each camera has a unique size. This allows them to be setup for exporting many views and compositions.

Camera depth of field

Depth of field is an effect where cameras have areas that are in focus and areas that are out of focus, or blurry. The virtual cameras in Stager can simulate this effect to provide focus effects for your scene composition. 

Select Properties > Depth of field to activate and control this effect.   

Using depth of field to create focused and blurred areas of the composition.
Use depth of field to create focused and blurred areas of the composition.

Camera backgrounds

Each camera can have a background image. Backgrounds are useful for abstract backdrops or realistic compositing. Use Actions > Match Image to generate lighting based off a background image. Match Image will also match the camera to the background perspective. 

Match the lighting and camera perspective from the background
Lighting and camera perspective matched from a background using Actions > Match Image.

Note:  All cameras share lighting. 

Environment stages are a package of an environment light and high-resolution background images. Stager will create a camera for each background image. Environment stages provide instant realistic compositing with many view angles. 

How to add an environment stage
Add an environment stage to instantly setup objects with photorealistic lighting and cameras preset with backgrounds and correct angles.

What's Next?

We've got you covered on how to view scenes by creating and editing cameras. Next, you can try to light your scene by using different types of light sources.

Have a question or an idea?

If you have a question to ask, come and participate in the Substance 3D Stager community. We would love to hear from you. 

You can also share your ideas of new features with us!

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