Introducing the Advanced Camera Tools

From the looks of it, we’re taking Hollywood by storm.

It seems that every time I watch a movie’s special features, up pops SketchUp: How’d they figure out the Penrose stairs in Inception? What did a vehicle designer for Avatar use to invent the bad guys’ robot suits? What tool did the production designer for 300 and Good Night, and Good Luck use? The set design for The Social Network? Futuristic environments for Tron: Legacy? The sheer number of films and TV shows that SketchUp’s been a part of is jaw-dropping—and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Since the entertainment industry’s been so good to us, we thought we’d return the favor. The old Film & Stage plugin we built in 2005 has been languishing in quasi-supported limbo for years. We dug it out of the shed, took it all apart, fixed the broken stuff, then... strapped a rocket to its butt. If fact, we made it so much better that we had to give it a new name.

The Advanced Camera Tools plugin lets you work with real-world cameras in your SketchUp Pro 8 models. Cameras you create with the ACTs provide precise controls for settings like Focal Length, Aspect Ratio and Image Width, which allows you to accurately preview real camera shots right inside SketchUp.

We put together a little video that tells the story succinctly:


In words and pictures, here’s some of what you can do with the Advanced Camera Tools:

Place cameras in your model and look through them to preview your shots.


Choose from dozens of pre-configured camera types, or create your own.


Position and aim your ACT cameras using familiar moves like Pan, Tilt, Roll, Dolly, Truck and Pedestal.


Set the Focal Length of any camera to simulate a large number of physical lenses.


Look through your ACT cameras to preview Aspect Ratio and Safe Zones for the shots you’re planning.


Toggle on and off all of your ACT cameras’ frustums to clearly see what is—and isn’t— visible in your shots.

The Advanced Camera Tools work on both Windows and Mac computers running SketchUp Pro 8. The plugin itself is a free download; you can get it here: Windows | Mac OS X

This Getting Started Guide is a good place to look for answers to your questions. To join a discussion, check out this thread on our forums.

Six years ago, we also released a big collection of components that relate specifically to film and tv production. If you need a dolly or a jib or a light stand or a light or a scissor lift or any other piece of movie set apparatus, this collection of collections on the 3D Warehouse is a great place to start looking.

One more thing: The lion’s share of credit for getting these tools out the door goes to Brian Brown. He worked on them in his 20% time—his day job is leading the engineering effort for Building Maker and the 3D Warehouse. Small tokens of appreciation (RED ONE HD cameras, etc.) should be mailed directly to him.

Happy pre-visualizationing!

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21 comments :

Chris Fullmer said...

This is great! Thanks for updating and re-realising this powerful tool. -Chris

SketchUpArtists said...

This is great news, wonderful and
as Chris says a powerful slightly forgotten tool!

yoo.se said...

yes at last..
joachimvonrost.se

Bertier Luyt said...

love it, I've been using the old camera tool just recently for a TV chanel to show them their new studio... that will make further work easier !

MERCI

Robert O'Halloran said...

This looks amazing.. I do a lot of Interior Design walk-throughs. I hope this will be a great help!

Jan said...

Wow. Great its back...and enhanced. Will try it right away.

Tichkula said...

Very Nice ..And Great Its Back..

captain america said...

Wonderful! SketchUp just keeps getting more fun!

Mázinha said...

Gente...
Comprei o Google Sketchup pela loja online da totalcad... www.lojatotalcad.com.br.
Realmente adorei o software e é uma diferença significante da versão free.
Fica a dica, pra quem já conhece o software e quer comprar com um descontinho bacana.

inlimine said...

I have used the older version of the camera tools (almost everyday) for film work since the day they were introduced. I can not tell you HOW FANTASTIC IT IS THAT A MORE ADVANCED VERSION HAS JUST COME OUT! LOVE IT!

NGUYENCUONG3D said...

NguyenCuong3d :

Thanks

sabba said...

I get no safe zone graphics on any cameras and no option to turn them on in the context menus. Has anyone else run into this?

Mac OSX 10.6

Sketchup said...

Thank you very much ......

Very nice camera plugin

millardm said...

sabba....not all of the cameras have safe zones defined. When one doesn't, you don't get the menu on the context menu, either.

Could you try this:
Create a camera.
Right click and select 16mm Super 16 Camera Aperature as the camera type.
Right click again. Do you see a safe zone visibility entry on the context menu?

inlimine said...

"showing or hiding safe zones

A camera safe zone is a sub-area representing an area visible through the lens. Some safe zones represent different output resolutions, some represent different aspect ratios, and some indicate which parts of the frame will be cropped when displayed on different viewing devices. Not all ACT cameras have safe zones (some have several), but those that do can display their safe zones as blue rectangles in the drawing area. To display a camera's safe zones:

1. Ensure you are in camera view mode.
2. Context-click. The Advanced Camera Tools context menu appears.
3. Select Safe Zone Visibility > Show All Safe Zones to show all safe zones for the camera. Or, select an individual safe zone to show just that safe zone."

NeKoShinn666 said...

This is realy cool but... for those poor people like me its jus another tool i cant use =O caz i dont have GS pro.

Francisco said...

Cool man, I put all my chips on Sketchup and I'm very happy for that...Keep growing, great feature...

toni said...

hi everyone,does this plugin works on sketchup 7???thanx

US Green Card said...

Advanced Camera Tools plugin only for Sketchup 8 PRO? Can I use this plugin with google sketchup 8 (not 8 pro)

derozic said...

Uh-oh - it doesn't work on SketchUp Pro 2013? Tried to install and it's looking for 8 Pro.

derozic said...

Uh-oh - doesn't work with Sketchup Pro 2013?!