Camera Panning isn't straight

I’m designing a bracket for a camera. I’d like the bracket to be angled so that the center of the view is close to the desired aim point.

The camera is mounted 9’ above the floor. The camera can be easily tilted down to view the floor at the correct spot. Then, the camera needs to be panned to pick a spot a few feet to the left as the center of the image. I need the pan angle required to design the bracket (don’t need the tilt as it is easily adjusted).

So, I set all this up in sketchup with the camera at the desired spot I use down arrow in Camera Tools to tilt the camera down until the camera is aimed correcly in the “up/down” direction. Then I use the left arrow to pan the camera to the left.

I expect the viewpoint center (cross hair) to move horizontally when I do this, but instead it moves in a circle–maybe with radius of the camera height?. (see gif)

camera aim

What I want to do is rotate the camera about its vertical axis–I thought this was what a pan was.

Maybe somehow there’s an interaction between what happens when panning based on the tilt angle of the camera. But, as I sit here, it seems to work ok as I pan my phone camera with it tilted. The center of the image traces a straight line.

Am I using the tool wrong, or am I just “geometrically handicapped”?

A wild thought - try turning off gravity while panning (there is a keyboard modifier for it, which I think the Pan tool displays while active). By default, SketchUp wants to keep the camera’s up-vector co-planar to a vertical plane. But I think you want to rotate the camera about its local coordinate system, which would tip the camera’s up-vector sideways, depending on how the camera is tilted prior to the sideways pan.

I can’t find a way to deal with gravity while in the Camera tool. I only see when using the Orbit tool.

But I think you want to rotate the camera about its local coordinate system, which would tip the camera’s up-vector sideways

Yes! But, now I’m more confused. If I have Roll and Tilt functions, what is Pan?

If I use the left/right keys to Pan while in “looking through the camera”, the view changes, but neiither the Tilt nor Roll parameters change. So, it’s like the camera isn’t really moving . After tilting, I think I want to roll the camera, but the results are surprising as shown in gif I posted.

So, I can’t really trust that the roll angle is really what I need for the angle of the bracket. But, I’ll go ahead and do a print and see if it gets close Maybe having it in my hand will help me understand what’s going on

Thanks for replying

Thinking about it some more with my pilot’s hat on, Here’s what I expect::

Roll-- rotation about the cameras current Y (longitudinal) axis
Tilt (aka pitch) rotation about cameras current X (lateral) axis
Pan? Rotation about the camera’s Z (vertical) axis?

But, there’s nothing that indicates the camera’s “Pan angle”.

I still think what I need is the roll angle, but I’m thinking when it’s changed, it interacts with the pan angle

This is consistent with this:

But still, why does “rolling” a tilted camera seem to trace a curved path on the floor?

So, with a tilted camera, roll needs to be adjusted as the pan angle changes, if we want lines parallel with the axis to stay horizontal. I see that when aiming an actual physical camera.

But, for the bracket design, it’s not the “roll angle” I need, but rather the pan angle. For some reason, SU shows roll and tilt angles (and height + focal length), but not the pan angle.

I think I saw a Fredo extension that does something similar to advanced camera tools. I’ll check that out.

FredoPortrait is not helpful for this

You might have been thinking of “Camera Tools” by thomthom . I’ve never used it myself but have heard positive comments about it over the years.

Whoo hoo!

I found that after creating an advanced camera (ACT), you can get out of the “through the lens view” and find a model of the camera that SU can move and rotate tools can manipulate.

So, just move the camera like you would any other object. When you get it where you want it, just use the rotate tool. I rotated it first about its lateral axis (tilt or like airplane pitch adjustment, then rotated about its vertical axis (like azimuth) until I had the view centered where I wanted it. The “frustrum lines” make this easy to do from a view other than the “through the lens” view.

I noted the rotation angles required. Then, I then did the “look through camera lens” to check that I had what I wanted.

The pan angle (or azimuth change) is what I can use to design the bracket. Heck, I can even use a camera model with the bracket it on it in SU, then look through its lens!

The through the lens view is perfect But, the tilt and roll angles shown in the through the lens view don’t make much sense–they aren’t even close to the rotation angles I used on the camera model. Probably their frame of reference is something I don’t quite grasp.

So, I plan to use the “azimuth change” angle to design a bracket for an entire physical camera model. I’ll model it in SU on its stand, then use the “through the lens” view to verify it looks aim 1

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