Nicholas Giovinco


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Terminology of Camera Motion

A few of the people and clients around the interwebz have asked for a quick guide on some of the terminology I use when working with them.  Whether its Computer Generated, Live action, or even Still frames, this lingo is pretty consistent.

This is a great summary from the University of Waterloo Computer Graphics Lab

A quick little summary sheet of Camera Motion as the terms are used in the industry:

Terminology of Camera Motion


Move forward, along the line of sight of the camera (towards the object of interest).
Move horizontally, perpendicular to the line of sight of the camera. More generally, move in a horizontal plane.
Raise the camera vertically.
Tilt (Bank):
Rotate about the horizontal axis perpendicular to the line of sight of the camera.
Pan (Yaw):
Rotate about the vertical axis of the camera (after tilt).


In addition, cameras have other parameters that can be animated:
Zoom (in, out):
Change the angular field of view of the camera.
Change the focal depth, i.e. the distance at which objects are in focus.
Depth of Field:
Changing the aperture size has the effect of changing the depth of field, i.e. the range of depths over which objects can be considered to be in focus.