Adobe After Effects Camera Pan - Curving Bullets

One of my favourite tools for creating visual effects is to create fake camera pans!

This effect comes in handy when adding dynamic elements when you're filming by yourself, for special effects or even - curving bullets

Here is the new YouTube tutorial covering why and how you can create a fake camera pan in After Effects. Enjoy

Fake Camera Pan Effect (inc Curving Bullet) - Visual Effects 101

Basic principle of fake camera pans

The basic principle behind creating fake camera pans for visual effects is to shoot your footage at different camera pan angles and then stitch these pieces back together into a virtual 3D scene.

Once you have your 3D scene set up you can animate your virtual camera and 'look around' as you please

In Adobe After effects, this can be done using 3D layers for the different footage elements and aligning them with the correct camera pan angle they were shot at.

fake camera pan - 3D scene setup 0 degrees

Shooting the footage for your fake camera pan

I strongly recommend you put your camera on a tripod when filming your footage for a fake camera pan. Shoot different elements at different camera pan angles where each element should overlap with the one next to it by a fair bit. Personally I prefer to not change my angle by more than 30 degrees or so between each shot otherwise you can get a lot of distortion during your pan

fake camera pan - 3D scene setup 38 degrees

Make sure to remember roughly what angle you shot which piece of footage at and preferably give your video files some useful names to identify them

fake camera pan - 3D scene setup 84 degrees

Now let's get to the tricky part - stitching the shots together in Adobe After Effects to create the fake camera pan.


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