Give Your Animated Camera Angles a Handheld Effect

Even while he’s been away for a while, 3ds Max expert Ramy Hanna never seems to stop thinking about new tips, tricks and shortcuts. Following a hike up Texan mountain Guadalupe Peak, our favourite 3ds Max blogger has come back with an enlightening tip on giving your animated camera movement a more authentic, handheld feel. You can read his step-by-step guide below.

“If you’re tired of your camera movement animations looking too CG-ish, this tip could help you. If you want to go for that handheld camera feel, there is a very easy way to apply this effect to your already animated cameras. I’ve found using this trick in some of my camera shots brings an extra dimension of reality to my animations. It’s a very subtle effect, but can make the difference. This is achieved using the Noise Float Controller.

Hand Held Camera Effect

When you create your camera in 3ds Max it comes with default controllers assigned to it. To see those controllers, go to the Motion Tab (1.) in your control panel, and open the Assign Controller (2.) rollout. The controller that we are going to select is in the Roll Angle (3.) The default controller for the Roll Angle is set to “Bezier Float”. You will want to change the controller from Bezier Float to Noise Float. To do that: select the Assign Controller button (4.).

You’ll see a list of different controller types. The one we’re interested in for this effect is the Noise Float controller. When you select it and hit “OK”, a new dialogue will pop up: these are the settings for the Noise Controller. You will find that playing with these settings will adjust the way your camera rolls as it moves during animations – this is what gives it the hand-held shake effect.

Hand Held Camera Effect 2

After playing with the Noise settings, here are the settings used for this example’s animation. Every animation will be different based on speed, camera movement, timing; so you will just have to play with the settings through trial and error until you get your desired result. If you’d like to open the Noise Controller window again after you’ve already closed it, simply double click the Roll Angle.

Hand Held Camera Effect 3

If you want to remove the Noise Controller, select the Roll Angle and hit the Assign Controller button (4.), then just go back to the Bezier Float controller.”

You can read Ramy’s blog at

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