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Camera Control

Third-Person Camera Navigation
Jonathan Stone (Double Fine Productions)
Game Programming Gems 4, 2004.
Topics: Camera; Genres: Action
Abstract: For complex scenes, we must overcome some significant technical challenges to make a third-person camera interact smoothly with the world. While this problem can be solved by simply limiting the camera to fixed positions or predetermined paths, these solutions restrict the user's ability to explore freely. To allow unrestricted exploration of complex environments, it's necessary to design a dynamic and user-controllable camera. In this article, we outline a basic set of steps for building a dynamic third-person camera system, and describe a number of solutions for the trickier problems of scene-bounding and occlusion that arise in the camera's navigation of the scene.

The Full Spectrum Warrior Camera System
John Giors (Pandemic Studios)
Game Developers Conference, 2004.
Abstract: This lecture focuses on the details of the camera system technology used in the game Full Spectrum Warrior (FSW). The lecture covers the camera motion system, which is based on a modified version of the proportional controller often used in game camera systems. The lecture also covers the unique "autolook" feature that gives players a better view of the battlefield in situations where the view would normally be largely obstructed. Collision avoidance and high-level architecture considerations are also discussed, as well as techniques for providing feedback to programmers and designers, who need to "tune" the system for optimal performance. The lecture concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the FSW camera system, a summary of recommended practices, and ideas for future investigation.

An AI Approach to Creating an Intelligent Camera System
Phil Carlisle (Team17 Software Ltd.)
AI Game Programming Wisdom 2, 2003.
Topics: Movement, Camera; Genres: Action
Abstract: In this article, we will attempt to outline one method of implementing a camera system capable of handling a diverse and dynamic three-dimensional environment. We will detail the approaches taken during development of a to-be-released title, outlining the issues we encountered and how these were overcome.

A Modular Camera Architecture for Intelligent Control

Sandeep Kharkar (Microsoft Corporation)
AI Game Programming Wisdom 2, 2003.
Topics: Scripting, Camera; Genres: General
Abstract: Cameras play a vital role in the user experience of any game. A robust camera solution can make the difference between a game that is awkward to play and a game that plays smoothly and feels great. Unfortunately, cameras tend to be a low priority item in many game development schedules and the effort is limited to the point where the cameras stop being a nuisance. One of the reasons that the efforts stop early is the lack of a solid architecture that allows rapid, data driven experimentation with camera behaviors.

This article presents a component based camera architecture that allows non-programmers to take over the development of cameras at the point where they make the transition between technical coding and creative effort. The architecture will demonstrate the use of common AI techniques to enhance the robustness and creativity of the camera solution for any game. The techniques presented in the article will primarily benefit games that have a third-person perspective, but will also provide useful tips for other types of games.

Camera AI for Replays
Sandeep V. Kharkar (Microsoft)
AI Game Programming Wisdom, 2002.
Topics: Camera AI, Replay AI; Genres: Racing, Sports

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