Experiment: Organic-Cam

Animating the Camera in After Effects has always been a fun and challenging proposition. We created several tutorials and even our free plug-in Sure Target to assist users get better results. In some cases these “results” are just too perfect so I wanted to create a simple way to give the camera a more hand-held feel of an imperfect camera guy or girl. One that doesn’t follow the motion perfectly…

I’m still figuring out how to work this into the site… either through a tutorial or preset but after we start rolling out the Demon Cam tutorials next week, keep an eye out!

Watch Sample Video

August 26th, 2011 @ 4:55 pm
Awesome. Definitely a need here.

Of course, figuring out how to pull focus correctly with a null object this week was huge... I can live off that for a while until you have time to get this worked up.
    Push Eject
    August 26th, 2011 @ 10:27 pm
    Kevin, where did you learn that?
    Lu Vo
    August 28th, 2011 @ 12:23 pm
    very nice, can we learn it? should make a tutorial for this video.
    August 28th, 2011 @ 5:22 pm
    yeah, where did you find that gem?

    Nice sample vid, BTW, Andrew. The sound about blew my ears out. Most excellent. As for whether to do a tutorial or a plugin - why not a tutorial on making the plugin. That way guys can tweak away at their own stuff. It will be too advanced for some, but just what others have been waiting for.
August 26th, 2011 @ 4:58 pm
Ooo, vary nice. You should do a turorial on that sample video.
    August 27th, 2011 @ 11:07 am
    i agree with you , we waiting a tutor =)
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:02 pm
What happened to the download link for tutorials PLZ some one answer.PLZ PLZ PLZ PLZ
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:02 pm
I'm eager to learn creating natural camera moves like that.
Looking forward to the tutorials
    August 27th, 2011 @ 10:37 am
    try using easy ease (F9) on the keyframes for a start!
James Price
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:06 pm
Sounds great, I would like to see a 'trigger' function where you can set a camera shake event and it is automatically scaled depending on what end of the zoom that the camera is set to...so at telephoto, it is more apparent than when set to wide.
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm
Reminds me of some version of the stroke-effect. Looks nice!
paul holt
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm
Classic Copilot content, looking forward to it!
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:08 pm
That was super cool... inspiring! Can't wait to see more on this.
    July 9th, 2014 @ 1:52 pm
    Me too! I am so excited about this cam, i think i will be penniless soon :)
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:08 pm
That was awesome. This would be a great plug in as getting realistic camera shake is hard. Wiggle is OK but not perfect as it looks to random. Thanks Andrew.
    August 28th, 2011 @ 9:55 am
    Yeah jonathan sure you need to shake "your" motion graphics in a more realistic way... you should start by applying a smooth expression to your crappy honesty. http://jonathanedis.com/ ----> made me sick and sad. i hope you never make a penny in this business.
    August 28th, 2011 @ 4:42 pm
    Ok you unclocked,maybe his site is slightly flawed and should acknowledge videocopilot but that kind of advice and abuse is of no use to anyone and only helps to make people like yourself more pitied.Try and be supportive to fellow artists and if you cannot well i suggest you keep your opinions to yourself
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:08 pm
Sweet stuff ! Nice to see some breakdowns/tutorials of Demon Cam. Will "Element" be released this month or next month? Im ready to purchase the plugin once its released! =D
darrik baker
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:09 pm
that looked awesome
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:29 pm
Huge idea ! great thinking... a PlugIn would be nice... one of the settings could be "How drunk" the camera guy is... could be measured in beers...

Seriously, it would be like "TWITCH" applied to cameras... like "TWITCH" and "SURE TARGET" having a baby... TWITCH TARGET...

I may sound like I'm joking about it, but seriously, it is a real advanced creative tool that would make a huge difference in creative process and a tremendous time savior !!!

I've animated "NYPD style" camera in Blender and AE, and it is realy time consuming. I mean, like a lot of time !!!

We love our VCP...
    August 26th, 2011 @ 8:16 pm
    TWITCH TARGET... with a blood alcohol level setting with presets: buzzing, typsy, sloshed, beer goggles, DUI, DWI

    You = Very Win
    August 28th, 2011 @ 5:24 pm
    August 29th, 2011 @ 1:13 am
    Awsome, perhaps adding a bit of "lingering" blur as the camera moves as to imitate the autofocus struggeling with the shaky movement.
    VCP rocks! :D
    August 29th, 2011 @ 11:07 am
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:47 pm
Can't wait to see the tutorial. Your tutorials are giving me the edge on my competition. Also can't wait till "Element" comes out. THAT should be a game changer.
Your biggest fan in Papua New Guinea!!
ah shang
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:50 pm
i waiting!!!!!!!!wow~~~~~~~~
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:53 pm
nice work. but i wonder how i can make the circle blast wave?
    August 27th, 2011 @ 6:58 am
    It looks like he just used the bulge effect.
Ryan Farnes
August 26th, 2011 @ 5:58 pm
Dude, the sound design on that is killer.

The camera thing is cool too. :P
August 26th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm
coolllllllllllllllll andrew i love it
    August 27th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm
    Please andrew sir i want tutorials from demon cam in 3ds max
    i love uuuuuuuuuuu
August 26th, 2011 @ 6:24 pm
nice, this tutorial or preset could help a lot!
I'm looking forward to see this ;)
August 26th, 2011 @ 6:28 pm
Oh man always stepping it up, love it. Can't wait to see this one :)
August 26th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm
sound makes it look even more impressing, great job andrew!
August 26th, 2011 @ 6:52 pm
looking forward!
August 26th, 2011 @ 7:33 pm
just excited to see the demon cam vfx...
i'm in rush about freezing girl and become some rocks..
Haggai Nwokolo
August 26th, 2011 @ 7:39 pm
Always the best...Andrew Kramer
August 26th, 2011 @ 7:50 pm
Sound effects are awesome. Can't wait to see the tut!
August 26th, 2011 @ 8:19 pm
Andrew Kramer, You have the uncanny ability to read my mind...You always talk about the exact production problems I am thinking about at the exact time I am having them. It is creepy, but awesome. Maybe we are twins who were secretly separated at birth. :-P
August 26th, 2011 @ 8:59 pm
Just when I think that you guys run out of ideas.......you publish something that blows my mind! Kudos
August 26th, 2011 @ 9:05 pm
did it have anything to do with motion tracking handheld footage and applying that motion to an AE cam?
August 26th, 2011 @ 10:32 pm
That's awesome... Looking forward for a tutorial
August 26th, 2011 @ 10:49 pm
Very cool Andrew! This one will be fun
August 26th, 2011 @ 11:05 pm
In soviet russia the camera shakes you. :) I like the look: smooth and edge at the same time.
August 26th, 2011 @ 11:27 pm
'' I'M ON FIRE ''

C'mon guys! i was waiting for so long for the Demon Cam Tutorials ... P L E A S E !

At least show us the beard trick tutorial :)
August 27th, 2011 @ 12:05 am
Sounds like you hired a transformer. :D
August 27th, 2011 @ 12:06 am
Very cool as the other movies from VC, but are they useful for something? I love your work but I really don't understand where to apply this knowledge: music video?, post-production? For which clients?
    August 27th, 2011 @ 3:43 am
    Some of the VCP tutorials have sat in my subconscious for a while as I didn't really see a use for them at the time. But when the right project comes up, I head back to the tutorial and it is exactly what I wanted. And as a plus, it's always good to learn new things to keep the old gray matter in check.8)
    August 27th, 2011 @ 5:37 am
    Really??? that`s your comment!??? You can apply the knowledge where ever you like, asking that is like asking someone what they can use a line for. This is not design school its not about the "concept". Sorry i just think you wrotye a comment because its free.
    August 27th, 2011 @ 11:11 pm
    The best ever..And for those individuals who keep saying that they dont understand what to use video co pilot forDesign is all about solving creative problems..And you are looking at the best in the business. Maybe Art isnt really for you if you cant see that..Most of the solutions to creative problems lie outside of the box..Just think about that..
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 9:02 am
    The way I see it, you aren't supposed to use the tutorials directly. I think they're there to show you any work arounds and introduce you to features of After Effects. Andrew doesn't just show the same technique for doing something instead he shows many many different ones.

    Watching these video's I learned about displacement maps, Particular, and hundreds of other extremely valuable plug-ins, effects, and short cuts and think THAT is what you're supposed to learn.
August 27th, 2011 @ 12:08 am
Tutorial!!!! plz :(
Love VC
August 27th, 2011 @ 12:53 am
wow, thx master Andrew :)
ur the best :)
August 27th, 2011 @ 1:31 am
ur Great Sir.God bless u
Mario – Berlin
August 27th, 2011 @ 1:41 am
That is definitely something I've been waiting for. Would love to see you playing with a little bit "out of focus" when you are zooming in...like you are on the street and ALL the houses around you start to collaps and you want catch it on cam when my super hero rescues people before they jump out of the window...NEED A TUTORIAL
August 27th, 2011 @ 2:31 am
Very cool Andrew
August 27th, 2011 @ 2:47 am
Hej guys, you never disappoint and I love the way you are always experimenting and going "where no one else has gone before". Looking forward to all the new tutorials to work on during those cold and dark winter nights.
mohamed hashi
August 27th, 2011 @ 2:50 am
asal means Awesome in somali hhahah and i like your demon cam and it is great visual effect tutorial specially the when the camera moving in green screen match-moving when the guy is holding the Cristal ball and i hope you share with us that tutorial
August 27th, 2011 @ 2:54 am
Interesting to see ...

Good Work Guys ...
August 27th, 2011 @ 3:22 am
cool man!!! i love the sfx crazy!!!! where is possible find sfx like this?
August 27th, 2011 @ 4:18 am
Our SOULS need u'r Guide specially whn making VFX...make it quick we are hungry
August 27th, 2011 @ 5:25 am
Amazing, as always! This effect reminds me a little bit the "unsteady cam" effect created for Battlestar Galactica (2003), where all takes in space are shaky, take a while to focus and most of the time looks like a lazy camera man which takes a while to catch up objects in movement... All fans of this BG will remember what I am trying to explain at once.
Great job!
    August 27th, 2011 @ 5:53 pm
    Firefly had that same effect as well!
August 27th, 2011 @ 5:25 am
For every tutorial I watch here, I become better at motion designs. Thanks Andrew!
Tian Reid
August 27th, 2011 @ 6:09 am
looks like two separate particle systems animated with a null
with a light connected to the null and then optical flares
tracking the light. What was the effect that distort the video in the first 2 sec though ?
August 27th, 2011 @ 6:18 am
Really like it!!! Thanks U
Hugo Strange
August 27th, 2011 @ 7:01 am
Yes Andrew ! I did notice that the sounds/look on this clip was inspired by Battlefield 3 ! I love that sound and look also :-)
August 27th, 2011 @ 7:30 am
kool Andrew we love it ;)
August 27th, 2011 @ 7:54 am
very GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!
August 27th, 2011 @ 8:23 am
Finally! This is something my brain wanna learn!
August 27th, 2011 @ 8:46 am
It would be sweet if you could up date sure target2 plugin to
work with AE CS5.5...
August 27th, 2011 @ 10:26 am
It's amazing M.Andrew , like it ,,,
August 27th, 2011 @ 10:32 am
I can tell someone got a little inspired by Battlefield 3 trailers!
Ashfaque Shaikh
August 27th, 2011 @ 10:57 am
Hi AK Great post again, can use high tech ET effects. tests hand-held but missing some spice, cant say what exact... you are right guy to point.
One Q here, trying to open tut projects from VC, getting this below massage from past few days, please help out to fix this up!
"After Effects error: Tint error return invalid max_result_rect from PF_Cmd_SMART_PRE_RENDER
(25 :: 237)"
August 27th, 2011 @ 11:05 am
That looks really cool and very organic, I shall look forward to the tutorial.
August 27th, 2011 @ 11:24 am
Imo the best camera is animating the key position in AE, with the tools you think give the best results and link the camera to a null that contains some real tracked camera footage.

Just film a tiled floor in your kitchen, keep you camera pretty still and handheld and it will be the most realistic motion ever :)
August 27th, 2011 @ 12:42 pm
That's just freakin' awesome. Tutorials are always sweet to be able to devour, but when I watch this I can't help but think of more a preset. Like something that ties into Sure Target. Kinda of like the inertia control, but with shake....

kinda like sure target and Twitch had a child

Whatever you decide to do I know will be awesome
August 27th, 2011 @ 12:55 pm
Outstanding work as usual!
August 27th, 2011 @ 1:29 pm
ایول کارت 20 جحاجی بابا
    shaun berry
    August 27th, 2011 @ 5:19 pm
    no offence but I'm pretty sure most people on this site and andrew doesn't understand arabic if that's what your writing. English would be better.
    August 27th, 2011 @ 7:36 pm
    this same type of arabic but it's not arabic....it's like jordon or some thing........sucks
    August 29th, 2011 @ 7:02 am
    Wow that's offensive! If you want to write in Persian go for it!
    September 10th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm
    Yea this is not arabic. It's most likely persian because they use Arabic alphabet. However, writing in a language other than english on THIS forum, doesn't help anyone! No offense.
August 27th, 2011 @ 3:02 pm
good sound fx and visuals where also nice. couldnt you just use the wiggle expression on every axes and rotation to achieve such an camera effect?
August 27th, 2011 @ 8:57 pm
Can't wait for the Demon Cam tutorials.
August 27th, 2011 @ 9:40 pm
A great way to make realistic camera shake is to motion track your footage parent the data to a null copy the null and parent every thing to the null for realistic camera move
August 27th, 2011 @ 10:08 pm
I used that idea of applying real camera shake to a clip or photo was instrumental in a great April Fools prank that I played on the community this year.
August 27th, 2011 @ 10:09 pm
The best ever..And for those individuals who keep saying that they don't understand what to use video co pilot for...Design is all about solving creative problems..And you are looking at the best in the business. Maybe Art isn't really for you if you can't see that..Most of the solutions to creative problems lie outside of the box..Just think about that..
August 27th, 2011 @ 11:36 pm
Uau, I've been F5-ing your website for over 3 days now and this is what I get! :( It's pretty cool, but what I and I'm guessing a lot of other ppl need is for you to get off ur arses and launch the Element plug-in!

Don't keep us on the edge with this, I doubt anyone will be thankful, post an update about Element, it's due, I want to know when it's coming out. Like they say on the internetz tits or gtfo.

About this one, I wanted to say, I saw a video on another website, about how a guy was motion tracking movement from one layer that was a live footage shot, and placing it on a AE created camera for the genuine feel of the motion. Don't think it helps with what you're doing but I just thought I'd mention this here.

August 28th, 2011 @ 1:12 am
TrapCode Form 2 is out and it Supports 3D sequences (OBJ's), it will be cool if Elements will implement dat feature before release, frankly I'm not in a rush anymore, I know Andrew will demand perfection on it, The VCP have been very busy, their hands full with DemonCam and other stuff, writing proper code is not easy, I wonder how they do it being a small company and all.
    August 28th, 2011 @ 3:06 am
    But you had that in Plexus already... I upgraded anyway, just cause I want to try it. Anyway, I wanted to at least know when it's coming out. I mean, Mettle has already put something out there that can do stuff like that, but since I liked what I saw in Andrew's presentation... I'd much rather get that then 3-4 other things that do the same thing.
August 28th, 2011 @ 1:39 am
I create a PNG file with a loose line drawn on it then using a null object trace that line. Copy the position data, into the camera. Or parent to null.

If I want to do a quick zoom, like Battlestar Galactica, I have boxes of differing sizes drawn on the png, (at the same ratio as the null box. Then using the zoom I then match the size of the box on the line.

This is after setting up the camera to point at the target.

This is a long winded way of doing it, but if you create a project and do several comps of the camera doing different directions and movements you have a library template that you can copy and paste the data on future projects.

For those with mocha, film sheets of paper and save the tracking data. You then have a library of camera moves.

Hope this helps

August 28th, 2011 @ 1:41 am
lol i cant believe people ask for a tutorial of this video...
August 28th, 2011 @ 2:36 am
you've been a great help to the AE community... I'm eagerly waiting to see this... thanks Andrew
August 28th, 2011 @ 2:41 am
That was Great!!! :D
August 28th, 2011 @ 3:40 am
Love it. Need it.
August 28th, 2011 @ 4:41 am
Cool stuff, can't wait :D
August 28th, 2011 @ 5:28 am
Two things I would improve: make the camera follow more its target. Even with excessive and exaggerated movements, as a human would do trying to aim at the fast-moving target.

And, if it helps, check Chris Smith's tools for C4D. He's got some pretty insane action and docu. camera-rigs.
August 28th, 2011 @ 10:17 am
I must say this reminds me of the camera guiding style in Battlestar Galactica (especially the zoom) and i don't like it. More interested in the tech stuff behind it. Over all it is a bit too smooth for my taste ;-)
August 28th, 2011 @ 1:30 pm
Yes, the after effects camera is extremely tricky to animate in the opening title for my video "TRON: Isn't in this movie"


The camera animation took me longer than everything else
Cant wait to get a tutorial or preset on this
August 28th, 2011 @ 6:22 pm
Must. Have. Project file.

August 28th, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

great Sounddesign. How 're you doing? All ready to go samples or design yourself?
Jason W
August 28th, 2011 @ 11:55 pm
Dear co-pilot community: I think it's awesome that people are learning from this site BUT I'm so tired of seeing direct ports of VCP tutorials in your demo-reels and claiming it as some new work. The purpose is to give you the understanding of how these effects work and then to build upon them. Ive even seen new movie trailers that look like a VCP projects file with the words switched. I've also seen great work from alot of you so keep it up. Let's be creative as that is the purpose of this site. Thanks to the community and VCP staff.
    August 29th, 2011 @ 10:59 am
    Agreed! I love the support this site provides and is such a launching point to come up with some creative items of our own.
August 29th, 2011 @ 12:09 am
interesting - like to see how you will do this - if its expressionless (doubtful) i know sony vegas lets you control the camera with your mouse, but after from wiggle AE doesn't have anything. I have always done it my motion tracking my ow shaky footage and putting in my comps. i think works quite well.
August 29th, 2011 @ 1:44 am
Hello Andrew,
As always, can't stand waiting for this tut!...
    September 7th, 2011 @ 5:05 am
    Hi Greg, join the club .. haha :D
August 29th, 2011 @ 2:13 am
Hey Andrew,

You should write up a blog post or something on how to conceptualize ideas like the one in this clip. It would help those following your tutorials to dream up new uses for your tuts other than to just copy/paste them into an endless stream of YouTube clips...

August 29th, 2011 @ 3:09 am
Hey Andrew, this looks great I must say, but for the organic look, I think I've found something perfect. I create 3 null objects, the first having a large slow wiggle, the next a medium, fast wiggle, and the last a small, very fast wiggle. I make the large one linked to the medium, the medium linked to the small, and the footage I want to shake linked to the large.

It creates an extremely organic look, it's very nice. Reply back please xD
Nii Boye
August 29th, 2011 @ 5:49 am
Or can i save to a divX format in after effects
August 29th, 2011 @ 5:43 am
Ey Andrew nice video!
But how do you make that the video looks a little bit like 3D? if anyone know the answer is very helpful.
August 29th, 2011 @ 9:56 am
Loved the room! I assume you applied the same 3D room techniques you've shown before but the lighted seems were an awesome touch.
    August 29th, 2011 @ 3:46 pm
August 29th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm
i use wiggle a lot, and it works fine for me!
September 2nd, 2011 @ 8:03 am
Maybe having two Null objects, one being the target of the camera and the other set to a wiggle that slightly pulls the camera off center? Not sure exactly how this would work or the math involved but it should be possible.
September 4th, 2011 @ 12:36 am
Ive managed to put together something that may assist in finalizing this handheld shake.

In a separation of all axis, I have been succesful with this expression, it is very subtle, but has some powerful organics to it. (it may be linked to a slider or several, but the formula has something to it)


(HD is something like wiggle(1.5,54)/6 )
September 4th, 2011 @ 7:06 pm
awesome awesome !! please make a quick tutorial for This !! thank's andrew you' the best :D
September 9th, 2011 @ 9:44 am
truly spectacular.
i feel a tutorial coming along......
keep up the awesomeness

September 14th, 2011 @ 8:47 pm
ive seen the technique use on transformers..that sure is a horrible camera man DOF+MB+camera shake+stereo hurts my eye and head >.<..but thats the truth cameras are heavy..
September 15th, 2011 @ 12:01 am
Love to see more on how the 3D room was created.
September 18th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm
you need to start giving away some of these glitchy sound effects!
Dan Allen
September 22nd, 2011 @ 8:19 pm
The super wide ratio is hands down the best part! And the sound design/score.

Didn't you already make a video on physical movement? The only addition is rack focus & rack zoom.
October 14th, 2011 @ 5:04 am
Would love to see a tutorial!
October 19th, 2011 @ 12:27 pm
When will this be released? We could use it asap.
    October 22nd, 2011 @ 9:57 pm
    BTW I have this animation as my Live Wallpaper on my Android Atrix and people love it when they see it.
October 19th, 2011 @ 10:04 pm
Great Work..SIR
October 20th, 2011 @ 11:03 am
always come out with the right things at the right time. No need to praise ya since thousands already do that daily ;p
October 24th, 2011 @ 3:15 am
Andrew, please, make The Organic-Cam tutorial, or at least put AE project file on the site.
It would solve two problems at once that I have. 1-I can't make lines as perfect as shown in the exampe, 2-always get rough results when zooming camera.
ShadeStorm Studios
November 9th, 2011 @ 8:05 am
Hey Andrew

Just wondering if there was a way of you seeing my version of your sample video just to get some recommendations of you.

Really looking forward to Element3D.

Hope your not too busy to write back

December 2nd, 2011 @ 11:21 pm
Twitch isn't dead!
January 30th, 2012 @ 7:55 am
How did you make that sweet glow around the floor of the room , im trying to make a laboratory exactly like that!
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