How To Do Camera Shakes in Blender

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In this tutorial, you will learn how to do camera shakes in Blender!

If you have seen one of the high-impact action scenes from any Hollywood film, you would notice that there’s a lot of camera shakes. Not only action films, but also in one of those natural disaster films, especially those earthquake films, there’s always a lot of violent camera shakes. Camera shakes help to add more impact to your scene. If you have a character who punches another guy in the face, it just seems a bit more violent and aggressive if the camera shakes as he makes impact. Or the lead up as well. If you have a big tough guy fuming in anger and his face turn red in anticipation of a fight scene, having the camera shake can make him seem more angrier. You tend to feel his inner explosive anger more.

While you could manually animate camera shaking frame by frame, there is a better (and quicker) way. Save that keyframing for more important camera movements like zooming in and panning and things like that..

Here is how you can employ camera shakes in your own scenes in Blender:

  1. Open up any scene you want in Blender (or use the default cube if that suits).
  2. Drag out a new window in the 3D viewport and the change the type to Graph Editor.
  3. Select your camera and add a keyframe anywhere (by pressing i or automatic keyframe insertion). You need to have at least 1 keyframe on your camera for this to work.
  4. In the Graph Editor, you should see that your f-curves are visible (those colored lines). Select an f-curve by left-clicking a name on the left. I chose the Z-location. This means the camera will shake up and down only on the Z-axis.
  5. Hover your mouse in the Graph Editor and press N to open up a toolbar on the right.
  6. Scroll down to where you see it says Add Modifier. Click it and choose noise. This is what will shake your camera.
  7. Playback the animation (or press Alt+A) and observe your camera shake. Go to the Camera View to see it live in action!
  8. You can also make modifications to your camera. In the modifier settings, you have a bunch of settings you can change. The Scale changes how quick your camera shakes, higher values makes your camera shake slower. The Strength changes how violent your camera shakes.
  9. Click the Restrict Frame Range. Start allows you to decide at what frame the shaking should start. End allows you to decide when the shaking should stop. So if I choose Start as 50 and End as 200, the camera will shake at frame 50 and continue to shake till it reaches frame 200. In and Out pretty much mean fade in and fade out. For example, if you choose say 5 for In, as soon as the camera is set to start shaking, it wouldn’t start shaking immediately but gradually make its way over 5 frames.
  10. The final option Influence, determines how much influence the shaking will have. That is, 0 influence will have no shaking effect, 1 influence will have full shaking effect.

And that’s it! You now have the ability to do the cinematography of a fight scene or earthquake scene in Blender. Throw in some tense music, and you have yourself an epic and impact-ful fight/earthquake scene! I hope this tutorial has helped you and thanks for reading!