The first thing you'll probably notice upon entering the camera is that the scene is frozen. Units are not moving, tracers are stopped mid-air and explosions remains completely static. Compared to the previous camera, where the game kept running and timing action shots was a painful process, the ability to adjust the time speed and even stop it is the single most important feature of the Splendid Camera.
The camera overlay provides all the information you'll need. In the top left, you can find an explanation of all the controls and shortcuts. The bottom left corner shows information about camera parameters, like position or direction. The top right corner depicts previously saved camera settings, which can be restored any time. The bottom right corner contains sliders for adjusting scene visuals and environmental conditions. And finally, the horizontal and vertical lines divide the screen into thirds[en.wikipedia.org]
, helping you to align the scene composition.
- Focus - set camera focus distance. Autofocus is used by default, which means that the engine automatically focuses on objects which are in the middle of the screen. While sufficient in mid- to long- distance shots, it's not as useful when the target object is just a few meters away. Many potentially awesome Arma 1 and Arma 2 images were affected by blurriness, simply because their authors had no means to set the focus manually. Not you though, because this slider will let you adjust the focus with centimeter precision, so even the closest objects can look razor sharp. If you move the slider all the way to the right, focusing will be disabled completely and all objects, no matter how far they are, will appear sharp. It's recommended not to use the last option, as it makes your pictures looks unrealistic.
- Aperture - determines how much light gets into the virtual lens, similar to real-life photography. The smaller the value, the brighter the scene is lit. Automatic aperture calculation is used by default, and as opposed to focus, it works pretty well. In case you want to tweak the value anyway, keep in mind that the lens takes some time to adjust, so you'll have to increase time acceleration in order to see the changes.
- Daytime - time of day on a 24-hour scale, with the default being set to the current mission time. When changing the time to a differently lit period (e.g., from day to night), you'll need to unfreeze the game for the aperture to adjust itself, otherwise the scene will preserve the previous settings. Each time of day offers different mood and lighting, so don't be afraid to experiment with it.
- Overcast - weather conditions, from clear (0) to storm (1). Default is set to the current mission weather. This one is a bit tricky to use; because of the volumetric cloud computation, the changes are committed only if some time passes. So when you change the weather, you have to move the time of day forward as well.
- Acctime - technical term used for time acceleration. This is what freezes the scene at the start, because the default value is set to 0. Moving the slider right increases the acceleration up to 1x, or a normal speed.
The controls are based on helicopter and plane controls. However, the basic camera movement and rotation can be controlled using the mouse only.
As opposed to the previous camera system, you can now manipulate with camera roll, a feature that can instantly add a dramatic effect to almost any screenshot.
- Hold LMB and move - move camera around, RTS-style
- Hold RMB and move, Numpad numbers - rotate camera
- Hold Ctrl + RMB and move - adjust camera roll
- W,A,S,D - move camera around
- Q,Z - change camera height
- Hold Shift, Alt or both together - increase movement speed
- Numpad +/- - set camera zoom
- Numpad 5 - reset camera bank and zoom
Saving Camera Parameters
When setting up a scene, you'll constantly be returning back to the editor for tweaking object compositions. To prevent having to reposition the camera over and over again, you can save up to 10 camera parameters to your profile, so they'll be available even when you restart the game. All customizable settings are stored - camera position, direction, bank, zoom and focus, but also aperture, time of the day, overcast and time acceleration.
Apart from that, you can copy the same parameters using Ctrl+C and restore them later with Ctrl+V. They're copied to the standard clipboard, so you can paste them to any text editor and store them externally. There's also the ability to export parameters including camera execution, which - when executed from the debug console's expression field - will start the camera and automatically load the settings.
For example, you can restore the picture below the header by calling the following expression:
["Paste",["Stratis",[2631.71,5571.81,0.833054],51.9635,0.49,[-3.80956,2.41325],0,6.15604,5.01998,0.439988,1]] call bis_fnc_camera;
- Ctrl + 0-9 - save camera parameters
- 0-9 - restore camera parameters
- Ctrl + X - export camera params
- Ctrl + C - copy camera params
- Ctrl + V - paste camera params
- F1 - open the debug console. When pointing at a target, it's stored to variable BIS_fnc_camera_target which you can freely manipulate with.
- Space - teleport player under crosshair
- H - toggle overlay
- M - toggle map. Clicking LMB on the map will move camera under the cursor.
- N - toggle vision mode (normal, night vision, thermal vision)
- Esc - exit. You'll be asked for confirmation, so you don't need to be afraid of accidental activation.