Cameras are used in 3D composite shots. If you have any 3D layers you must have a camera for them to be visible.

When you add 3D effects to your timeline or switch 2D layers to 3D a camera will be created automatically.

Creating Cameras

Cameras can be created manually from the New Layer menu on any composite shot timeline. The camera will be added to the timeline as a new layer.

Multiple Cameras

You can create multiple cameras in the same composite shot. Each camera can be positioned separately, enabling multiple views of the same 3D scene.

Only one camera can be used at a time. HitFilm uses three methods to determine which camera is the active camera:

  1. The timeline layer order – the camera on the highest layer is the active camera.
  2. Camera layer visibility – only cameras that are visible can be active cameras. If you have turned off a camera layer’s visibility it won’t be used as an active camera.
  3. Camera layer duration – the duration of the layer on the timeline determines whether a camera can be active or not. If the layer duration does not cover the current frame, the camera will not be used as an active camera.

Customizing Cameras

Camera layers have a number of unique properties.

Layer Properties

  • Depth Of Field: Turns depth of field for this camera on or off. This default to off, ensuring that all 3D layers will be in focus.
  • Focus Distance Layer: Locks the focus to a specific layer. The focus will then automatically track that layer as the camera and selected layer move in relation to one another.


  • Aperture: Size of the camera’s virtual aperture in pixels. The larger the number, the larger the aperture, and the shallower the depth of field. Note that this is different to real camera apertures, whereby a smaller number represents a larger aperture. Only has an effect if Depth of field is turned on.
  • Zoom: Adjusts the camera between wide angle and telephoto.
  • Focus Distance: Moves the focal point closer to or further away from the camera. This setting will only have an effect if Depth of Field is turned on.
  • Blur: Changes the amount of blur applied to out of focus areas. Only has an effect if Depth of Field is turned on.

Camera Properties

Unlike Layer properties and Lens, Camera properties are found by choosing Properties from the camera layer’s menu on the timeline.

  • Name: The name of the camera on the timeline.
  • Near Clip Distance: The closest point at which layers are rendered.
  • Far Clip Distance: The farthest point at which layers are rendered.

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