Slick Orbital Camera Movements using Free Look Cameras

On top of the many customization features Cinemachine’s Virtual Cameras have to offer, we can also make use of their various custom components, that come as preset Virtual Cameras with different combinations of Aim and Body types, as well as extensions and a few extra cool tricks!

The first new Cinemachine component we are going to look at is the Free Look Camera.

The Free Look Camera acts similarly to the Orbital Transposer Body properties we previously looked at here, with the addition of separate rings of movement.

Scene view of the three different orbital rings with a spline between the three for the camera to follow

These are defined by Rigs, namely, Top, Middle, and Bottom. Each of these essentially functions as it’s own Virtual Camera, being able to manipulate the likes of the Aim type and Noise. Our Free Look Camera then orbits around via the x axis, and moves between these three rigs via a Spline. This Spline acts as a curved path between each rig via the y axis.

Left: Standard Orbital Transposer Axis Control settings / Rig height and radius || Right: Overview of the individual rigs functionality, allowing for varying states.

This camera type is largely designed for third person character controllers, allowing the user to look around the player, not only from a set height, but between two vertical bounds. As the user orbits lower, a smaller radius on the bottom rig as opposed to the middle and top, would allow the camera to zoom in on the lower portion of the player, then have a more expansive view when orbiting upwards.

Free Look Camera in action!

All in all, it’s a quick and easy camera to set up, but the functionality could be endless. We could have this as our main character camera, it could be a character creation screen, or we could animate it to make a cool looking cutscene!

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