Understanding the Body Settings in Cinemachine Virtual Cameras
Objective: To discuss and understand the Body Settings available to us in the CinemachineVirtualCamera Component in Unity.
The Body settings in a CinemachineVirtualCamera component refer to how the virtual camera moves around. If you were interested in looking at how the virtual camera aims, then head over to this article.
Let’s take a look at the Body features of the virtual camera that are available to us as shown below:
Similar to the Aim settings, the Hard Constraint settings will lock the target to the virtual camera and completely remove all the settings that would be available to us under other Body settings. The behaviour essentially means that the target is a mount for the virtual camera.
Compared to the Transposer mode discussed below, the Orbital Transposer works in a variable relationship with the follow target. Further to this it also adds the concept of Heading and Heading Bias, which isn’t available in the other modes.
Heading refers to the direction the follow target is facing or moving. By default, the Orbital Transposer’s position will be directly behind the follow target and this virtual cameras position can be adjusted using the ‘Heading Bias’ field which can be viewed as the position where the virtual camera sits in relation to the direction the follow target is facing. This camera is rotated around the Y-axis (orbital tracking) as the follow target also rotates.
This virtual camera also allows for player input using an Input Controller allowing the player to dynamically adjust the cameras position to an orbital position around the follow target.
This Body setting restricts the movement of the virtual camera to a predefined path, that is placed into the ‘Path’ field. The ‘Path Position’ field is where you would like to place your virtual camera along the given path, additionally creating an offset position from this if required.
The damping feature is covered below in the Transposer section.
The auto dolly setting will make sure that the virtual camera stays in a position on the predefined path that is closest to the follow target.
Building a path for the Tracked Dolly is outside the scope of this article. but can look something like this below:
The virtual camera is fixed to the target at an offset position. Similar to my article on the Follow field (which was also using the Transposer Body setting), the virtual camera was fixated at an offset position in front of the capsule and at an angle so that when we the capsule moved, the virtual camera followed, fixated to it’s offset position.
The damping feature in this setting is going to look at how quickly the virtual camera reacts to the movement of the target (capsule) on the X, Y and Z axis. The smaller the number, the more responsive the camera is to the targets movement.
Let’s take a look at the difference between a low damping reaction compared to a high damping reaction on the Z-axis which is simply the capsule moving forwards and backwards:
Watch how crisp and responsive the virtual camera is to the follow targets movement:
Now we have set it to the highest damping, it should lag behind the targets movement and look as if it is always trying to catch up:
It is an interesting feature to play around with and could be used to turn into some pretty cool cutscenes/animations!
There is also a Binding Mode within the Transposer Body option, but that is beyond the scope of this article.