PFTrack Documentation Node Reference  

Orient Camera

Usage  |  Controls


The Orient Camera node can be used to change the overall orientation of the camera and tracking points with respect to the ground plane.

It can have multiple inputs and outputs, each containing a different camera. The same transformation will be applied to each camera and set of trackers before passing the results down-stream.

Overall scene scale can also be set by defining a fixed distance between two trackers, or a fixed distance from the camera to one tracker. Specific planes or axes can also be fit to solved tracker points.


There are several ways the camera orientation can be adjusted:

- Using the Translate, Rotate and Scale manipulators in either the Cinema or Viewer windows.

- Using the Transform Ground tool in the Cinema window

- By pinning the face of a box to a flat plane in the background image in the Cinema window

- By drawing X, Y and/or Z vanishing points in the background image in the Cinema window.

When drawing vanishing points, at least two axes must be defined in one frame before orientation can be estimated. To define a vanishing point, identify a frame from the clip where straight lines are visible that are parallel to either the X, Y or Z axes of the scene. Note that in order to properly define a vanishing point, the lines must not be parallel in the image.

It is not necessary to position all three vanishing points in a frame (two will suffice). Only vanishing points that have been edited (i.e. where the user has positioned lines) will be used during the calculation.

For a more information on vanishing points, see the Estimate Focal documentation, or the following web page

Setting scale

The overall scale of the camera and and tracker/point cloud data can also be set by specifying the distance between two tracking point, or the distance of one point from the camera. This is done by selecting one or two tracking points and entering the distance in the Trackers list.


Current clip: The clip that is being viewed in the Cinema window.


Translation: The camera translation for the current frame along each axis. Editing these values will translate the scene to position the camera at the desired coordinates.

Rotation: The camera rotation angles (measured in degrees) for the current frame. Editing these values will rotate the entire scene around the origin point.

Near/far planes: The near and far camera clipping planes.

Scale: The overall scene scale. Editing this value will scale the entire scene around the origin point.

Subject: The camera subject distance.

Reset: Reset the scene transformation back to its default value.

Relative Transform

These controls allow a relative transform to be applied to the entire scene, updating either the translation, rotation or scale depending on the menu choice. For example, the entire scene can be rotated by 90 degrees around the Y axis, or scaled by a factor of 10.

Select either Translation, Rotation or Scale from the menu and enter the transformation value for either the X, Y or Z axis in the appropriate edit box. To apply the transformation, press the Return key on the keyboard.


Show Ground: When enabled, the ground plane will be displayed

Show Horizon: When enabled, the horizon line will be displayed

Show Geometry: When enabled, geometric objects will be displayed.

Show Cameras: When enabled, cameras will be displayed in the Viewer window.

Show Point Clouds: When enabled, point clouds will be displayed

Show Trackers: When enabled, trackers will be displayed.

Show Names: When enabled, names of selected trackers will be displayed.

Show Info: When enabled, positional information of selected trackers will be displayed.

Show Frustum: When enabled, positional information of selected trackers will be displayed.

Show Focus: When enabled, the camera focus distance will be displayed in the camera frustum if suitable metadata is present in the source media.

Tracker list

The tracker list contains the name of each solved tracker, along with its X, Y and Z coordinates.

If a 3D point cloud has been generated up-stream using the Photo Survey or Spherical Track node, points selected in the Cinema or Viewer windows will also appear in the tracker list.

All/None: Select all or none of the trackers in the list

Marquee: Allow a selection marquee to be drawn in the Cinema window by clicking and dragging with the left mouse button. Hold the Ctrl key to make multiple selections. Holding the Shift key will allow a lasso selection to be used instead of a rectangle.

Distance: Displays the current distance between two selected trackers, or the distance of one selected tracker from the camera. Editing this value will scale the entire scene accordingly.


Edit mode: Select an edit mode for changing scene orientation.

Selecting Translate, Rotate or Scale Camera will create a manipulator widget. In the Viewer window, this will be positioned at the centre of the tracking points, allowing the camera and points to be transformed from a third-person perspective. In the Cinema window, the manipulator will be placed at the origin, allowing the ground-plane to be transformed from the point of view of the camera itself.

Selecting Scale Trackers will create a scaling manipulator widget, positioned at the location of the current camera frame. This will allow the point cloud to be scaled in the Viewer window whilst keeping the camera location fixed.

Clicking the R button will reset the orientation of the manipulators to match the X, Y and Z axes in the scene.

Transform Ground allows the ground-plane to be manipulated directly in the Cinema by holding the Alt/Option key and using the left, middle or right mouse buttons to rotate, scale and translate respectively.

Position Box mode will display a 3D cube in the Cinema window, allowing vertices of the cube to be pinned to the background image. As multiple vertices are pinned, the orientation of the scene will be updated so as to best match the pinned vertex positions. Frames that contain pinned vertices are shown with yellow indicators in the scrub bar.

Draw Axes mode will display a set of vanishing point lines in the Cinema to match the X, Y and/or Z axes. The lines can be dragged into place to match structures in the background image.

When drawing exes, holding the Shift key whilst moving the mouse cursor will display a zoom window to help positioning vertices. Holding the Ctrl key will snap a vertex to the nearest strong edge. To remove a previously positioned point from a line, hover the mouse over the point and press the Delete key.

Set axis: When two trackers are selected, choosing an option from this menu and then clicking the S button will automatically fit an axis direction to the tracking points.

Set plane: When three or more trackers are selected, choosing an option from this menu and then clicking the S button will automatically fit one of the axis planes to the tracking points.

Set origin: When one or more trackers are selected, clicking this button will move the origin point to the average tracker position.

Clear pins: Remove all ground-plane pins from the current frame when using the Position Box edit mode. Frames containing ground-plane pins are displayed in the scrub bar using yellow indicators.

Default Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can be customised in the Preferences.















Reset Manipulator


Cube Tool




X Axis


Y Axis


Z Axis


Y-Z Plane


X-Z Plane


X-Y Plane


Set Origin


Clear Pins


Show Ground


Show Horizon


Show Geometry


Show Trackers


Show Clouds


Show Names


Show Info


Show Frustum


Show Focus


Show X Axis


Show Y Axis


Show Z Axis