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What is View Clipping? Seeing Through Walls In 3D

  • 3 min read

PRO EDU

CGI Xray Vision

Published by Dustin Valkema from PRO EDU

Clipping is a great way to gain flexibility when working in the 3d viewport or a 3d camera. The terms view clipping and camera clipping, while different in terminology, perform the same in practice. View clipping pertains to working in the perspective 3d view, while camera clipping is when you are looking through the camera in the render view.

View clipping is the process of using virtual planes that run perpendicular to the camera or perspective view line of sight. When taking advantage of the clipping planes, you will have two of them that you can adjust independently of one another. The near plane will be closest to the camera in the foreground, while the far plane will be in the background, with the focal plane being in between the two.

View clipping in a perspective view can make it much easier to work and navigate without having a battle with scene elements and the multiple layers of 3d models that may be populating the scene. Another reason you may find it beneficial to change the view clipping settings is if you have to zoom way into a model in the 3d view to add or edit small details.

To change the view clipping settings in Cinema 4D, you can press Control or Command+D on the keyboard to bring up the project settings. In the Attribute Manager, there will be an option in the bottom quarter of the menu called "View Clipping." In this menu, you can change the clipping settings manually, or use one of the nifty presets from the dropdown menu.

Once you have decided on the proper amount of view clipping, you will be able to zoom in and out and see that objects will start to be cut away, allowing you to see through walls… and other objects.

Camera clipping works in a similar way that view clipping does when set to custom, in that you can adjust the near (foreground) and far (background) planes independently in the 3d camera. The massive benefit of this is that you aren't limited by the size or layout of your shooting environment when composing your shot. You no longer have to worry about walls and props or go into edit mode and resize and move parts of your scene around to fit what you are trying to frame.

To adjust the clipping for your camera, select the cinema 4d camera object you need to edit and go into the details tab. You will see an "enable near clipping" button and a box for the clipping distance in this tab. Increasing the number in the near clipping box will move out a plane at the same angle as the camera's line of sight. Once the plane starts contacting geometry, it will cut through it and allow you to see past it as if it is not even there!

The far clipping performs just like the near clipping but from the opposite end of the camera's view. Far clipping can give you the ability to cut down on expansive environments in the background that you are not taking advantage of to make it easier for compositing.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, view and camera clipping can prove vital when working within certain constraints on projects. Though we’ve discussed Cinema 4D in this case, nearly every 3D software and or render engine yield the same settings in one form or another.. Clipping can save you time and effort in many ways that would otherwise force you to rework or struggle in areas of composition and scene adjustments.

INTRO TO CGI FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

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