Camera: Keep perseptive by changing focal length?

Blender Asked by TD008 on December 6, 2020

is there a possibility to synchronize the camera position to the focal lenght to keep the perspective?
Let me say, when I change the focal lenght of the camera from 50 to 80 the image detail is changed by zooming in. So, to compansate this zoom in I have to reposition the camera manually by it’s default’s local z axis.
Any Idea how to do that?

One Answer

enter image description here


  • d1 is the distance to the object viewed by the camera with a focal length f1
  • d2 is the wanted distance when the focal length is f2


d1 / f1 = d2 / f2

So that:

d2 = f2 * d1 / f1

If you want to focus on an object, you need to drive the camera on its local Z axis considering this distance shift. So we need to get the distance at the starting point and calculate the new position when the focal length is changed.

A way to do it in Blender is to use drivers.

As we want to keep the original camera position (which corresponds to d1), we can use delta transforms to do it.

These drivers will use some Python functions:

import bpy
from mathutils import Vector

def calculate_delta(self, initial_focal_length):
    cube_location =['Cube'].location
    location = self.location
    distance = (location - cube_location).length
    focal_lens =
    delta = distance - (focal_lens * distance / initial_focal_length)
    return delta 

def in_world(self, delta):
    matrix = self.matrix_world.copy()
    matrix[0][3] = 0
    matrix[1][3] = 0
    matrix[2][3] = 0
    return (matrix @ Vector((0, 0, -1))) * delta

def move_delta(self, initial_focal_length):
    delta = calculate_delta(self, initial_focal_length)
    return in_world(self,delta)["move_delta"] = move_delta

The script calculates the delta from the given formula, translates it in world space to shift the camera. And returns the wanted vector. Then, it binds the function to the driver namespace.

Run this script once in order to use it in drivers.

Attach a driver to each component of the delta location:

enter image description here

The drivers use the function giving self (the camera), the initial focal length (50) and get the corresponding componant: x, y or z.

enter image description here

Note: the cube which is focused on in this example has its origin placed at the front plane.

Answered by lemon on December 6, 2020

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