A virtual camera system aims at controlling a camera or a set of cameras to display a view of a 3D virtual world. Camera systems are used in videogames where their purpose is to show the action at the best possible angle; more generally, they are used in 3D virtual worlds when a third person view is required.
As opposed to film makers, virtual camera system creators have to deal with a world that is interactive and unpredictable. It is not possible to know where the player's character is going to be in the next few seconds; therefore, it is not possible to plan the shots as a film maker would do. To solve this issue, the system relies on certain rules or artificial intelligence to select the most appropriate shots.
There are mainly three types of camera systems. In fixed camera systems, the camera does not move at all and the system displays the player's character in a succession of still shots. Tracking cameras, on the other hand, follow the character's movements. Finally, interactive camera systems are partially automated and allow the player to directly change the view. To implement camera systems, video game developers use techniques such as constraint solvers, artificial intelligence scripts, or autonomous agents.
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