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A camera control for three.js, similar to THREE.OrbitControls yet supports smooth transitions and more features.
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readme.md

camera-controls

A camera control for three.js, similar to THREE.OrbitControls yet supports smooth transitions and more features.

Latest NPM release

Working examples

camera move default user input (Configurable)
Orbit rotation left mouse drag / touch: one-finger move
Dolly middle mouse drag, or mousewheel / touch: two-finger pinch-in or out
Truck (Pan) right mouse drag / touch: two-finger move or three-finger move

Usage

import * as THREE from 'three';
import CameraControls from 'camera-controls';

CameraControls.install( { THREE: THREE } );

// snip ( init three scene... )
const clock = new THREE.Clock();
const camera = new THREE.PerspectiveCamera( 60, width / height, 0.01, 1000 );
const cameraControls = new CameraControls( camera, renderer.domElement );

( function anim () {

	// snip
	const delta = clock.getDelta();
	const hasControlsUpdated = cameraControls.update( delta );

	requestAnimationFrame( anim );

	// you can skip this condition to render though
	if ( hasControlsUpdated ) {

		renderer.render( scene, camera );

	}
} )();

Constructor

CameraControls( camera, domElement )

  • camera is a THREE.PerspectiveCamera or THREE.OrthographicCamera to be controlled.
  • domElement is a HTMLElement for draggable area.

Terms

Orbit rotations

CameraControls uses Spherical Coordinates for orbit rotations.

If your camera is Y-up, Azimuthal angle will be the angle for y-axis rotation and Polar angle will be the angle for vertical position.

Dolly vs Zoom

  • A Zoom involves changing the lens focal length. In three.js, zooming is actually changing the camera FOV, and the camera is stationary (doesn't move).
  • A Dolly involves physically moving the camera to change the composition of the image in the frame.

See the demo

Properties

Name Type Default Description
.enabled boolean true Whether or not the controls are enabled.
.minDistance number 0 Minimum distance for dolly.
.maxDistance number Infinity Maximum distance for dolly.
.minPolarAngle number 0 In radians.
.maxPolarAngle number Math.PI In radians.
.minAzimuthAngle number -Infinity In radians.
.maxAzimuthAngle number Infinity In radians.
.boundaryFriction number 0.0 Friction ratio of the boundary.
.boundaryEnclosesCamera boolean false Whether camera position should be enclosed in the boundary or not.
.dampingFactor number 0.05 The damping inertia
.draggingDampingFactor number 0.25 The damping inertia while dragging
.azimuthRotateSpeed number 1.0 Speed of azimuth rotation.
.polarRotateSpeed number 1.0 Speed of polar rotation.
.dollySpeed number 1.0 Speed of mouse-wheel dollying.
.truckSpeed number 2.0 Speed of drag for truck and pedestal.
.verticalDragToForward boolean false The same as .screenSpacePanning in three.js's OrbitControls.
.dollyToCursor boolean false true to enable Dolly-in to the mouse cursor coords.
.colliderMeshes array [] An array of Meshes to collide with camera *.
  • Be aware colliderMeshes may decrease the performance. Collision test uses 4 raycasters from camera, since near plane has 4 corners.

Events

CameraControls instance emits the following events. To subscribe, use cameraControl.addEventListener( 'eventname', function ).

Event name Timing
'controlstart' When the user starts to control the camera via mouse / touches.
'control' When the user controls the camera (dragging).
'controlend' When the user ends to control the camera.
'update' When camera position is updated.

User input config

Working example: user input config

button to assign behavior
mouseButtons.left CameraControls.ACTION.ROTATE* | CameraControls.ACTION.TRUCK | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE
mouseButtons.right CameraControls.ACTION.ROTATE | CameraControls.ACTION.TRUCK* | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE
mouseButtons.wheel CameraControls.ACTION.DOLLY | CameraControls.ACTION.ZOOM | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE
  • * is the default.
  • the default of mouseButtons.wheel is:
    • DOLLY for Perspective camera.
    • ZOOM for Orthographic camera, and can't set DOLLY.
trackpad to assign behavior
trackpad.two CameraControls.ACTION.ROTATE | CameraControls.ACTION.TRUCK | CameraControls.ACTION.DOLLY | CameraControls.ACTION.ZOOM | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE

The trackpad config is disabled by default, since it uses deprecated JS feature (MouseEvent.wheelDeltaY). To enable it, set .enableUnstableTrackpadConfig to true

  • the default of trackpad.two is:
    • DOLLY for Perspective camera.
    • ZOOM for Orthographic camera, and can't set DOLLY.
fingers to assign behavior
touches.one CameraControls.ACTION.TOUCH_ROTATE* | CameraControls.ACTION.TOUCH_TRUCK | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE
touches.two ACTION.TOUCH_DOLLY_TRUCK | ACTION.TOUCH_ZOOM_TRUCK | ACTION.TOUCH_DOLLY | ACTION.TOUCH_ZOOM | CameraControls.ACTION.TOUCH_ROTATE | CameraControls.ACTION.TOUCH_TRUCK | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE
touches.three ACTION.TOUCH_DOLLY_TRUCK | ACTION.TOUCH_ZOOM_TRUCK | ACTION.TOUCH_DOLLY | ACTION.TOUCH_ZOOM | CameraControls.ACTION.TOUCH_ROTATE | CameraControls.ACTION.TOUCH_TRUCK | CameraControls.ACTION.NONE
  • * is the default.
  • the default of touches.two and touches.three is:
    • TOUCH_DOLLY_TRUCK for Perspective camera.
    • TOUCH_ZOOM_TRUCK for Orthographic camera, and can't set TOUCH_DOLLY_TRUCK and TOUCH_DOLLY.

Methods

rotate( azimuthAngle, polarAngle, enableTransition )

Rotate azimuthal angle(horizontal) and polar angle(vertical).

Name Type Description
azimuthAngle number Azimuth rotate angle. In radian.
polarAngle number Polar rotate angle. In radian.
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

rotateTo( azimuthAngle, polarAngle, enableTransition )

Rotate azimuthal angle(horizontal) and polar angle(vertical) to a given point.

Name Type Description
azimuthAngle number Azimuth rotate angle to. In radian.
polarAngle number Polar rotate angle to. In radian.
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

dolly( distance, enableTransition )

Dolly in/out camera position.

Name Type Description
distance number Distance of dollyIn
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

dollyTo( distance, enableTransition )

Dolly in/out camera position to given distance.

Name Type Description
distance number Distance of dollyIn
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

zoom( zoomStep, enableTransition )

Zoom in/out of camera.

Name Type Description
zoomStep number zoom scale
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

You can also make zoomIn function using camera.zoom property. e.g.

const zoomIn = () => {
	cameraControls.zoom( camera.zoom / 2, true );
}
const zoomOut = () => {
	cameraControls.zoom( - camera.zoom / 2, true );
}

zoomTo( zoom, enableTransition )

Zoom in/out camera to given scale.

Name Type Description
zoom number zoom scale
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

truck( x, y, enableTransition )

Truck and pedestal camera using current azimuthal angle.

Name Type Description
x number Horizontal translate amount
y number Vertical translate amount
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

forward( distance, enableTransition )

Move forward / backward.

Name Type Description
distance number Amount to move forward / backward. Negative value to move backward
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

moveTo( x, y, z, enableTransition )

Move target position to given point.

Name Type Description
x number x coord to move center position
y number y coord to move center position
z number z coord to move center position
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

fitTo( box3OrMesh, enableTransition, { paddingTop, paddingLeft, paddingBottom, paddingRight } )

Fit the viewport to the object bounding box or the bounding box itself. paddings are in unit.

Name Type Description
box3OrMesh THREE.Box3 | THREE.Mesh Axis aligned bounding box to fit the view.
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately
options object Options
options.paddingTop number Padding top. Default is 0
options.paddingRight number Padding right. Default is 0
options.paddingBottom number Padding bottom. Default is 0
options.paddingLeft number Padding left. Default is 0

setLookAt( positionX, positionY, positionZ, targetX, targetY, targetZ, enableTransition )

It moves the camera into position, and make it look at target.

Name Type Description
positionX number Position x of look at from.
positionY number Position y of look at from.
positionZ number Position z of look at from.
targetX number Position x of look at.
targetY number Position y of look at.
targetZ number Position z of look at.
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

lerpLookAt( positionAX, positionAY, positionAZ, targetAX, targetAY, targetAZ, positionBX, positionBY, positionBZ, targetBX, targetBY, targetBZ, t, enableTransition )

Similar to setLookAt, but it interpolates between two states.

Name Type Description
positionAX number The starting position x of look at from.
positionAY number The starting position y of look at from.
positionAZ number The starting position z of look at from.
targetAX number The starting position x of look at.
targetAY number The starting position y of look at.
targetAZ number The starting position z of look at.
positionBX number Look at from position x to interpolate towards.
positionBY number Look at from position y to interpolate towards.
positionBZ number Look at from position z to interpolate towards.
targetBX number look at position x to interpolate towards.
targetBY number look at position y to interpolate towards.
targetBZ number look at position z to interpolate towards.
t number Interpolation factor in the closed interval [0, 1].
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

setPosition( positionX, positionY, positionZ, enableTransition )

setLookAt without target, keep gazing at the current target.

Name Type Description
positionX number Position x of look at from.
positionY number Position y of look at from.
positionZ number Position z of look at from.
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

setTarget( targetX, targetY, targetZ, enableTransition )

setLookAt without position, Stay still at the position.

Name Type Description
targetX number Position x of look at.
targetY number Position y of look at.
targetZ number Position z of look at.
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

setBoundary( box3? )

Set the boundary box that encloses the target of the camera. box3 is in THREE.Box3

Return its current position.

Name Type Description
box3 THREE.Box3? Boundary area. No argument to remove the boundary.

setViewport( vector4? )

Set (or unset) the current viewport.

Set this when you want to use renderer viewport and .dollyToCursor feature at the same time.

See: THREE.WebGLRenderer.setViewport()

Name Type Description
vector4 THREE.Vector4? Vector4 that represents the viewport, or undefined for unsetting this.

setViewport( x, y, width, height )

Same as setViewport( vector4 ) , but you can give it four numbers that represents a viewport instead:

Name Type Description
x number Leftmost of the viewport.
y number Bottommost of the viewport.
width number Width of the viewport.
height number Height of the viewport.

getPosition( out )

Return its current position.

Name Type Description
out THREE.Vector3 The receiving vector

getTarget( out )

Return its current gazing target which is the center position of the orbit.

Name Type Description
out THREE.Vector3 The receiving vector

saveState()

Set current camera position as the default position


normalizeRotations()

Normalize camera azimuth angle rotation between 0 and 360 degrees.


reset( enableTransition )

Reset all rotation and position to default.

Name Type Description
enableTransition boolean Whether to move smoothly or immediately

update( delta ): boolean

Update camera position and directions. This should be called in your tick loop and returns true if re-rendering is needed.

Name Type Description
delta number Delta time between previous update call

updateCameraUp()

When you change camera-up vector, run .updateCameraUp() to sync.


toJSON()

Get all state in JSON string


fromJSON( json, enableTransition )

Reproduce the control state with JSON. enableTransition is where anim or not in a boolean.


dispose()

Dispose the cameraControls instance itself, remove all eventListeners.


Breaking changes

@1.16.0 dolly() will take opposite value. e.g. dolly-in to dolly( 1 ) (used be dolly-in to dolly( -1 ))

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