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Cam2Vista is a MEL utility to read/import and write camera files (camera matrices) to text format using Maya. The text files can then be used with Vista (a command line volume renderer) or Mesh Viewer (an interactive volume renderer) for custom camera movement and positioning.


Windows, Linux, Mac; Maya 5.0+ (untested for earlier versions)


To download, right click on a link below and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As".

Current Version
Cam2Vista-1.3 (36 kb) Last updated: Feb 22 2008

Old Version
Cam2Vista-1.2 (32 kb) Last updated: Jan 30 2006


  • Jerky camera movement on preview of camera path
  • Camera y-axis is always Upvector
  • Maya (PLE) does not allow write access to files so this script will show errors. The script prints out the info in the script editor when PLE option is checked


Please email your comments to Amit Chourasia.

Using Cam2Vista


  1. Download and save Cam2Vista-1.3.mel
  2. Open Script Editor - In Maya go to Window > General Editors > Script Editor
  3. In Script Editor go to File > Source Script > Cam2Vista-1.3.mel (browse to folder where you saved the downloaded file)


Use the screenshot for a close-up of the following steps; mouseover or click for a larger image.

  1. Choose camera set up: single camera=1Cam; five camera setup for dome=5Cam; seven camera setup for dome=7Cam; eleven camera setup for dome=11Cam
    Camera order for 5Cam dome rendering : Up, Front, Back, Left, Right
  2. Set camera aim or look at direction
  3. Draw your own curve or create a test one
    NOTE: The maximum volume size in Vista is a unit size cube so make sure the path is appropriately scaled
  4. Enter the number of frames you want to have on the camera path
  5. Select the aim curve on which you want to move the camera's aim; choose camera looking towards MyPath or Norm2MyPath in Step 2
  6. Select the path curve on which you want to move the camera; scale the size of the camera if needed
  7. Save Camera File or Save Reversed Camera File to desired location (.cam will be appended to the typed filename);
    NOTE: When the camera position and aim are coincident, you'll notice warnings on script editor; make sure you have the correct camera aim option selected in Step 2
  8. Preview the camera path and camera aim (make sure the camera aim is selected correctly in Step 2); this can also be accessed via the "View" menu
  9. Import an existing camera file [File > Import]
  10. Path curve smoothing options are in the "Tools" menu

Importing Camera Files

The file should be in ASCII format as follows. Each line contains one space- or tab-delimited camera matrix of 16 floats after the keyword "CameraMatrix:". Each camera matrix is imported as a keyframe on a per-frame basis.

CameraMatrix: 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 16.0
CameraMatrix: 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 16.0

and so on.


  • Vista's volume size is always 1 unit cube, so the camera path should be created with this in mind. A good strategy is to create a default cube and test the camera path by scrubbing in a timeline at Step 7.
  • If you have questions, you may roll over the buttons for tool tips.

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