Well, I should have spent the first part of the day learning Maya, but instead I ended up helping out some people over at the 3Dstudio. I guess most of us here are all up to speed with camera shake and go about it our own particular ways, but I thought I'd post this up anyways just to add to the library as it were
I've not really written many tuts so if there are any glaring errors or suggestions for improvements please let me know.
This is a very simple tutorial on how to apply a nice camera shake as and where needed in your animations. The work is all done in the curve editor so it will be a helpful exercise for any who are not too familiar with this very important feature of Max. Now Max does have some tutorials and reference on this exact subject, but I find with some of Max's tuts they are sometimes a little too linear and you often follow the steps, type in numbers and apply modifiers without knowing exactly why you need to do this.
I set up my basic scene and animated a rocket shooting off camera (See below), the scene itself is not important here, but you'll need to fully animate your shot, position your camera and be happy with it before applying your camera shake.
I then select my camera and open up the Curve Editor. (I'm using a free camera not Target - this will work with a Target camera but because the focal point it fixed you may get some unnatural results with the shake)
With the camera selected you should see it highlighted in the curve editor (if not just scroll down the panel on the left and expand the Camera's tracks) You should have something like this with the position and rotation tracks under the transform.
Highlight the position track, right-click and 'assign controller'. You will then have a popup box listing many controllers. It's important to select a 'position list' from this popup box. You can add the noise position controller at this point but in doing so you will loose all control over the camera's position. Using a position list is basically like adding a modifier to the position stack - so you will be able to move / animate the camera but still have the noise (which you will add in the next step) applied to it.
Your curve editor will now look something like this. As you can see you retain control of the XYZ position, but underneath that is 'Available'. It is in this available slot you will add the 'Noise Position' controller.
Highlight 'Available', r-click and add the 'Noise Position' controller, much the same way you added the 'Position list' controller. You will then have a popup box entitled 'List Controller' with an arrow next to Position XYZ... (this popup is used to select which is the active controller on the camera - you want to retain control and as the standard position XYZ is set as active it is fine to just close that box)
If you now look at your camera viewport you should see that it is now shaking all over the place. You can edit the rate and strength of this shake by R-clicking the 'Noise Position' in the curve editor and selecting 'Properties' You'll get another popup like this>>>
I'd suggest playing around with the figures to get a feel for what they all do - all pretty simple and self explanitory really with XYZ strengths and frequencies with a nice graph to give you an idea of what's going on. Say you have an object falling from the top of the frame to the ground you'll probably want the Z strength higher then the others.
So once you are happy with the actual effect, the strength frequency etc you will now want to have control over when the camera shakes and when it doesn't. Have your 'Noise position' controller highlighted go to the top of the curve editor and select Curves > Apply - Mulitplier curve.
What this curve does, as you can probably guess form it's name, is mutiply it's value to that of the noise value. So lets say your Z strength of the noise controller is jumping from -10 to 10. With the mulitplier curve set at 1... your camera will be bouncing up and down between these values. Set the curve to 0 and you have no noise... at a value of 2 your camera will be going from -20 to 20 on the Z axis. However this is a fully editable spline curve, you can add your own keyframes to it, increase and decrease the noise amount wherever you want, and therefore have a gradual rise or fall of noise.
For my rocket I set a few keyframes along the multiplier curve using the add key button (highlighted) typed in the frame numbers and values and ended up with something like this
So as you can see I now have no camera shake from frame 0 to 94. At frame 95 it jumps to a value of 1 and then gradually decreases in strength until frame 110 where it is back to 0. Play around with this! Change the shape of the spline until you are happy.
And there you have it, you can also put some noise on the rotation of the camera to give it some roll (which would make it more natural - though I'm going to be lazy this time). Now this technique doesn't just apply to camera shake. In my rocket animation, where the rocket is swaying at the start of the anim, that is just a very low frequency smooth noise controller. You are also not just limited to the position... you can put controllers on rotation or any number of things. For example. If you have a model of a speaker and you want it to vibrate / jar or do that comical spherical thing in time to music you can put an audio control instead of a noise controller changing the shape or size or position of your model speaker - and it will be doing this TO the music!
So have a play around and get creative with controllers!
[SIDE NOTE] Just a quick word of warning about controllers... when you apply a controller to an object, that controller will only be active during the time you have displayed on your time configuration. ie if you apply the controller and you have frames 0 to 100 visible on you time slider the controller will not continue after frame 100. This can be changed in the Dope Sheet, but it's good practice to have your time configuration set to an excessive frame number! I normally set it to -1000 to 10000 when applying controllers
Here's my camera shake.
Not perfect, but I hope you get the idea!