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View Full Version : PF Hoe-Motion Tracking software-any opinions?



bugzilla
08-23-2009, 05:40 PM
I'm close to buying the motion tracking software from Pixel Farm called PF Hoe. I downloaded the demo but it won't let you export the data to Lightwave in the demo version, of course. The interface is very clean and easy to use. The tracking points look great. The only issue I have is how well does the Lightwave plugin work?

Anyone out there using this software with Lightwave or Blender? How has your experience been? For this clean of an interface and at $99 it seems like a steal.

bugzilla
08-23-2009, 07:55 PM
P.S.: I know PF Hoe is a very unfortunate name, but I'm not concerned with that....still, that's a weird name. PF Track, their high end version makes sense. Of course, for around $3000 less, they can call it whatever they want.

SplineGod
08-23-2009, 08:05 PM
You might check out this one:
http://www.digilab.uni-hannover.de/download.html
Its free and Ive seen some youtube videos showing it off.

cresshead
08-23-2009, 11:37 PM
how about syntheyes?

wacom
08-23-2009, 11:47 PM
I'd go with syntheyes personally. It's not always a push button solution...but for the money it's probably capable of tracking better than almost anything else. There is fairly good documentation with it too.

http://www.ssontech.com/

I'm not saying don't try free ones first- but if you're going to be doing this a lot then sytheyes is a good one to check out.

PS- you probably already know this...but just make sure NOT to use a rolling shutter with any of these trackers! Yeah...there's that new plugin from the foundry...but you don't want to count on it!

gordonrobb
08-24-2009, 02:06 AM
Someone (CC Rider I think), has been recently testing it. Do a search to see if you can come up with his thread. Id be too Syntheyes biased :)

skate23
08-25-2009, 05:33 PM
i bought pf hoe about 6 months back, used it on a few shots for a matchmove to 8mm filmstock, and didnt really have any problems- you still have to do a fair bit of improving the solve, but it is really quick to get the hang of- one thing i'd say is I seem to recall the next version up being twice the price, but having used the pf hoe edition, i kinda wish i'd bought the next one up- you can set up reference objects in the higher version, and a few other things that would improve the solve...maybe worth the extra expense, just to have the richer feature set...

but you couldnt have a simpler basic workflow- i'm sure that more expensive software gets you closer to the answer, but i've also been advised by a few people that match-moving always involves a bit of solving and a bit of human effort-
hope that helps
john

realgray
08-26-2009, 12:00 AM
Haven't used it yet (installing now) but I would look at putting your money toward a copy of Shake and downloading PFMatch

http://www.pfmatch.com/

realgray
08-26-2009, 12:16 AM
Never mind about PFmatch. You have to have a separate app called PFDump to export the camera data. I'm having trouble finding PFDump anywhere including the Pixel Farm's site. Oh well... I have syntheyes and it rocks. :thumbsup:

fboulene
08-26-2009, 05:03 AM
Hi,

I have a licence of PFHoe Pro 2.1 for sell.
I am checking out now with Pixel Farm on how to proceed.

If you are interested email me at :
[email protected]

Thank you.

GregMalick
08-26-2009, 09:35 AM
bugzilla,

Let us know what you end up settling on.

rakker16mm
08-26-2009, 08:42 PM
I hope I am not committing a faux pas, but I'd say it's more like Faux-Pro than real pro. If you can find a copy of Icarus on the web, down load it and you can see all the features that got removed from Pfhoe-Pro. Like Voodoo, Icarus is free for non-commercial use. If you need an economical solution for commercial projects Syntheyes is very hard to beat.

Greenlaw
08-27-2009, 03:53 AM
I bought a personal copy of PFHoe but I haven't had a chance to really use it yet, other than a tutorial sample. From what I can tell, it's not as powerful as SynthEyes, but it isn't meant to be either. It's designed entirely for 'ease of use', and if all you need is camera tracking (as opposed to object tracking) it will probably work well for most reasonable footage. In short, PFHoe is probably the easiest tracking program I've used. I can't vouch for quality because I haven't used it with my own footage yet, but there's a free demo available at their website if you want to try it for yourself.

http://www.pfhoe.com/products.php (Click the 'Try before you buy-free!' button at the bottom right.)

I got PFHoe a few weeks ago because I wanted a quick and easy alternative to SynthEyes for the next 'Brudders' short film project I'm planning, and it was fairly cheap. Oh, and it also has a funny cow that blinks at you as a backdrop. If somebody doesn't beat me to it, I'll try to do a direct comparison between PFHoe and SynthEyes, and post the results here, but for now my personal time is wrapped up in testing the iPi Desktop Motion Capture system, and drawing my comic strips. (Oh, and maybe spending a little time with my family if I can stay awake long enough.) :)

At work we use SynthEyes, Boujou, and the company's proprietary system (which is pretty freaking amazing--the guys who manage it can quickly solve for us what SynthEyes and Boujou fail at, plus they provide us with terrain geometry extracted from the footage,) as well as good old fashioned hand-tracking. They all give you somewhat different results, some which are more appropriate depending on the how the footage was shot, what script notes are available to you, and what you intend to do with the track, so in my opinion, you can't have too many tracking options available to you.

Greenlaw

CC Rider
08-27-2009, 06:46 AM
I gave PFHoe a try and bought the Pro version. Pro is a bit of an exaggeration since it only adds modest functionality to the standard version, but it does give you the ability to import image sequences instead of just video clips. This should be standard in the first place...
So plan on $199 instead of $99. (bad idea to track video clips I think...)
I have had some success with tests, but I haven't had a chance to really kick the tires and see what it can do yet. I have also had some frustrations with it as well. I would say if you are going to be doing some serious/frequent motion tracking projects, probably look into syntheyes.
If you want a low cost option to get your feet wet that can probably still do some impressive stuff, PFHoePro could be a good way to go. If this is your first experience with Motion tracking, you'll still learn a lot with PFHoe Pro even with the simple interface.

Here is a link to the little test I did that came out pretty cool.
http://www.qvincent.com/chris/vipertabletop.html

Its pretty cool, but you are likely to outgrow it much more quickly than Syntheyes or something similar. Still worth a look though...

Good luck!

:D
PM me if you want more details...

CC Rider
08-27-2009, 07:06 AM
Also, the demo versions of these motrackers aren't very useful since you can't export the scene...most problems you'll experience probably won't reveal themselves until you get into your 3D app.

I know why they disable this functionality for the demo but still makes it a little bit of a waste of time. May as well be a Powerpoint presentation...

That said, there does seem to be a little quirk with PFHoe in that, a scene exported at 29.97 will sometimes have a sync issue with the bg footage (plate) and it can be tricky to fix it. In this case, the trackers all look nice and "sticky" in the track program, but slip and slide all over in the 3D app.
This is almost always a sync issue.
Projects that import/export at 24fps have all been rock solid.
Too bad you can select/override the frame rate of the exported project.
This doesn't effect the quality of the track, just the timing issues it creates in the exported scene in LW.

I still like it though...

bugzilla
08-27-2009, 08:37 AM
Also, the demo versions of these motrackers aren't very useful since you can't export the scene...most problems you'll experience probably won't reveal themselves until you get into your 3D app.

I know why they disable this functionality for the demo but still makes it a little bit of a waste of time. May as well be a Powerpoint presentation...
ck solid..

I agree completely. That's why I had to post this thread. I'm still thinking PF Hoe is very promising. Just that name, they really need to change the damn name of the software.

CC Rider
08-27-2009, 09:28 AM
I agree completely. That's why I had to post this thread. I'm still thinking PF Hoe is very promising. Just that name, they really need to change the damn name of the software.

LOL!
Either change to PF "Prostitute" or change it completely...

:D

Greenlaw
08-27-2009, 12:10 PM
Hey CC Rider,

That's a very nice test!

Yeah, I should have mentioned that I got the 'Pro' version too, just for the ability to use frames vs. dv. The $99 version should be fine for 'hobbyists' making YouTube videos, but having frames capability does give you more flexibility for higher end source material. If you want something that's really easy to use and don't need the bells and whistles of the other tracking programs, even at $199 I think this is a good price for a tool like this.

BTW, somebody had sent me this link for a Particular 2 test, which is pretty cool, but it was also the link where I first learned about PFHoe:

Street Tests (http://vimeo.com/5716181)

This video sold me on PFHoe for the project I have in mind. It also got me interested in Particular 2, but I haven't touched AfterEffects in 9 years and I'm not sure it's compatible with Fusion 5. Anybody try Particular 2 in Fusion yet?

Greenlaw

CC Rider
08-27-2009, 12:15 PM
Too funny...that's where I learned about PFHoe as well.
$199...figured what the heck...
I think if you take the time to plan your shots properly you can probably make most shots work fine.
No chance of doing Cloverfield 2 or anything, but I think they had to track most of that by hand anyway...

Pretty cool toy at the very least.

Greenlaw
08-27-2009, 12:40 PM
Anybody try Particular 2 in Fusion yet?

What the heck, I just downloaded the demo and tried it in Fusion. Crash-o. Hmm.

Even though many AE plug-ins do run fine in Fusion, my guess is that Particular doesn't want to play nice in Fusion's 3D environment.

Oh well. Maybe it's time to upgrade my ancient AE license. :p

Greenlaw