View Full Version : Motion Tracking

01-05-2010, 02:52 PM

I have a spot that calls for 3d motion tracking. I am trying to find a 3d Motion Tracking plugin for Lightwave. TransMotion was the only thing I came across. If you have any clue about if TransMotion is a good path to take or if there is aother plugin that might work better please let me know ASAP.


01-05-2010, 03:52 PM
Look again: I believe transmotion only moves data back and forth betwixt a program like syntheyes or bijou. Or some other tracking program or data.

Look for the above programs, match mover or "motion tracking cg 3d match moving" over at google.

01-05-2010, 06:21 PM
Theres also a free one that supports LW called Voodo Tracker :)

01-05-2010, 06:50 PM
Syntheyes is awesome. It competes with the big boys (in that it has been used in some of the biggest films), and is a LOT cheaper. Awesome programme.

01-05-2010, 09:28 PM
VooDoo Tracker example looks awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OeCKpW9bPg&feature=related

Also, free is awesome.

I wonder if an OSX port is in their future?

Ugh - it doesn't appear to be open-source. A non-free commercial version called VooCAT is available for OSX and others for 99 EUR, still very reasonable. http://www.scenespector.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10&Itemid=25

01-06-2010, 06:28 AM
VooCat is NOT a commercial version of voodoo. It is maybe based on the same technology, but does only features a simple interface and far lesser options.

01-06-2010, 06:42 AM
Sure it is; says so or close enough.

01-06-2010, 07:10 AM
I wish it would be. (Check the demo for yourself)

Actually this is a sad fact, mainly because of this issue :


(and the nonexistance of a linux 64 bit version of voodoo.)

They did announced a VooCat Studio version some times ago, wich might have some more controls.

01-06-2010, 12:43 PM
Awesome! VooCat seems right for mac. I'll check out the demo. Thanks for the fast reply!

CC Rider
01-06-2010, 03:45 PM
You may even try PFHoe...It's not a pro application and does most of the work for you, but it might work depending on the complexity of the shot.
I've seen some good things done with it before, and used it myself for some tests that worked out pretty solid.
I haven't used for anything serious yet though.

Exports scenes in most of the major 3d apps including LW...Worth a look anyway if price is a factor.

Here is the little test I did with it for what it's worth...


The video was captured with a cheapo point and shoot camera so I imagine HD footage would provide a lot more detail to get a solid track track with.

01-06-2010, 04:50 PM
Here's a good one if you're on a budget:


The $99 one only accepts video files, and the $199 'Pro' version can accept image sequences. Either version handles HD.

I use both SynthEyes and PFHoe. SynthEyes is more sophisticated and it can handle more advanced tracking situations than PFHoe. However, PFHoe is easier to setup and use and does a good job for many tracking situations. There is a free downloadable demo available, so you should give it a try to see if it suits your needs.

Also, the cow is cute.


Edit: Whoops! CC Rider beat me to it.

01-07-2010, 04:36 PM
Pfhoe is effing awesome!!!! I know what I'm gonna get now.
Thanks Guys!

CC Rider
01-07-2010, 07:12 PM
It is pretty cool...you may want to log on to the PFhoe forum and see some of the difficulties some of the users have experienced.
It seems there are some commonalities with some issues that pop up between users.
It won't work for everything, but pretty great for what it does...and for the money!


01-09-2010, 06:30 AM
The $99 PFHoe has no 'manual' Setups for tracking, it works with a shot or not. The $199 'Pro' version is to expensive in comparison with all the features of SynthEyes. There are Demo-Version for all to test.... :)

CC Rider
01-09-2010, 07:27 AM
The $99 PFHoe has no 'manual' Setups for tracking, it works with a shot or not. The $199 'Pro' version is to expensive in comparison with all the features of SynthEyes. There are Demo-Version for all to test.... :)

PFHoe Pro is still only 1/2 the price of the 32bit version of Syntheyes and not much of a learning curve involved with PFHoe. Syntheyes has far greater capability>complexity>learning curve...
I would still consider PFhoe if you don't think you will do this very often. Hard to justify twice the $$ if it's just a toy.

On the other hand, if you think camera tracking will become an ongoing need, surely go ahead and spend the extra $$ on a more complete program such as Syntheyes.

And yes...the demo version would be a quick (and free) way to see which software pkg is capable of resolving a camera for your particular scene, but many tracking problems don't actually reveal themselves until you get back into your 3d program. So a camera solve that looks good in the tracking program may appear to "hover" in your 3d program.
To get your feet wet, go for the cheaper I'd say.

01-09-2010, 03:26 PM
I agree with both of you.

I like PFHoe because it's so simple, and within reason, it gets the job done quickly. However, Eagle66 is correct in saying that it either works or it doesn't.

I found that this is generally true of all trackers however, because they all use different methods to arrive at a solution. Here at work, we first try SynthEyes, then Boujou, then hand-tracking, but if they all fail, we put in a request to our tracking department to use their proprietary software, which always works, and they even deliver a usable terrain mesh (but, not surprisingly, it's also the more expensive solution.)

If you plan to do a lot of tracking, especially for professional projects, I would get SynthEyes, but you should also expect to face long learning curve. Yes it costs a lot more, but it's a more advanced tool intended for studio usage. But if you're a hobbyist or otherwise working with a very tight budget, PFHoe can be a good solution for many projects and it's relatively 'cheap'.

With any tracker software, you should avoid shooting footage that will, by nature, be very difficult to track. (i.e., avoid manually zooming in and out while rotating a camera mounted on moving a crane mounted on a car moving at high speed down a winding mountain road, and then not give your trackers any script notes that make sense, and then ask them to lock down thousands of cg flowers in that environment. Even worse, tell your fx people to spend a couple of days surveying a location completely different from where you intend to actually shoot the job. By all means avoid doing this sort of thing because it will wind up costing the job a lot of extra time and money you didn't need to spend. But try telling that to a 'director'.)

Okay, that was an extreme example which may or may not have actually happened, but you get the idea. :)

Anyway, yes, there are free trial versions of all these programs, so shoot some test footage, and they choose the one that works best for you.