View Full Version : Architectural rendering & video composit

01-06-2004, 04:04 PM
Ok has anyone done a good job of dropping a building onto some video footage? Why do I ask, because I need to drop a building onto 60 seconds of video shot from a helicopter and am hoping someone will say oh yah I do that all the time - if you hit any bumps in the road give me an e-mail. Photo composites I have down almost to a science, but now will have to do it on to 1,800 + frames. If you could plug yourself with a link to your work so I could get an Idea of how well it comes off I would be grateful for the example.:)

01-06-2004, 04:25 PM
HI Wade !

What seems to be problem with your compostion ? It's working same as on Still frame.

First convert video to frames.xxxx (not a MUST but it would be easyer that way :)). Model some plane objects and seutp them to look like on real scene (something to cast shadow from 3D model). Setup background image (first frame with number and sequence). MAP same frames to plane as front projection and you are ready to go :).

01-06-2004, 04:45 PM
@ Wade

Have you tried SynthEyes?

It should do the job. (And it's cheap!)


01-06-2004, 06:36 PM
I have done work like this - and depending on the shot - you are most likely going to need some 2D (or 3D) tracking software for realistic results - but as I said it really dpeneds on the footage.

Also, you may want to stablize the footage itself if the chopper shot is jerky. ;)

01-06-2004, 09:49 PM
Just met with my client today and the project I am working on went from finishing up the one shot on one photograph to - could I add the building to some footage taken form the air? The answer was yes I am up for a challenge lest do it, just trying to line up some advice in advance.

Our workflow will go something like this - take the model of the building / site create the views and motion we like animated a wire frame…. then give that information to the pilot (kind of key frame the pilot)- fly the shot and try and match the pre-vize footage. Then go back and match the camera to the footage.

Have not started just yet but wanted to get the kind of information some of you have shared already upfront.

Thanks for the comments thus far.

01-06-2004, 09:53 PM
oops should have posted in General support.:o

01-06-2004, 10:48 PM
I don't know if you have ever tried to hand track a shot in LW, but it's pretty tough. Especially if the footage is jerky. You will most likely need a 3D tracker at least a 2d tracker, and some of the 3d trackers have problems with chopper footage from what I hear. Let us know how it goes.

01-06-2004, 11:39 PM
1800 frames...... forget by hand , it will never look good, it will look goofy stuff.... you need a 3d tracker....

Smothing I dont get here?;....... you want to do the shot in lw first, then ask the pilot to match your lw stuff, well who's the pilot...? R2D2...?

Syntheyes is your friend.... for about 350 $

(you're lucky, coz if you did this a month ago, you would have had to pay about 7,500 $ for a tracking app....

01-06-2004, 11:45 PM
read here, they used Lightwave and tracking software.... (but this one is the expensive one)


01-06-2004, 11:48 PM
R2D2 :) - no but it would give us an good idea of where we want to be as at given time. say 500' at start and over the intersection - then drift in and down to 100' over the red flaged marker on the property corner by the 30th second.... hope to post in a few months.


Anyone else with a tip.

How about the new AE cs?

01-07-2004, 06:32 AM
Originally posted by Wade

Our workflow will go something like this - take the model of the building / site create the views and motion we like animated a wire frame…. then give that information to the pilot (kind of key frame the pilot)- fly the shot and try and match the pre-vize footage. Then go back and match the camera to the footage.

Forget that quickly. It wont work at all.
I had about the same thing once with a job on a crappy little music video clip. the producers and client thought they could previs a helicoptershot and let the pilot match the cameramovement. It was a joke. there was 1 pilot and 1 person to operate the robot camera under the helicopter. the two could at best try to be in sync, but never got it right. second problem was the producers wanted a straight movement, no curves just straight on. well even when on the ground there is no wind at all. in a few hundert meters there sure is a lot of it. the helicopter was jiggeling and turning around and it looked more like the helicopter was steering the pilot not other way around.

since then i would

1. shoot the helicopter footage.
2. track it with a 3d trackingsoftware ( the mentioned software Syntheyes is not too expensive and should do the job, but test it befor the helicopter shoot as matchmoving software can be tricky and you don´t know what the program likes and what not, you could end up with a shot that looks good but is horrible to track. I used Matchmover Pro 2.5 several times and although the app costs near 8000 bucks i had shots that were unable to be tracked.

3. export a LW scene with animated camera and do your magic.
4. composite the two footages together and,
5. if you still need some stabilizing then do it last, after the composite, never befor the 3d tracking as this would result in an untrackable shot.

if you think about saving money on the 3d tracking software, you are about to run into big trouble. believe me. handtracking shots is not only a bummer it also almost never look good, and with a shot that long, you could easy end up matchmoving a month or two and still having a crappy result. well i don´t know how much you charge for an hour but i doubt it´s that little that you wouldn´t save a lot of time and money if you bought Syntheyes for 350 bucks.


01-07-2004, 07:07 AM
If the pilot manages to match the previz I'd like to meet him ;) lol

01-08-2004, 01:57 AM
I can't agree more with the folks who have told you to use a match-moving program such as syntheyes or Matchmover from Realviz. Don't try to re-invent the wheel with your reputation and your client's welfare on the line. I think both syntheyes and Matchmover have downloadable demos... get one, spend a couple hours with the demo, and use what you learn to instruct the pilot. It will mean the difference between a long and painful production with poor to mediocre resuts or a fairly straightforward shot that is reletively simple. I use Matchmover and it's great... if you know how to shoot footage that it can use.


james lloyd
sony pictures animation

01-08-2004, 02:06 AM
You right James, play with the tracker a bit before and understand what can and what cannot be tracked.... helicopter/hours are pretty expensive these days.....