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View Full Version : Just blah blah or for real ?



Hervé
09-07-2004, 02:59 AM
HI there, I am posting this here rather than in the third party, coz I need light on this...

It sounds like the Guy from Syntheyes has commit again an upgrade for his tracking app...

People from big studios claim on his site that his tool ($395) is much better than Boujou and Matchmover (about$11,000 each app)... I am saying to myself... woaw...

is it...

1) a dream
2) a rip off
3) a big lie
4) a joke

I mean come on, Realviz even raised up the price of MatchMover a year or so ago, and went from $5,000 to $11,000 to be next Boujou pricing politic...

you can even rent by /Month these apps now (about $2,500/month)

If you have bought it a while ago, share your experience !

I'd really love to see some results using his plugin, unfortunatly nothing on his site....

so....? :confused: :eek: :rolleyes:

jin choung
09-07-2004, 03:42 AM
hey herve,

actually, i guess we're on opposite ends of the spectrum on this:

it always ALWAYS seemed to me that the price charged by boujou, matchmover and others were ludicrously EXORBITANT.

kinda like photoshop charging $600 for a paint application in this day and age.

or there being no affordable compositing app other than apple's new 'motion'.
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they can afford to charge what they charge because they are aimed at a very small market of professionals. it's the reason why even though the price of extremely new technology consumer/prosumer grade camcorders come down all the time, the 'super pro' studio cameras as well as extremely old technology 35mm motion picture cameras NEVER come down. they simply don't have to.

it's a small fixed market and there is relatively little competition - and what competition there is is aimed at this rareified market and they must have some kind of secret handshake not to rock the boat.
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the technology is not brand spanking new or ultra secret and there is indeed lots of source code floating around... there is and there have been FREE motion trackers before.

and syntheyes seems to be entirely a one man operation. so CAN it be that cheap? i think almost certainly, YES! and bravo to this guy for opening up a desirable branch of app to a MUCH larger market.

we've seen this before. its name was lightwave! in a land of tens of thousands of dollar apps, lw brought the price of 3d down to the hobbyist. and forced everybody else to get with the program!

HOORAY!

mark my words, boujou and matchmove are wringing their hands and shaking their fists... because syntheyes will SINGLE HANDEDLY lower the price for everybody!

call it the lw effect if you will! :)

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i've tried it with the demo and it looks really good. certainly good enough for a 'one man studio' kinda outfit and certainly good enough for any and all motion tracking i will likely ever have to do as an independent operator....

in fact, i'm probably going to forgo the upgrade to 8 this year in order to invest in this tool.

best thing to do herve would simply be to download the demo and try it yourself on the situations you foresee needing it for. it will support everything from vhs (!!!) to vistavision. and i will be really surprised if it can't handle whatever you throw at it.

jin

Lightwolf
09-07-2004, 04:00 AM
Hi Hervé,
I bought SynthEyes this year for a feature film project, where I had to matchmove a shot with 1552 2K frames (some of which without _any_ tracking points).
SynthEyes _really_ performed well. I tried the demo versions of the other products (if available), and none where as fast as SynthEyes (nor as easy to use, and the results weren't better either). On thing I like is that it allows you to manually tweak, or work on parts that the automatic tracker can't handle.
I've used it since a number of times, and it is a steal. Get it, use it, enjoy it :)
Also, since this is a small, one person shop, you get very good support.

Cheers,
Mike - now where is the LW - SynthEyes Bundle? ;)

Mylenium
09-07-2004, 04:01 AM
It's no dream, nor is it a rip off or whatever elses suspicions might arise. It's simply the arrogance of the "highend" people - both software/ hardware developers as well as operators/ users - that keeps that market closed for us mere mortals. Personally I find it rather funny since Matchmover doesn't even have such a simple native Lightwave export let alone such things as support for After Effects and the interface is quirky and awkward.

Mylenium

pooby
09-07-2004, 05:05 AM
It does seem too good to be true, but it's not.. Syntheyes really is as good as you would hope it to be.. It's accurate, and very easy to use indeed. You could be up and running doing professional tracking within an hour.
We just used it on a commercial with some quite complex moves and each shot took no longer than half an hour from start to finish.

Lightwolf
09-07-2004, 05:07 AM
It does seem too good to be true, but it's not.. Syntheyes really is as good as you would hope it to be..
Actually, I think it is even better than I hoped it would be ;)
Honestly, the best 350$ I've ever spent...

Cheers,
Mike

lesterfoster
09-07-2004, 05:38 AM
:eek: This looks quite interesting and fascinating. This is something that I am interested in. Is this the correct web site? Andersson Technologies LLC (http://www.ssontech.com/index.html) I have looked at this website, but could not see any screenshots. What dose this program look like? And what it the work flow like? How do you use it?

This makes me wish that I had my toaster connected to the internet just to try out the demo
:)

Lightwolf
09-07-2004, 05:51 AM
:eek: This looks quite interesting and fascinating. This is something that I am interested in. Is this the correct web site? Andersson Technologies LLC (http://www.ssontech.com/index.html) I have looked at this website, but could not see any screenshots. What dose this program look like? And what it the work flow like? How do you use it?

This makes me wish that I had my toaster connected to the internet just to try out the demo
:)
Well, connect it and get the demo, that is the easiest way to find out if you like it :)
One of my favourite quotes from the website:

FAQ: why is does your web site look so lame?
FGR: We're more interested in offering the best possible software at the best price (see above). We do great software, we leave the great art up to you. But probably we'll get to it sooner or later.

;) Mike

lesterfoster
09-07-2004, 06:54 AM
I have downloaded all the videos that I could fine on the site. But I did not see anything that had to do with character animation. All the videos just had objects in them. I am now quite confused on what this program is used for.

Lightwolf
09-07-2004, 07:07 AM
Lol,
lesterfoster, it is used for matchmoving.
Basically, it allows you to generate a 3D camera movement out of real world video or film footage.
You'd use this to insert CG elements into real world takes.

Cheers,
Mike

lesterfoster
09-07-2004, 07:17 AM
Basically, it allows you to generate a 3D camera movement out of real world video or film footage.
You'd use this to insert CG elements into real world takes.

Cheers,
Mike
So matchmoving is the opposite of motion capture? I am trying to look at this demo video. Hunter Forest (http://amfilms.hash.com/search/entry.php?entry=843) But my internet explorer freezes up every time that I try to watch it
:confused:

Lightwolf
09-07-2004, 07:28 AM
So matchmoving is the opposite of motion capture?
Not really.
Matchmoving in this case is the re-construction of a real world camera movement using only footage as a source.
Basically using 2D optical tracking, and advanced algorithms to "guess" the 3D camera movement based on the movement of the these trackers to each other.

Motion capture is the recording of real world motion, usually using some kind of specialized device/set-up.

You use motion capturing to capture the performance of an actor to later apply to a 3D character (usually).

Cheers,
Mike

..and then there is motion control too ;)

Silkrooster
09-07-2004, 05:24 PM
If you want to know a little more about matchmoving, check out Dan's book Inside Lightwave 8. He talks about what it is and how to do it using only Lightwave.
Silk

Lamont
09-07-2004, 05:39 PM
I think we are going to get this app for our next project.

jin choung
09-07-2004, 09:38 PM
motion tracking for dummies:

you have a sweetass t-rex model that you want to chase your kid that you shot on minidv over the weekend.

HOW are you going to do that without the trex looking like it's just floating above the ground and not being anchored to your scene in any way?

SURE, you could 'lock off your shot' on a tripod and have timmy run and then record how far away he is and how big that trashcan is and then reconstruct the scene in lw and then put your trex in the reconstruction.

but what if you wanted to do a handheld shot? MUCH MUCH harder to do by hand!

this is what syntheyes does (one of the things... it does more like remove lens distortion)... it reconstructs your scene in 3d space (it tracks pixels and 'figures out' where things are and animates a 3d camera (along with matching the camera's LENS focal length) so that if you dropped a trex into that reconstructed scene, rendered out the trex and then comped it with your kid running, you have a chase scene with a trex that looks like he's in the scene.

you could also have a fist fight with nemo, kick godzilla in the grapes and other nifty effects.
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THIS IS NOT MOTION CAPTURE: which would be capturing the motions of a human or other performer so that that motion can be applied to a cg character.

jin

MOTION TRACKING SHOTS:

new star wars movies where actors are shot against mostly blue/greenscreen, with or without moving camera and they can seem like they were shot in an environment that is almost totally cg without looking like their feet are floating and sliding during the camera moves/zooms etc.

this philoshophy of shooting put to the mettle in the new film sky captain and the world of tomorrow which is being billed as the first entirely blue screen movie.

also, in the star wars movies, when they're shooting amidala and gang walking along, being escorted by robot guards, those guards look like they're really on that same ground thanks to (among other things) motion tracking.


MOTION CAPTURE SHOTS:

andy serkis provides gollums animation

most of the character animation in final fantasy movie

most character animations featured in modern sports games

lots of the character animation during 'burly brawl' in matrix reloaded


NIFTY HYBRID SHOT:

cave troll fight in the first lord of the rings... they had a previz troll on playback with pete jackson wearing video goggles. he held a stick with silver balls and as he moved the stick about, that MOTION was CAPTURED and in real time, he could compose frenetic handheld kinda shots with a cg creature - ON SET.

and while motion capture is almost strictly about character animation, in this case, it was used to capture the 3d position/orientation, etc of a virtual camera (stick with silver ball) to determine where a cg camera is pointing (which is almost always the domain of MOTION TRACKING).

lesterfoster
09-08-2004, 07:11 AM
I understand now. Thanks to every one.

Is there a good program to do motion capture at a good price like SynthEyes is for motion tracking??

BeeVee
09-08-2004, 07:29 AM
It's not the software that is going to be the major cost Lester, it's the hardware. Either you can go top of the range with the Vicon MX40 system of cameras at tens of thousands of dollars each (and you need to have at least three), or you can go for something like the Gypsy rig, but we're still talking not much change out of ten grand... Since you're in the States, there are lots of motion capture studios that you can hire for an hourly rate. Have a Google for studios that do that sort of thing. The only one I know off the top of my head is House of Moves (www.moves.com).

B

ColinCohen
09-08-2004, 07:49 AM
Do a search on this site. Someone once described a cheap, handmade motion capture solution that he swore worked well.

Hervé
09-08-2004, 11:13 PM
Thanks for all your very instructive replies ! I was very sceptical, but you are all so much sure of it, it should be only good...

About the realviz stuff.... what a rip off... someone ( a few even I think) said on the syntheyes site, he could not track a footage with Boujou nor MAtchmover, but did it with syntheyes app so easy in no time... that made me started this thread !

I imagine myself buying Matchmover, trying to match a footage.... does not work.... hummmm, ok I try a cheap app ( in price) and boom perfect... then I'll buy a gun with the left over money, and I directly go there to fix them a bit.... I would coz then i'd feel like a dumbo idiot... and I just hate that....

About a year or so, the price from Matchmover jumped from $4,500 to $11,000... more than double... so I e-mailed Realviz to ask what important changes in the app... none, that was just their new price politics.....

This guy from Syntheyes (M. Andersson I think) needs some super agressive marketing crew...

In fact , all that story makes me think about the XSI and MAya story... one day , if you buy a Dell, you'll receive XSI as a free bonus.... ha ha...

Now I am thinking of plugins also... some of them ( for LW) are super overpriced...

I think the more rare, the more U can Charge....

Anyway, I'll try the demo of syntheyes....

Thanks all....
@++ :D

Lamont
09-09-2004, 12:02 AM
I imagine myself buying Matchmover, trying to match a footage.... does not work.... hummmm, ok I try a cheap app ( in price) and boom perfect... then I'll buy a gun with the left over money, and I directly go there to fix them a bit.... I would coz then i'd feel like a dumbo idiot... and I just hate that....We're all glad you are happy with your soon-to-be purchase, but you should exspress your frustration with better words ;).

Hervé
09-09-2004, 01:52 AM
I know, but dont worry, I am not frustrated as I sound.... he he + I dont have MM or Boujou, but I was thinking about the "poor" people who actually have it...

To let you know I am 1000000000000% anti guns or any weapons of any sort... ;)
not even a small Swiss-knife !

I guess it is French humor.... so take it with 5 grains of salt.... he he

Cheers Lamont, have a nice day ! :) ;)

Lightwolf
09-09-2004, 02:46 AM
Now I am thinking of plugins also... some of them ( for LW) are super overpriced...

I think the more rare, the more U can Charge....

Hi Hervé, this is going OT again, but what the heck..

The more rare, the more you _have_ to charge. If you fit in a niche, have only a fraction of customers, but still high development costs, you have to charge more, basic economics.

Russ Andersson probably has the advantage of having developed SynthEyes while being on a payroll as a TD, matchmoving for films. If he were a full scale developer who spent the last 4 years doing nothing but coding, I'm sure he'd (have to) charge more for it :)

Cheers,
Mike

Hervé
09-09-2004, 02:54 AM
...4 years...? I did not know it would be sooo long to code this kind of app.... well that makes sense... but you said he was certainly on a payroll while doing it.... does not everything you do while been paid for belongs to the Co. that pays you...?

Well, anyway, great app... great niche, certainly a smart very math profound coder..; well done... nuff said...

Back to topic, err... this is incredible... and this kind of story can only be very good for us, "poor LW'ers" he he

cheers Mike

@++ :) ;)

Lightwolf
09-09-2004, 02:59 AM
...4 years...? I did not know it would be sooo long to code this kind of app.... well that makes sense... but you said he was certainly on a payroll while doing it.... does not everything you do while been paid for belongs to the Co. that pays you...?
Well, I guess including research, tryaing out different approaches, whatever... As a single coder... Sounds resonable to me (look at the amount of people workig on LW, and the changes happening there over a year or two).
If he works as a freelancer, he still owns his code. It basically depends on the contract I guess.
Even as an employee, if he doesn't have a very strict contract, he could re-code his stuff from scratch with the experience gained when employed...

Cheers,
Mike

Hervé
09-09-2004, 03:03 AM
well, thanks for clarifying a bit... I even think thatthis kind of explanation helps him a bit, coz scared and "coding app ignorant" people like me understand better "how that could be real !?"

So, I guess he has now another client...

How about PF_Barn.... OK, I shut up now... he he ;) :D

Lightwolf
09-09-2004, 03:12 AM
How about PF_Barn.... OK, I shut up now... he he ;) :D
Well, you know me, I'll jump back in ;)

PF Barn is what used to be Icarus, developed at a University, and then made into a company. I guess if it wasn't for SynthEyes, they'd be the least expensive player in this field.
Their complete tech does a bit more than "just" matchmoving, including lens distortion (removal and addition), scene reconstruction (including textures) as well as creating (partial) panoramas out of the footage, and removing moving objects from movies to generate clean plates.
The only thing that bugs me is that they split their tech up into a bunch of apps, and you have to buy each one separately...

Cheers,
Mike - I'll shut up now too :) :p

Hervé
09-09-2004, 03:22 AM
I had the occasion (when PF_Barn came in) to test it a bit... yes it has to be used with PF_track.... a bit bizarre... I was trying to find a better alternative to Image modeler... in fact... sort of Image modeler (realviz) but with automatic placements of markers, and that was fine, but then the reconstruction was ... err... :rolleyes: :D

Lamont
09-09-2004, 07:35 AM
I guess it is French humor.... so take it with 5 grains of salt.... he he Cheers Lamont, have a nice day ! :) ;)Yeah, I know. But things like that can freak people out :D.

jin choung
09-09-2004, 10:14 PM
yay for innovation....

leave it to innovation to do it in less time, better and cheaper than those who came before.

also kinda makes you wonder what took the other guys so long....

nothing like a guy doing a task in ten minutes what it took everyone else to do in an hour to really make folks turn red for a variety of reasons. in such cases, gettin there firstest with the mostest doesn't hold up to the guy who shows up casually late.

jin

p.s. yah, let's face it, boujou and the artificially inflated out of the blue realviz product is ridiculously overpriced and history has born that out. yes, if you are the only guy in the market, you can charge what you want. but then you get undercut like this and bammo

p.s.2. yah think the moderators are tough in here about other products... can you imagine the furious deleting that must be going on at boujou and realviz forums?! hah!