View Full Version : Motion Tracking in LW7.5?

10-13-2004, 09:07 PM
Is anyone out there doing motion tracking in LW? I'm looking for ways to match LW animation to existing video footage. I've done some tests using manual keyframing and the results were ... er.... mixed, shall we say.

Thanks -

Electric Gearbox

10-13-2004, 11:44 PM
the best for the price... and there is a trial
http://www.ssontech.com/ :)

10-14-2004, 02:43 AM
Tom, I have done a fair amount of tracking and you can get pretty good manual results if the camera is just a pan/tilt shot, and you know the lens specs.

If it's a 3d move, and you can build props that are in proper scale, you can sometimes get good results manually. It is very tedious and tough, however.

But thumbs up for Syntheyes too. I've tried the demo and it has some features that I wished were in programs like Boujou... which can cost thousands more.

10-14-2004, 07:11 AM

I've tried manual tracking and it was awfully tedious and the results weren't all 'd hoped for either. Fortunately I'd taken advantage of the upgrade offer which came with DFX+ so I went over to using that instead.

Having tried the automatic way (which still isn't entirely painless) and the manual way I'd seriously consider investing in some software to do the tracking for you,

best of luck,


10-14-2004, 11:25 AM
Well, try tracking a shot with extreme motion blur and shallow depth of field... ;) Manual tracking is the *only* option.

Software is good, very good, but it can only do so much.

10-14-2004, 02:16 PM
I definitely agree.

Manual tracking seems to be very time consuming but only on rare occasions one will find software tracking working well enough. So one shall not forget the time it takes to clean up the tracking done by some software. No matter what -- it will take some time to get it look and work right.


10-14-2004, 05:21 PM
The problem with manual tracking is its so terribly time consuming and unless your working at film resolution you really need to be accurate to a sub pixel level, a real test of your skill.

Manual tracking certainly has its place though, as said motion blur can be a right pain, not to mention the joys of objects obscuring your tracking points.

As a word of advice if anyone's tracking with DFX+ turn off any proxy settings before trying to track a pattern, for some strange reason it seems to try track on the proxy if you dont :eek:

Tom, if you're still trying to track manually in lightwave I'd suggest the following (which you might be doing already):

Project your video on to a polygon with front projection
Clone your camera
Increase the zoom level on your camera
Rotate the camera (but don't move it) so you can get a closer look at the area you want to track
Also make sure your Grid Square Size (under display options) is set low - it controls the size of steps when dragging with the mouse.

Hope you start getting the results your after,


10-14-2004, 06:28 PM
...its so terribly time consuming...
Who ever said visual effects wasn't time consuming and tedious?

;) :D

10-14-2004, 11:35 PM
Just to add in Inside Lightwave 8 tracking in lightwave is covered and very useful it is too :p

10-15-2004, 08:42 AM
Try this:
http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=19203&highlight=motion+tracking (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=19203&highlight=motion+tracking)
about halfway down 'prospector'

10-15-2004, 09:31 AM
Thanks for link. Sounds interessting when you need to get some character movement done. But how do get that third dimension into 2D footage without the hassle of doing everything manualy ? I will take a look into your two camera method and if it works only half as good as you say, it still will be a real time- and moneysaver. Did you put up that webpage already ?

10-16-2004, 10:16 PM
No not yet.

Mother in law passed on (a month ago) and all family was here and someone (the butthead (which is as nice as I can get about her)), laid her coat over compy.
Well it was rendering at the time and naturally it overheated.
Took out the powersupply AFTER it screwed 1.2 terrabytes of harddrives (rewrote the partitions), the 2 DVD-RWs (which had all my backup stuff on them)and lost THIER partitions.
Tried 6 different recovery programs and not one would recover anything. So I lost 8 months of work. I figured that my DVD backups were good :( .
Shoulda made copies of the copies.

Wife stayed away from me for 3 days figuring I was gonna take it out on her for HER family.......I wouldn't have, but I DID have to make her think I would :D

She STILL checks to see what I am working on (peeks her head thru door), and if I am RE-DOING something I lost, she quietly backs away :)

But some good came of it,

I got a bigger powersupply (in one of those fancy lighted cases :) ), also replaced video card, and 2 HDs which compy and 4 other compys just wouldn't find( tho the HDs did make alot of clacking noises). All with her blessings :D

So after I get caught back up I will put it there.

But the tracking does work.

10-17-2004, 02:18 AM
well one thing to remember here is... never render when there is a funeral around.... :D ;) ;)

I just remember my story called "the compy and the beer bottle..." that was a nice one too.... :D :D

08-11-2005, 06:13 AM
I've got a bit of video taken from the inside of a car and the car is travelling towards a building. I've been asked to composite smoke onto the building so it looks like it's on fire. I've got the camera getting closer to the target and bouncing around all over the place and motion tracking the smoke to the building is a nightmare. Any tips or tricks I can use to help me?

08-11-2005, 01:02 PM
I reiterate what was stated above. I bought and use SynthEyes from http://www.ssontech.com/ and I'll never regret making the decision.

08-12-2005, 10:06 AM
another option is pfhoe


It runs $99 and my first few test have gone quite well. Its a match mover lite (not alot of options) but with the right footage it tracks very well. Its great for hobbyist like me (simple and fast).