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View Full Version : Know any good 3D tracking software?



TheDynamo
10-03-2006, 01:17 PM
I'm looking into seeing how much of an investment it would be to add 3D tracking (or planar 3D tracking) into our workflow. A good example of the application of this tracker would be to say, put something in a television that was shot practically but the camera pushes by it on the right side (i've attached the shot). I was able to rotoscope this shot using After Effects at the expense of several hours of fine tuning. Now that the deadline has long since passed, I'm trying to find a better way to do this. It would be great to be able to import camera data into Lightwave or AE in particular. Any ideas or recommendations would be very much appreciated.

-Dyn

TheDynamo
10-03-2006, 01:21 PM
mmm hmm.

TheDynamo
10-03-2006, 01:22 PM
blah

RudySchneider
10-03-2006, 01:23 PM
Just right-click the link, and do a "Save-as" and change the .htm extension to .mov... Works fine!

TheDynamo
10-03-2006, 01:25 PM
I hate safari so I use Firefox on the Mac.

Firefox was having issues with it, just thought I would make it all-browser happy :)

Lightwolf
10-03-2006, 01:32 PM
SynthEyes should handle it just fine, you'd need to garbage matte the people out though (roughly).
www.ssontech.com
I've been using it for a variety of shots from 2K to SD and it always behaved extremely well. You also can't beat the price.

Cheers,
Mke

Sekhar
10-03-2006, 01:39 PM
Agree on SynthEyes - good tracking/price, best value right now. In addition, check out the DV.com article for more names/info at http://www.dv.com/news/news_item.jhtml?LookupId=/xml/feature/2006/christiansen0306.

KSTAR
10-03-2006, 01:46 PM
Yeah I agree with LightWolf. You cant beat the power and price of SynthEyes. Especially the price $399. Motion tracking software can get real spendy. Plus you can download a free demo and try it out first to see if it can handle your needs

Also Matchmoving The Invisible Art of Camera Tracking by Tim Dobbert is an excellent book on the subject. No matter what tracking software you use the book is applicable. You can find it on Amazon or your local Barnes & Noble or Borders.

KSTAR
10-03-2006, 01:48 PM
Hey a local Portlandite! Im Assuming your not in Maine ;)

Sekhar
10-03-2006, 01:51 PM
Plus you can download a free demo and try it out first to see if it can handle your needs.
You can't export the data to LW to really see the results though - this was a major bummer for me.

Lightwolf
10-03-2006, 01:57 PM
You can't export the data to LW to really see the results though - this was a major bummer for me.
Well, they have to draw the line somewhere ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Sekhar
10-03-2006, 01:57 PM
Oh, and if you want free, check out Voodoo at http://www.digilab.uni-hannover.de/docs/manual.html. It's not bad.

TheDynamo
10-03-2006, 02:20 PM
I'm in the land of the supreme microbrews! Ory-Gun!

I downloaded the syntheyes demo and so far... YOWZA! I thought you would have to put out more than $3K for something like this.

-Dyn

P.S. If anyone cares to doubt my claim of the microbrews here, they can feel free to send me the beer they think is better through the mail. The more quantity the better :)

shrox
10-03-2006, 02:24 PM
I'm in the land of the supreme microbrews! Ory-Gun!

I downloaded the syntheyes demo and so far... YOWZA! I thought you would have to put out more than $3K for something like this.

-Dyn

P.S. If anyone cares to doubt my claim of the microbrews here, they can feel free to send me the beer they think is better through the mail. The more quantity the better :)

Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, Calif. Their 8 Ball Stout is mmmm good.

KSTAR
10-03-2006, 02:45 PM
I'm in the land of the supreme microbrews! Ory-Gun!

I downloaded the syntheyes demo and so far... YOWZA! I thought you would have to put out more than $3K for something like this.

-Dyn


Go Ducks!

Yep great price for the features. One cool things is the author of the software is open to writing hooks to work with other software. I talked with him awhile back to see if there was anything that could be done to make a connections with Mirage. I guess I need to follow up on that. BTW I think that shot you posted with the televsion set could have been done with Mirage as well

Exception
10-03-2006, 03:23 PM
Is there any software that will detect objects moving in front of the camera as well? Say I have a person walking across right in front of the lens, and I was compositing, do I need to painstakingly paint a matte for this guy for each frame?

bryphi7
10-03-2006, 03:28 PM
Are you saying that the guy is walking between the cam and your 3d composite?

T-Light
10-03-2006, 03:29 PM
Technically, you could run this out in dfx, If you bought or upgraded to LW8 a couple of years ago then your in luck

Best Beer = Snecklifter by Jennings Brewery (Cumbria, UK) :thumbsup:

T-Light
10-03-2006, 03:42 PM
Exception -

Is there any software that will detect objects moving in front of the camera as well?

There's some matchmoving software that might fit the bill, it's capable of taking moving camera footage, studying the background and removing foreground stuff automaticly, eg your filming an intense street scene and a cyclist calmly pedals through your shot. Boujou (I think) were working on something called pixie dust (AMAZING) which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from their site. There's still some other good stuff on there though. :)

http://www.2d3.com/html/products/products.html

[EDIT] Think that might have been pixel dust rather than pixie dust, still can't find a mention of it though.

Sekhar
10-03-2006, 06:37 PM
There's some matchmoving software that might fit the bill, it's capable of taking moving camera footage, studying the background and removing foreground stuff automaticly.
Wow, did it work with moving bg as well, or just static stuff?

Exception
10-03-2006, 08:23 PM
Technically, you could run this out in dfx, If you bought or upgraded to LW8 a couple of years ago then your in luck

Best Beer = Snecklifter by Jennings Brewery (Cumbria, UK) :thumbsup:

I did!
I own DF+ 4... I think.. whatever it was... never took it out of the box, but I knew I was going to use it at some point...

As we speak I'm streaming some video to may harddisk from a camera... for the first time in my life!
Whehooo!

Lightwolf
10-04-2006, 02:44 AM
Is there any software that will detect objects moving in front of the camera as well? Say I have a person walking across right in front of the lens, and I was compositing, do I need to painstakingly paint a matte for this guy for each frame?
In SE you can use the garbage splines, usually you need to tweak every 10-25 frames, depending on the subject, and it only needs ot be rough. You can still add supervised (-> manual) trackers, and if your footage fits into RAM this is a breeze to set up.
It also has a green screen mode designed for markers that have been painted on a green (or blue) screen, which can then automatically disregard anything that is not on the green screen (it works extremely well too).

Cheers,
Mike

Anti-Distinctly
10-04-2006, 05:24 AM
I've seen a tutorial of removing people from a shot that was done with Icarus, which you can still get...somewhere. You can't use the software for commercial purposes anymore though as it was developed into PFtrack I think. Which is expensive. Either way, the tutorial is in the documentation, I'm sure the principles can be applied.

ColinSmith
10-04-2006, 06:52 AM
From what I remember of the Icarus tutorial it was more about creating a seamless background image free of moving people and cars by using selective parts of frames from the entire camera pan.
In the end it'd work if the camera move was a nodal pan, but not help otherwise...... I think.

Lottmedia
10-04-2006, 12:25 PM
It's not technically a 3d solution (but for the senerio you've mentioned you don't need one anyway) and I'm suprised no one had mentioned using After Effects. Any good compositer can do what you want (DFX, Combustion, AE, there's even a freeware one called Jakasha (sp?) that I think does tracking, Motion if your on a mac, Shake since the price has dropped) I just perfer AE to anything out there (although AE's particles are puny compared to Combustion and others) Every 3D artist should have some compositing software unless their work is done entirely in 3d, and even then it's usually better to compose elements seperately. Trying to composit in LW is just not en effective methodology, it's just not what it's made for. It's more expensive that Synth, but you end up getting so much more than just a dedicated tracking program.


Casey :cat:
(Dailey allotment of parentheticals down by 3)

TheDynamo
10-04-2006, 12:45 PM
The problem with the tracker though is that when you have shots like the one I posted it's basically a rotoscope job. The only way I was able to get a good track to put a screen inside that green monitor was to position it in 3D space and attempt to figure out where the composition's camera was going by moving it every 5 frames and then smoothing the inbetweens out to match the acutal camera movement. Thus my search (and thanks to the fellows above) and finding of syntheyes. Now if I can find the time to tinker with the demo version as much as I would like. :D

-Dyn

T-Light
10-04-2006, 01:20 PM
Sekhar -

Wow, did it work with moving bg as well, or just static stuff?
The demo they used to show of pixie dust (pixel dust) was of a snowboarder surfing down a mountain. The camera work was either handheld or tripod mounted, but either way, after the software was used the surboarder dissapeared, it was an incredible demo to watch, more advanced than anything else I've seen to date.

I think the other motion tracking stuff I've seen was also by boujou, they showed a kid on a skateboard being removed from a moving background scene, and a sporstcar being tracked heading along a road (behind bushes etc), all removed and replaced by correct sections of moving background. It was their current software range back then that was capable of this so you can imagine how excellent pixel dust was :)

It's good stuff.

There's a pdf white paper on matchmoving. Managed to find it a few years ago where they talked about trying motion tracking software on a tennis match (I think) and were amazed when the tennis players started to dissapear. If anyone knows the address of this pdf I'd love to have it, I managed to loose my copy some time ago.

Phil
10-04-2006, 01:36 PM
http://web.archive.org/web/20040213032539/http://www.2d3.com/2d3/products/pixeldust.shtml

T-Light
10-04-2006, 02:13 PM
Pity that site doesn't collect the vids Phil, they were worth watching.

Lottmedia
10-04-2006, 02:44 PM
The problem with the tracker though is that when you have shots like the one I posted it's basically a rotoscope job. The only way I was able to get a good track to put a screen inside that green monitor was to position it in 3D space and attempt to figure out where the composition's camera was going by moving it every 5 frames and then smoothing the inbetweens out to match the acutal camera movement. Thus my search (and thanks to the fellows above) and finding of syntheyes. Now if I can find the time to tinker with the demo version as much as I would like. :D

-Dyn

I remmeber using an AE function that would keep searching intelligently (same vextor/speed (yeah, I know, same thing)) if it lost the track point (for me usually the corner of a sign or a screen) and pick it up unless there was a radical change. Woorked great with people walking in front of the object and such. Haven't used it in a while though, I know that they completely redid the tracker in (6.5?) and haven't used it extensively since then

Casey :cat:
(parenthetical within parenthetical, bonus points!!)

Sekhar
10-04-2006, 08:49 PM
The problem with the tracker though is that when you have shots like the one I posted it's basically a rotoscope job. The only way I was able to get a good track to put a screen inside that green monitor was to position it in 3D space and attempt to figure out where the composition's camera was going by moving it every 5 frames and then smoothing the inbetweens out to match the acutal camera movement. Thus my search (and thanks to the fellows above) and finding of syntheyes. Now if I can find the time to tinker with the demo version as much as I would like.
You could try using 4 trackers in AE, one for each corner, and then apply the corner pin (under distort) effect on the vid you want to place in the greenscreen, the corners each using the keyframes from the corresponding tracker (add expression and use pick whip to point).

If you have a hi res version of your vid, I can do this and post the AE file and composited vid to show what I'm talking about. Needs AE Pro though.

Lottmedia
10-05-2006, 01:13 PM
You could try using 4 trackers in AE, one for each corner, and then apply the corner pin (under distort) effect on the vid you want to place in the greenscreen, the corners each using the keyframes from the corresponding tracker (add expression and use pick whip to point).

If you have a hi res version of your vid, I can do this and post the AE file and composited vid to show what I'm talking about. Needs AE Pro though.

I assumed anyone doing this would be using 4points with coner pin but good point

Casey :cst:

TheDynamo
10-05-2006, 01:23 PM
Speaking from the past, the tracker for the shot I posted would work for a bit, then go absolutely crazy once the initial trackers left the scene. I would reposition the tracking points (still works great in the new version of AE pro) but the problem is that corner pin effect was really overdistorting (wow new word!) the screen in the frame because the new position exaggerated the placement. Moving a camera through the composition though worked much better and took less time :) Only 1 item to keyframe instead of many.

I've attached the final.

-Dyn

P.S. heh I did enjoy adding the flare.