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mhaynesjr
12-10-2008, 10:13 AM
I have had Lightwave for a while, but finally decided to start actually using it and one of the areas that has interested me is integrating animations with video. What I want to do is work with the video footage (background plate?) and animate objects, characters, etc that interact with the footage. Now, if the camera is not moving, it seems as simple as taking a frame and just using that as a background, but how do you work with special effects with moving objects? For example, say I want someone to juggle imaginary objects. I would assume you would need the reference footage to sync the 3d objects with the juggler's hands. Can I load video into LW Layout so I have a reference to the footage?

Thanks in advance for helping this noob out. Its obviously done a lot in the industry, I just can't find any references to how its done.

Sekhar
12-10-2008, 04:46 PM
It's a process called "matchmoving" - google that term and you'll get plenty of info. Search on these NT forums too, there're quite a few threads. You might want to also get the book Matchmoving: The Invisible Art of Camera Tracking (http://www.amazon.com/Matchmoving-Invisible-Art-Camera-Tracking/dp/0782144039). In terms of SW, one very popular one is SynthEyes; there're also free ones.

The basic idea is that matchmoving software tracks points on the footage and reconstructs the 3D setup using some complex math. You then use that in LW, etc. to add your own CGI stuff.

I posted a short film example some time back here. Check out http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73719.

mhaynesjr
12-10-2008, 10:14 PM
Sekhar,

Thank you soo much for the reply. Its funny how one keyword makes all the difference. I tried soo many google phrases and now I have the magic word ;)

Mel

clintonman
12-10-2008, 11:33 PM
... there're also free ones.

...

I've heard of Voodoo. Are there other free ones available?

Wopmay
12-11-2008, 12:11 AM
Can I load video into LW Layout so I have a reference to the footage?


For this part you want to find the Compositing menu. I forget where it is because I've moved mine so I can find it easily. I think it was originally hidden in the top menu parts where File and such are located.

The trick is remembering that what you want is Compositing and not Backdrop, which would seem to make more sense except this is LightWave so anywhere you expect to find any controls is sort of irrelevant and you'll just have to get over it. ;-)

Anyway, Compositing is one of the tabs in the Effects Panel along with the Backdrop, Volumetrics and Processing tabs. Load the movie you want into the background by selecting "load image" from the drop down menu next to "Background Image" on the Compositing panel.

Be sure to go to the Image Editor next and verify that the "image type" for the movie you just added is set to the correct option (Still, Sequence, Animation, etc.). If it's a movie, the frames will match the frames on the timeline in LightWave. If it's a still (or is set to Still in the Image Editor panel), of course, the same pic will appear on every frame of the LightWave timeline.

one last thing. You probably want to be sure your LW camera has exactly the same pixel dimensions as the background movie. Set that on the Camera Properties Panel. (Select the camera, hit "P" for the Properties panel.)

Good luck.

jaxtone
12-11-2008, 03:18 AM
I have had Lightwave for a while, but finally decided to start actually using it and one of the areas that has interested me is integrating animations with video. What I want to do is work with the video footage (background plate?) and animate objects, characters, etc that interact with the footage. Now, if the camera is not moving, it seems as simple as taking a frame and just using that as a background, but how do you work with special effects with moving objects? For example, say I want someone to juggle imaginary objects. I would assume you would need the reference footage to sync the 3d objects with the juggler's hands. Can I load video into LW Layout so I have a reference to the footage?

Thanks in advance for helping this noob out. Its obviously done a lot in the industry, I just can't find any references to how its done.

I know that you asked for matchmoving with a background plate inside Lightwave but I thought it could be helpful for you to know there are other ways doing this as well. Alternatives that free your world of 3D in another way than expected.

You could as well read about Russ Andersonīs Syntheyes 3D Tracker!

http://www.ssontech.com/

I bought it a while ago but havenīt had time to learn it yet. But up to many of my friends that work with post, itīs great!

-EsHrA-
12-11-2008, 05:35 AM
check out new app VooCat from Scenespectors, cant beat the price :)

www.scenespector.com

mlon

mhaynesjr
12-11-2008, 08:05 AM
For this part you want to find the Compositing menu. I forget where it is because I've moved mine so I can find it easily. I think it was originally hidden in the top menu parts where File and such are located.

The trick is remembering that what you want is Compositing and not Backdrop, which would seem to make more sense except this is LightWave so anywhere you expect to find any controls is sort of irrelevant and you'll just have to get over it. ;-)

Anyway, Compositing is one of the tabs in the Effects Panel along with the Backdrop, Volumetrics and Processing tabs. Load the movie you want into the background by selecting "load image" from the drop down menu next to "Background Image" on the Compositing panel.

Be sure to go to the Image Editor next and verify that the "image type" for the movie you just added is set to the correct option (Still, Sequence, Animation, etc.). If it's a movie, the frames will match the frames on the timeline in LightWave. If it's a still (or is set to Still in the Image Editor panel), of course, the same pic will appear on every frame of the LightWave timeline.

one last thing. You probably want to be sure your LW camera has exactly the same pixel dimensions as the background movie. Set that on the Camera Properties Panel. (Select the camera, hit "P" for the Properties panel.)

Good luck.

This is the other piece of the puzzle I was looking for and actually saw it when watching the tutorial video for some of the software that exports to LW. This thread was very valuable to me and I really do thank you for replying to this.

I will point out ( for us Mac folks ) VooCat is not free for us, but its only around 150 bucks, which is a lot cheaper than the other options. I downloaded the demo last night and am going to try and put it through its paces to see how it performs.

archijam
12-11-2008, 08:45 AM
Also check out PFHoe, (by Pixel Farm) - it has a cheap and more advanced version, 50 + 100 pounds ..

.. and with the state of the pound at the moment ;)