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Fixing a dolly shot

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Donald Mitchell
Fixing a dolly shot
on Apr 20, 2012 at 8:19:50 am

I shot a wheelchair user in my studio yesterday, I had wanted him to spin in his chair on the spot, but in the end, I used a dolly and semi-circular track to move around him, and he remained still. I didn't get everything centred though, so as the clip plays, he drifts from side to side a bit. I'm trying to figure out the best way of fixing his centre point to the centre of a comp, so he stays centred while the shot plays. Any ideas?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Fixing a dolly shot
on Apr 20, 2012 at 2:25:17 pm

It shouldn't be too tough to keep the subject centered by simply animating the position property.

You may have to tweak the keyframing a bit to get it just right, but it would still be a lot faster than doing it any other way.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter Soyka
Re: Fixing a dolly shot
on Apr 20, 2012 at 6:12:50 pm

[Donald Mitchell] "I'm trying to figure out the best way of fixing his centre point to the centre of a comp, so he stays centred while the shot plays."

You are interested in tracking and stabilization [link].

If you have AE CS5.5, you could give the Warp Stabilizer [link] a spin.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Dave LaRonde
Re: Fixing a dolly shot
on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:09:52 pm

[Donald Mitchell] "I didn't get everything centred though, so as the clip plays, he drifts from side to side a bit."

I know Walter, one of those Guys Who Really Knows His Stuff, recommends tracking the shot or using Warp Stabizer, but if the description above is accurate -- side-to-side drift on an arcing shot -- I'm going to stick with my initial recommendation of animating position.

You would only have to change the shot's horizontal position. If it's a case where the camera was locked down on the dolly, the drift is occurring as some kind of a trigonometric function and you may only need two or three keyframes, plus a little tweaking in the Graph Editor.

Now, if the dolly track or the wheels were rough, that's a different story....

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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