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Tracking a rotating head in AE - is it possible?

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Jonathan Shearon
Tracking a rotating head in AE - is it possible?
on Aug 19, 2017 at 1:31:07 am

I'm trying to place a 3D model of a helmet onto a real person's moving head in a video clip with AE and Element 3D (for the model).

I first tried tracking part of the face in Mocha AE. That works great for a solid or null with corner pin, but E3D apparently doesn't react to corner pins on its generated null.

I also tried Andrew Kramer's technique of cropping and precomping just the head and using the regular camera tracker to trick AE into tracking the face as if it were a landscape, but this always results in camera solve fails for me.

Lastly, there's a Hitfilm tutorial where they track an Iron Man-style HUD to a face in 3D, very similar to what I'm trying to do. This is accomplished in hitfilm by cleverly putting a fixed null in the approximate position of the center of the head in 3D space, then 2d tracking a point on the face and finally telling the fixed null to always orient itself to the 2d tracked null. It's a hack but kind of brilliant. Is this possible in AE?

Any other ideas?


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Mark Whitney
Re: Tracking a rotating head in AE - is it possible?
on Aug 19, 2017 at 2:13:10 am

You don't mention which version of AE you have, but the later CC versions have a face tracker as part of the built in tracker. If that's the case with you, you might just research using that.

There was a similar thread here a few weeks ago so you might dig down on the forum a bit and find that topic too.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Tracking a rotating head in AE - is it possible?
on Aug 19, 2017 at 8:55:36 am

Yes you can certainly do the HitFilm trick. AE can have nulls in 3D (or at least pseudo 3d) and using expressions you can make another 3d layer that has been dragged about by a 2D track always point to the head-centered null. There will be a point where the illusion falls apart due the 2D track but you can also compensate for this by adding secondary animation keyframes to the expression to "goose" the track data and get the parallax you are after.



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Tracking a rotating head in AE - is it possible?
on Aug 19, 2017 at 10:40:02 am

Try this:
http://www.vdodna.com/tutorials/iron-man-hud/

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor Ae Blues Tutorials
http://www.tzoref.com


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Jonathan Shearon
Re: Tracking a rotating head in AE - is it possible?
on Aug 20, 2017 at 4:27:09 pm

Thank you all so much for your help. The Vdodna tutorial was exactly what I was looking for and did the trick.


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