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Very difficult footage for motion tracking

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Jesse Bowen-Saunders
Very difficult footage for motion tracking
on Feb 10, 2019 at 12:19:20 pm

So I've scoured the internet and not a lot of places tend to deal with the issue I'm facing. I'm animating a lyric video for a client who has previously shot a bunch of footage of a drummer. The footage however is extremely low red light with a few LED strips in shot and flashing white cans programmed to the music. Not only that but the cuts are fast paced, the camera is moving all around the place, there are some shots where the moving drummer and moving symbols are the only things in frame that aren't black and the shutter speed gives a fair bit of motion blur in the faster movements.

I'm really worried that this footage is untrackable. I've tried brightening the footage in a precomputed which seems to track better and I've tried masking out the moving drummer but often I'll get patched of "could not solve camera for this frame" and random jittery movement (probably from the flashing lights)

I've tried mocha but I the lighting interferes and I haven't tried point tracking because I already know that's going to be a nightmare.

If someone has any ideas please please please let me know you'd be a lifesaver!

Thanks.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Very difficult footage for motion tracking
on Feb 10, 2019 at 5:14:24 pm

As you were scouring the internet did you find references to the phrase, "we'll fix it in post"?

I'm afraid that's what you're up against -- a person's assumption that computers can fix ANYTHING! They can fix a lot, but your description of the footage leads me to think your tracking will be done almost totally by hand. It will only be slightly less painful and time-consuming than rotoscoping by hand.

I wish I had better news, but I can't think of any.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Very difficult footage for motion tracking
on Feb 10, 2019 at 7:14:21 pm

Flashing light and motion blur are an absolute nightmare. Not sure that you can do anything but track forward and stop when it goes off the rails, manually fix until the tracker can follow again, etc.

I don't know if it is worth a try but maybe some de-flicker type fix of the footage might help. Probably won't.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Martin Brennand
Re: Very difficult footage for motion tracking
on Feb 10, 2019 at 10:03:13 pm

Hi Jesse,

Do you mind sending a sample of the footage over to martinb [at] borisfx.com? I'd like to see if there is a way Mocha can handle it.

Cheers!

Martin Brennand | Product Manager | mocha - Imagineer Systems


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Jesse Bowen-Saunders
Re: Very difficult footage for motion tracking
on Feb 10, 2019 at 11:44:06 pm

Hi everyone,
thanks for your responses.

Dave, I didn't but I've been on many-a-set where that, even jokingly, becomes final say. It's quite interesting because the film maker's need to make things easier and more time efficient for themselves often leads to their own vision becoming difficult or impossible to enact. This however might be a case of them unfortunately not having much information on what they should do for VFX handy. Any more ideas on different hand tracking techniques? It'd be amazing to be able to set up even a simple 3D camera because there is supposed to be quite a bit of animation, and I just want to be able to work freely in a 3D space.

Kalleheikki, Such a technique of tracking I'm afraid might not fit in the clients budget haha but I can bring all this up. Also I've tried some de-flicker like effects however I'm afraid it won't do too well since the flashing alternates between left and right of frame. So that means it's not a uniform flicker. That being said what's the best de-flicker technique in after effects?

Martin, thank you for your interest. I've sent you an email containing a short cut together of all the clips. Hope you have better luck with it than I have!

Thank you all again, I'm new to this forum and am so impressed at everyone's willingness to help out. You all seem like a bunch of really passion driven problem solvers, this has to be consistently the best and most helpful community I've seen!

Cheers,
Jesse.


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Sam Rae
Re: Very difficult footage for motion tracking
on Feb 19, 2019 at 10:42:05 pm

Wow that sounds challenging, and awesome. I hope things are going good or I'm curious to know how it went.
So the client wants the lyrics to appear as if they are in the scene itself? Like augmented reality? As I've seen some other lyric videos.

Only thing I can think of is more workflow tips---but slowing down the video first and making keyframes or timestamps of the switch in camera angles. Then animating along to the slowed down version.


If the client doesn't mind, hopefully they'd still like to have just some of the text move at the same time as something in a scene, but only for part of the movement---then the lyrics will linger on screen for a bit to be readable


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