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Compositing live footage into a digital Environment.

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Lucas Schwartz
Compositing live footage into a digital Environment.
on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:56:48 pm

Hello everyone,

I would like to ask the community to point me in the right direction concerning production techniques used to composite real-life footage, into digitally created environments.

There are a relatively large number of tutorials that can be found online to explain the process of compositing digital elements such as "3D models" Into real-life footage such as photographs or videos. Unfortunately, so far I have been unsuccessful to find tutorials explaining the reverse version of this process where real-life footage is composited into a digital environment.

As a concrete example, what would be your workflow if your aim was to shoot a video of a real person, then import that footage into a cinema 4D scene, making the video footage look like as if the person was physically in the digital environment.

Would you be able to include direct examples of what would you consider before shooting your real-life footage, such as "camera placement", "light conditions" etc.

How could you ensure that the camera angle of the real-life footage will line up with the cinema 4D camera after importing the footage?

Thank you in advance to all who will take their time to respond!

Kind regards,


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Compositing live footage into a digital Environment.
on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:08:50 pm

my company puts real people into digital sets all the time. sometimes it looks better than others and I think i have narrowed down why.

1..Angles of the feet - they need to somewhat match your scene...this is probably obvious to most..but not to our video department. If you shoot at a high angle make sure your scene is set up as such.

2. placement and rotation. there is a script we use so make sure the actor is always facing the camera so no matter where the camera goes, the actor never distorts..Also make sure your actor is where they need to be by using all 4 views..make sure those feet are on the ground or close..

3.. shadows and reflections...without a shadow it looks like they are floating. and shadows are hard..try using a real light to cast shadows on a place..or vc reflect is pretty just might have to animate the position

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Blaise Douros
Re: Compositing live footage into a digital Environment.
on Apr 2, 2020 at 5:06:46 pm

This is where all the handy camera tracking tools come in. You can't create the C4D camera angle until you get your reference footage, perform camera track, and key out the background. Make sure you've logged the camera settings (focal length+sensor size so you can calculate the correct virtual camera to match). Then you generate your C4D scene based on the tracked movement of your real scene.

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