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Student Project - using real life footage with Maya

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Scott Norris
Student Project - using real life footage with Maya
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:27:39 pm

Hi guys,

Basically, I've modelled a spaceship (cliche I know!) and intend to drop it into real life footage. I'm now happy with the spaceship, but I'm struggling to find how to implement it into my footage. I came across an AE plug-in, which would allow me to do so, Element 3D, but i'm using University computers & can't install anything. Also, I think it uses it's own textures? Which is obviously a pain.

If someone could simply point me in the right direction, it would be brilliant! Do I need to import a series of stills, like for matchmoving, and bring them into Maya? Can I then use Boujou matchmoved data to do what I intend? I hope I'm being clear enough!

Thanks very much for any help! :)


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Ben van Hamelen
Re: Student Project - using real life footage with Maya
on Jan 18, 2013 at 2:08:46 pm

Roughly, the pipeline would be like this:

1) Shoot your footage. Always keep a shot-by-shot list which includes focal length and aperture. You'll need this later, along with the size of your camera's film back.
2) If necessary, convert it to a PNG-sequence. Maya won't accept .mov files for example.
3) Bring it into Boujou or PFTrack. Put in the focal length/aperture/film back information, track your shot, solve your camera, etc. I can't go into how to matchmove here, but there are plenty of sources that will teach you much better than I ever could.
4) Export your camera and import it into Maya. Usually it'll have your .PNG sequence attached to the camera, which is nice. This is the point where you bring in your model, match its scaling to the scene if necessary, etc, do whatever you need to do.
5) Render your project, preferably without the .PNG sequence in the background. Bring your 3D render and the backplate back together in AE.

Like I said, roughly. I can't explain it in much more detail, because I'd have enough to fill a book. I'll leave you with some very good learning sources:

FXPHD has/had a _great_ course on matchmoving in PFTrack. Combined with Tim Dobbert's book on matchmoving, you'll soon be a matchmoving master. Digital Tutors offer a nice course covering the entire pipeline from matchmoving to compositing. I'd start there.

Good luck.

Ben van H.

http://www.fireinthesole.com/


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Scott Norris
Re: Student Project - using real life footage with Maya
on Jan 18, 2013 at 3:03:10 pm

This sounds perfect, I think you covered everything I wanted to know - thank you very much for taking the time to answer!


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