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Motion Tracking Keyframes

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Michael SchnyerMotion Tracking Keyframes
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 1:58:40 pm

Hey everyone, here's the setup.

I am motion tracking blue screen footage and bringing the 3D camera data into 3DS Max. I want to be able to have multiple camera shots in the same export, which means keyframing the camera's position from shot to shot.

I haven't dealt too much with motion track data in 3DS, and am having some trouble. When I try to keyframe my camera's position (in Shot 1) and then move it to the next position (Shot 2), it doesn't seem to register. Meaning, when I scrub through the timeline the camera only seems to stay at the latest keyframed position the entire time, as opposed to moving at the frames indicated.

Please help me with this if you can, I really appreciate it.

Michael Schnyer
Aspiring Filmmaker and Editor
After Effects
Premier Pro
3DS Max


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Eric BlevinsRe: Motion Tracking Keyframes
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:01:17 pm

Tracking data in 3D results in a keyframe on every frame of the animation. If you want to add addition keys, like changing the position of the camera, then the easiest way to do this is to work in layers.

Open up the animation layers and add a new layer. You can then keyfram this layer, and because it is nonlinear, it will add to your animation without replacing the existing keyframes.

I hope that this helps.


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Michael SchnyerRe: Motion Tracking Keyframes
by on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:14:05 pm

Thanks for the quick response! I will give this a shot and see how it goes.

Michael Schnyer
Aspiring Filmmaker and Editor
After Effects
Premier Pro
3DS Max


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Michael SchnyerRe: Motion Tracking Keyframes
by on Apr 1, 2010 at 6:32:58 pm

Hi Eric, I have another question.

Your animation layer suggested worked just fine, and allows me to move the camera around without interrupting the motion tracking keyframes.

As you know from the other post I put up a while ago, I'm trying to conform all my cameras into one, and I'm having some trouble with that.

The first camera has the first set of keyframes. Then I add an animation layer and keyframe my camera to move to another location using the step interpolation, which works great. However, when I import a new camera and try to copy the keyframes to my original camera, I start to get some issues.

What happens is that my original camera (A) takes on the rotation/location properties of the second camera (B). I've tried using Set Key and adding keyframes just before Camera B's, I've tried putting Camera B's keyframes into a separate animation layer, and I've tried putting them into the original layer. None of this seems to work, and the keyframes I had from Camera A are affected by Camera B's copied keyframes. Where beforehand Camera A was facing one direction at frame 0, it now faces a completely other direction because of the new keyframes.

If you have any advice about how to approach this it would be greatly appreciated, you've already been a huge help thus far.

Michael Schnyer
Aspiring Filmmaker and Editor
After Effects
Premier Pro
3DS Max


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Eric BlevinsRe: Motion Tracking Keyframes
by on Apr 2, 2010 at 4:59:07 pm

It sounds like the keyframes from camera B are replacing the original keyframes. This could be due to the start time of the keyframes. I don't know if it will work but try this:

1. Select all of the keyframes in camera b and move them over so that the first keyframe starts when you want it to. Run the animation and make sure that camera b is still moving corrrectly.

2. If all is well with camera b, then copy the keyframes from camera b to a new layer of camera a.

Hopefully this will move the keyframes to the correct time.

This is an interesting problem and I hope that this helps in solving it.


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Michael SchnyerRe: Motion Tracking Keyframes
by on Apr 2, 2010 at 5:43:01 pm

Hi, thanks for the response, of course.

I forgot to mention that part, but since the motion-tracked shots are all continuous from the same scene, they only have data within specific timeframes. For instance, my first shot is 0-126, and my second is 127-454. I checked to see if keyframes were being overwritten and it didn't appear to be.
What happens is that when I copy the two tracks together, they both will still animate the way they should. However, the original set of keyframes are affected by the following keyframes position/rotation. So even though it's still animating, the base/starting position has been affected.

I think I'm going to just render out into separate camera shots to save all this complexity, though I do really appreciate your help with this. I think ultimately it'll be faster to render the individual shots (originally I wanted to have the render go through all at once so I could set it to render over night and not lose time during the daytime when I need to be editing).

Michael Schnyer
Aspiring Filmmaker and Editor
After Effects
Premier Pro
3DS Max


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