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Drawing in air

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Ellis ClaytonDrawing in air
by on Aug 25, 2011 at 10:26:26 am

I want to be able to use motion tracking to create drawings, writing etc. in midair, but I'm unsure how to do this.
To give a bit more detail, I want to do the same type of thing to when Tom Riddle wrote using his wand in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, but only the writing part, not the rearranging of letters (from 2:29 to 2:39):

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Drawing in air
by on Aug 25, 2011 at 3:12:19 pm

It's a bit vague- what exactly do you want to achieve? Writing letters with a moving object (stick, wand, whatever) or tracking an object and leaving a streak of fire/smoke behind based on the actual movement? It may seem the same thing but there are two different issues. In the first case the actor simulates the "writing" using gestures that approximate the letters and then the actual letters are designed, built and a reveal is animated. The text has a predefined form though that may not exactly match the move. The elements can be built using stock effects footage (fire loop) and particles to generate smoke, like in the clip you posted.
In the second situation, you are actually tracking the tip of the moving object and using that data you create shapes that replicate exactly the movement. Here you would use the tracking data to link a Light and then use that in articular for example to generate a particle streak.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Ellis ClaytonRe: Drawing in air
by on Aug 27, 2011 at 2:48:49 am

Thanks for the quick response.
In the end, I managed to work it out shortly after posting on here. What I did was I tracked the object that I wanted to write with (wand, finger etc.) and applied the tracking data to the write on effect. So, I wanted to write letters, not leave a streak of smoke.

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Vedant Pratap Singh JadonRe: Drawing in air
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 5:27:26 pm

I wanna try something similar to this. Ellis Clayton Can u please tell me how exactly you did this? I'm having two problems,
First, the motion tracker isn't able to completely track my wand/finger tip and loses the track halfway through. What should I do? Change the camera angle perhaps? My camera sits on a tripod and doesn't moves cause I'm alone and there is no one to hold it for me.

My second problem is even if I do track my finger or wand's tip, how can I link that to the write-on effect?

Please, I need a detailed description of this .. Or better yet, if you can make a tutorial regarding this "mid-air writing", it would be just awesome! Help me please..

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