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Tracking Sci-Fi TouchScreen Interface Shot with Mocha (Shot with Actors hands Rapidly Moving)

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Brett Celinski
Tracking Sci-Fi TouchScreen Interface Shot with Mocha (Shot with Actors hands Rapidly Moving)
on Jan 14, 2012 at 1:07:35 am

Hey Cow. I am working on a shot of a "matrix" style scifi video. The shot is a greenscreen with the actor's hands in front of the camera, from the POV of the actor, as if they were looking at a computer console.

The idea here is to create a rapidly moving touchscreen scifi interface with menus/gizmos/widgets that the actor is clicking on with the hands and fingers. These high-tech windows are moving towards the screen in a massive tunnel of ads, spinning and rotating around, layer after layer. The actor's hands and fingers are continuously selecting different menus and flipping/swiping them off the screen with the hands over and over again, like a futuristic iPad esque touchscreen.

I am having trouble figuring out what exactly needs to be tracked in this shot in Mocha. Both hands end up moving at some point in the shot, but one hand does stay relatively stationary for a longer time. Do I track the one hand then and adjust the bezier mask when it moves? Do I track each hand individually? Or do I track the imaginary plane behind the actor's hands, and what would I do to avoid the hands interfering? Or do I track the tiny area in between the actors hands?

Or do I need to track such a shot at all? I'd assume tracking data would help for this shot as I could use C4d to add the scifi elements as well as in AE.

Any help would be appreciated. Best cg related help board on the net! *brownnosing* Thanks!


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Tracking Sci-Fi TouchScreen Interface Shot with Mocha (Shot with Actors hands Rapidly Moving)
on Jan 14, 2012 at 6:37:34 pm

I would choreograph the hands movement based on a clear storyboard.
Start by deciding what images, how many, how you want them to move.
Do a simple animation test using semitransparent solids to see the movement and get a feel for how fast the hands can move. Spend time coaching the actor to move the hands according to your storiboard.
Have a couple of people on live light fx- strong LED flashlights should do- put them on the hands from the sides (outside frame) to simulate the objects in the interface approaching and interacting with the movement.
Finally, because the movement of the hands is fast, tracking will be hard and I am not sure that it will help. I would comp in the hands keyed out and animate by hand the elements in 3d space in AE to match the movement and the storyboard.
Here's an example of something I did:






Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Brett Celinski
Re: Tracking Sci-Fi TouchScreen Interface Shot with Mocha (Shot with Actors hands Rapidly Moving)
on Jan 14, 2012 at 7:50:19 pm

Thanks Tudor!

All I was aiming for is to have a reference point so the elements appear to exist in the same perspective as the actor etc. But I realized that this is a still shot with no camera movement. I was going to attempt something like this in terms of tracking:

http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/vfx/tracking-a-futuristic-high-tech-floati...

But in that tut the creator has one hand holding a cd still so it can be tracked. Since both hands are moving in this shot, tracking may be more trouble than it's worth. Would you suggest I comp in a solid rectangle with four dots/x's on the corners in AE, behind the actor's hands, and then track that?

I still would like some kind of camera reference point so I can make a convincing scene in c4d perspective wise and transfer that to AE.

Would just eyeballing it prove easier in the end?


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Tracking Sci-Fi TouchScreen Interface Shot with Mocha (Shot with Actors hands Rapidly Moving)
on Jan 15, 2012 at 10:16:46 am

From what I understand your interface will be seen from the actors pov.
In this situation eyeballing it will be the way to go.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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