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Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,

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jim lefevreImporting Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 22, 2012 at 11:48:12 am

Hey there,

I've trawled the forums and found lots of information about importing Matchmover into After Effects as a camera project (i.e. a '3d' project) but what I'm after is to import the actual information of the tracking points into After effects so that I can use them to attach some wire removal points to them rather than track the entire scene again.

I've exported the tracking data as a '.txt' file and the information i get is laid out like this...

TrackName Track_01
Frame X Y Correlation
1.00 817.748 100.708 1.000
2.00 813.603 100.676 1.000
3.00 806.605 100.605 1.000
4.00 797.781 102.009 1.000
5.00 789.841 103.557 1.000
6.00 783.636 104.786 1.000



but I can't seem to find a way to get it onto a NULL. I see that with Mocha you can simply copy and paste a text file directly onto a layer but I'm not familiar with the format that Mocha exports as. I was hoping that I could adjust the Matchmover txt doc format into that and try that.

Has anyone else managed to figure this one out?

many thanks in advance

Jim

http://www.jimlefevre.com


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 5:17:12 pm

From what I can recollect, most folks use the .ma file format to get their tracking data into AE.

The text formatting and metadata has to be structured and named in a way that AE understands the information. Perhaps you can open up a mocha tracked txt file to look at its structure and naming conventions.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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jim lefevreRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 8:35:03 am

Yes, so far as I've experimented annoyingly bringing on the .ma data gives you a wonderfully tracked camera with nulls for the tracking points BUT not the 2D tracking point data that I need (which you rightly state is within the txt data.

Your suggestion looks promising though...

Paraphrased from another post the After Effects position keyframe data looks like this...

Adobe After Effects 8.0 Keyframe Data

Units Per Second 25
Source Width 1920
Source Height 1080
Source Pixel Aspect Ratio 1
Comp Pixel Aspect Ratio 1

Transform Position
Frame X pixels Y pixels Z pixels
0 400 300 0
10 400 600 0


End of Keyframe Data


but the Matchmover tracking data is laid out like this...


TrackName Track_01
Frame X Y Correlation
1.00 817.748 100.708 1.000
2.00 813.603 100.676 1.000
3.00 806.605 100.605 1.000
4.00 797.781 102.009 1.000
5.00 789.841 103.557 1.000


So I'm trying almost every thing under the sun to try and re-format although I'm not entirely sure what are the things that I need to reformat to make it After Effects valid.

Obviously there's the bookends (all the bumpf before and after the numbers) and then I also have to take out the 'correlation' column - easy with find/replace) but it's still not working. I'm assuming that maybe the fact that I have numbers after the decimal points although can't find an easy way to get rid of those (have 7 tracking points of 500 frames so it'll be a massive manual slog!)

I've tried using Xcel but it doesn't interpret the figures correctly into columns....

Ho hum.. will post my progress if I get any!!!

x
j

http://www.jimlefevre.com


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 9:13:25 am

It looks like you're trying to attach 2D data onto 3D points (a 3D Null Layer's Position). If that's the case, then use the following Expression -

//Start Script
L = thisComp.layer("Target3DLayer");
L.toComp([50,50,0];
//End

Replace Target3DLayer with the name of the 3D Null you want the 2d data to follow. The 2D data point should coincide with the center of the 3D Null.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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jim lefevreRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:26:47 pm

Ah... yes, that sounds interesting...

Do you mean using that expression with the .ma approach? or Is that with my re-formatted shake/txt file which I've managed to do (i.e. a colleague has created a parser that reformats the Matchmover info into After Effects friednly format although it transpires that the shake info is not what I need as it very much doesn't work!)

If it is the former (using the Null's brought in with the Matchmover file)- is that expression to be put into the respective 2D Null's position.

Apologies as I've managed to confuse myself into a corner here!!

http://www.jimlefevre.com


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 1:01:07 pm

That Expression is to allow a 2D point to follow a 3D point. So, you will apply the Expression either to the position property of a 2D layer or onto an effect's producer/generator/effect point (such as the Lens Flare Effect) which has been applied to a 2D layer.

In essence, you want to have a 2D layer/effect follow a 3D layer's position which in this case happens to be a 2D Null, created as part of the Camera Solve from Matchmover.

However, if you've already parsed the formatting correctly then that's also a viable solution.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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jim lefevreRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 2:27:59 pm

AHA!!!!

SUCCESS


I've actually plumped for the parsing approach and, courtesy of the most brilliant brain residing in a colleague of mine, Patrick Hearn, we've managed to isolate the best Export file from Matchmover that has the 2D points in their entirety (RealivizAscii) and he has created a brilliant brilliant application which strips all of the information out and gives you individual .txt. files for each 2D tracking point.!!!

I've mentioned to Patrick that there have been a few people looking for exactly this so I'm hoping he is going to be generous enough to release it for public consumption and I shall update this post accordingly.

HOWEVER if anyone stumbles on this and I haven't then please PM me and I shall hound Patrick once more.


jim

http://www.jimlefevre.com


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 3:59:23 pm

That's awesome news Jim.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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jim lefevreRe: Importing Matchmover tracking points into After Effects,
by on May 10, 2012 at 2:11:32 pm

OK!!!

I've Done IT!

(I say I, in fact I mean the Mighty Patrick Hearn who works with me)

If anyone needs it I have a program that Patrick wrote that converts the REALVIZ ACII point tracks (.txt file) into a perfect .txt. file with tracking points that can be copy and pasted into any position value you want for every track point from the Matchmover file.

It's SOOOOO helpful I can't tell you.

All hail Patrick Hearn!!

(PM me for the program and if I don't respond maybe try me on jim at nexusproductions dot com)

http://www.jimlefevre.com


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