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AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects

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Dan PowersAE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:33:03 am

I have a ton of composites to do and AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects.
For example, several objects near camera and midground no problem, but get something far away and it just will not create any track targets.
Take a look at this scene. http://www.p3hd.com/dan/tracker2.jpg
The white boxes are squares I tracked and placed into the scene using the old 2D motion tracker and rendered out to a new file. Adobe support says 3D cam tracker required sharp bright objects to track. Wrong. So whats up here?

Dan Powers
P3 Media
Austin, TX


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:51:05 am

It's hard to say what the issue is with just a still. I can assure you that AE's 3D Camera Tracker does track objects in the distance -

A lot depends on having sufficient parallax to allow for a camera solve. You may also want to hover your cursor over the distant areas to see if the target visual appears. Track points further into the distance will be smaller. At times, they are not visible to the naked eye. You can increase the tracking point size from the Effect COntrols Panel.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Dan PowersRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:05:35 am

I have adjusted the size and looked in the background and it creates no targets in the distance. I am uploading an H264 of one of the clips to my server. Even though there are cliffs and trackable objects in the background it will not attach to them. Your sample photo, was it shot from tripod or jib? My scenes were shot from an RC Helicopter. I have been experimenting with cropping out areas that I do not want tracked and precomposing that and then it seems to look at the distant elements, but I have to remove most of the foreground elements...
Link to scene http://www.p3hd.com/dan

Dan Powers
P3 Media
Austin, TX


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Tom DaigonRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:33:24 am

The AE tracker is good, but not as versatile as a dedicated tracker like Syntheyes. I downloaded your scene and used SE to track it. I also created a supervised tracker on one of your marker cards.

Did you try activating the "Detailed" box in the AE tracker?



Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





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Dan PowersRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:38:37 am

Thanks Tom, good to know it can at least be done. I did have some success with precomping the file and removing much of the foreground objects with a mask. I would love to have Syntheyes but am hesitant to drop $600. May wait to see if 6.5 improves the AE tracker. Quite pleased with it otherwise.

Dan Powers
P3 Media
Austin, TX


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Tom DaigonRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:40:49 am

Glad to help, Dan. Good luck!

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:47:01 am

Hi Dan, I switched on Detailed Analysis - found under the Advanced section of the 3D Camera Tracker and managed these tracking results



HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 2:12:07 am

FWIW, I tried the tracking the clip with mochaPro V3 and obtained an excellent camera solve.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Dan PowersRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 3:25:58 am

I just tried that on another trouble scene and nada. I uploaded another test clip at http://www.p3hd.com/dan

Its the test 3 file. It is only one second so it is a quicker test. With this scene it gets only the lower third of the scene. No mountains at all.

Dan Powers
P3 Media
Austin, TX


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 4:24:47 am

My results are more on the positive -


BTW, you can use mocha's planar tracking to get very good results even without the camera solve. If you want a camera solve, then mocha's camera solve seems to work better with these type of shots.

I would also like to add that placing solids into the scene with only transform data will not help but may actually confuse 3D trackers as the solid's reference/track points will not exhibit perspective changes, which are there for the other inherent points in the footage. Further, a short shot may not necessarily be a better choice to test a camera solve as the short duration may not provide sufficient parallax/clues to the tracking algorithm.

TIP #1 - once you've completed your track, you can switch off the visibility of the tracking footage in the timeline. if you select the effect either in the effects control panel or the timeline, you will be able to view the tracked points on a black background (provided you have no other layers in the timeline and your comp background is set to black. this procedure allows to have a better view of the tracked points as well as to scrub the timeline to look for bad points; defined by their short lifespan. you can delete these points and the 3D cam tracker will initiate another solve based on the left-over points.

TIP # 2 - once you have a target onscreen, you can click on the triangle within it to lock the target in place. then move your cursor towards the center of the target until your cursor has a four-sided arrow at its bottom right. you can then click at the center of the circle and drag the target to a new location, within the same plane. This allows you to offset the location of your insert layer so that you are not confined to placing your insert at the location of the target points or the center of the target.

TIP # 3 - you can download a demo of mochaPro V3 to test its camera solve routine. I think they work better for such shots.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Dan PowersRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 4:37:53 am

Thanks Roland. We you able to get ANY mountain results with test3? In order to make that clip work I had to precomp it and crop out most of the foreground. It is strange to me that it wouldnt look at the blue mountain in the right background. AE gave me no points. Maybe after effects Solve cannot handle depth beyond a certain z value...

Dan Powers
P3 Media
Austin, TX


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: AE CS6 3D camera tracker will not track distant objects
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 6:28:49 am

Firstly, the issue has to do with the analysis stage rather than the solve - apologies if I seem to be pedantic but I believe that we should try to be as precise as possible, to prevent ambiguity.

There are two primary issues with AE's cam solver -
1) inability to allow the user to define areas of interest prior to the analysis stage

2) lack of a productive, post-solve procedure to allow for concrete improvements to be made for less-than-desired solves. there are of course a few ways to improve a solve should the tracking engine be allowed a second go at the tracking issue

Perhaps the 3D came tracking algorithm scans from bottom to top and there is a limited number of track points per solve - to conserve RAM usage. Lotsa perhaps but it is obvious that the algorithm needs to allow itself or the user to solve based on a wider range of points along, especially within the z-axis.

You'll do us all a favor if you could file a Bug Report to the AE Team. Please include your AEP and footage so that they have better leverage with which to analyse the prevalent issues.

Bug and Feature Requests to the AE Team can be posted here - https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform.

Lastly, the blue mountains can be easily tracked with mocha. A search spline similar to what I've used, in the image below, provides for a solid track. Just remember to switch on Translation & Scale and switch off all other tracking variables, ie rotation, shear and perspective and you should be able to come up with a solid track. You will even be able to export a 4-point, Corner Pin tracking data into AE to meet your needs.

I am hopeful that you can see the merits to having more than one tool at your disposal. What works best differs according to the issue on hand.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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