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3D camera tracking in After Effects ...

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Mike Smartt
3D camera tracking in After Effects ...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 8:15:17 pm

I have a somewhat difficult scene I'm tracking. It's shot from a helicopter directly above and pulling up in the Y axis (world) away from a vehicle and then pulls backwards in the Z axis (world) while dropping back down in the Y, creating parallax but only with the asphalt. To make things more difficult there are about 40-50 bicyclists moving around the vehicle in a circular motion. To make it even more fun, some are moving in a counter-clockwise direction and some are moving in a clockwise direction. Now I've managed to create a camera by masking and tracking the car but there are a couple of minor hiccups. I can fix this manually by adjusting the camera keyframes after the solve but is there a way to adjust/fine-tune the tracking before the solve?

Here's where I'm mostly confused because I have not had to do this in the past. I need to drop geometry in the scene as if it were in camera which is straight forward but the client also wants to add a small graphic above the head of every bicycle rider. That means I need to track 50 moving objects within a scene that already has camera movement. At first I thought this would be easy but hours and hours and days later, not so much.

Project is confidential but I included a painstakingly detailed;) image of 1st and final frames for reference.

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Todd Kopriva
Re: 3D camera tracking in After Effects ...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 8:58:17 pm

You can delete tracking points that are on things (like the cyclists) that you don't want to be considered for camera tracking. It's tedious if you have a lot of items, but it can help.

I show how to do it here:

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: 3D camera tracking in After Effects ...
on Mar 21, 2013 at 12:55:42 am

AE's 3D Camera Tracker does not track moving objects UNLESS the moving object moves at a speed that is very close to a moving camera. IOW, you will need another type of tracker for your task.

mochaAE/mochaPro should handle the asphalt quite well - increase the contrast of the tracking clip (ie pre-process) and see if that helps.

It's a lot of eye-balling and heads-down for the 50 cyclists. Either mocha or AE's 2D tracker should suffice - this is of course me being borderline presumptuous without seeing the actual footage.


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