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3d track workflow Q

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Jef Huey3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 11, 2013 at 3:31:56 pm

Let's say I do a 3D track in Syntheyes and bring that project into AE.

I extract one frame of the back plate, take it to Photoshop and do clean up. I bring that frame back into AE and mask off the cleaned up feature. I use an appropriate tracking point null created by Syntheyes to place the cleaned up frame in the space. But now it is a fairly manual process to line up the cleaned up frame (using difference). Once done, all is fine.

Is there a more elegant way of getting the cleaned up frame to "sit" where it should? It seems at if there should be.

Thanks,

Jef


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 12, 2013 at 11:06:46 pm

When lining up the frame, the CTI should be at the frame which you used to create the clean plate. I then replace the Null with the clean plate - select Null in the Timeline and then dragging the clean plate from the Project Panel and holding down the ALT/Option key and then dropping the clean plate directly over the Null.

Now it's a matter of making the 3D layer (clean plate) match the 2D layer WITHOUT messing about with the clean plate's position property since this is the solved tracking data. Thus, you have the other transforms to mess about with and even the Corner Pin effect.

I use the following Expression on the Scale property -
distance = length(sub(position[2], thisComp.activeCamera.position[2]));
scale * (distance / thisComp.activeCamera.zoom)


This Expression scales the layer to fit its original size. Now it's a matter of scrubbing the Anchor Point so that the clean plate's layer edges match the comp edges. This is probably something that can be done with Expressions but I don't know how - yet.

Now it's a matter of drawing in your mask and feathering it.

FWIW, when I camera track with AE's built-in 3D tracker, I get a slight perspective shift with a track/solved Null - no such thing with a track/solved Solid.

Finally, most folks use projection mapping for such tasks but I find my method sufficiently robust and much faster to set up.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Walter SoykaRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 13, 2013 at 6:16:03 pm

Nice workflow, Roland!

I've wrapped this up with a couple other expressions (anchor point and orientation, plus opacity at 100%) into an animation preset you can apply to the plate after alt-dragging the clean plate to replace the tracker null. There is a "Reference Frame" slider here; you'll have to input the frame number from the clean plate here for everything to line up.

I think that you were seeing perspective issues because 1) you don't mention correcting orientation, and 2) your expression allows the scale to vary over time (as the null/plate's position changes relative to the camera). I think it should be locked to the distance at the reference time, no?

I don't do a ton of tracking, but everything is working after a couple quick tests. I am of course open to feedback if I've missed something.

6400_keen3dcameratrackernullplatetransform.zip

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 13, 2013 at 7:43:51 pm

Thanks Walter. I'll dive into your ZIP package as early as I can tomorrow morning. It's close to 4AM now and I'm knackered! :-(

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 3:12:19 pm

Hi Walter, I've played a bit with your script. It looks promising but needs more tweaking.

The Scale Expression seems to be more accurate with this script -

refTime = framesToTime(effect("Reference Frame")("Slider"));
//distance = length(sub(position.valueAtTime(refTime)[2], thisComp.activeCamera.position.valueAtTime(refTime)[2]));

distance = length(sub(position.valueAtTime(refTime), thisComp.activeCamera.position.valueAtTime(refTime)));
scale * (distance / thisComp.activeCamera.zoom.valueAtTime(refTime))


I've essentially removed references to [2] in the position array. I believe this provides a more accurate result.

The refTime variable is a good feature that you added. There's still more testing to be done as I'm still having issues with the AnchorPoint location

I've been testing with these two clips, Blaster Walk HD and Survey Shot HD from here http://www.hollywoodcamerawork.us/trackingplates.html

While testing, it is important that the freeze frame/clean plate is created on the frame where the insert area provides itself at its highest rez. This precludes the first frame on a fair number of shots.

I intend to test on the 1st, last and a few frames in the middle. The z-position of the area/object to be removed is also crucial since the higher rez requires more accuracy.

Also important, it seems, is the type of camera movement - things get tricky with larger camera moves. Hence, it's best to test on footage with large camera moves.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Walter SoykaRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 3:36:34 pm

Hi Roland,

I'm working on a couple of fixes -- I think I've got an even more accurate solution for scale now.

Can we take this offline? You can reach me at walter at keenlive dot com.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:22:28 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I'm working on a couple of fixes -- I think I've got an even more accurate solution for scale now."

Awesome! And I think I may have found a robust solution for Orientation - which was actually so ridiculously obvious. lol

I'll drop you an email shortly. In the meantime, please download those two files that I mentioned in the previous post - it'll give us proper references to with.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Jef HueyRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:34:33 pm

Hey guys!

Don't do totally offline. I have been reading and absorbing. Please let us learn from your work.

Thanks,

Jef


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Walter SoykaRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:37:35 pm

[Jef Huey] "Hey guys! Don't do totally offline. I have been reading and absorbing. Please let us learn from your work."

Hi Jef,

Don't worry, that's not our style around here. We'll be back with a more robust solution!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter SoykaRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:34:48 pm

Here's the latest:

6413_keen3dcameratrackernullplatetransformv3.zip


This file is an animation preset [link]. To install it, unzip it and place it in one of the following directories:

(Windows)
My DocumentsAdobeAfter Effects CCUser Presets

(Mac)
~/Documents/Adobe/After Effects CC/User Presets


When applied to a clean plate that has replaced a 3D camera tracked null or solid, this will preserve the layer's position in 3D space but should automatically correct its anchor, scale, and orientation.

This is not a replacement for projection -- see Ben Rollason's sweet script Projection [link] to do this the right way -- but it can be useful for quick and dirty clean-up when the perspective does not change too dramatically.

Here's the workflow:

1. Create a tracked/solved null or solid.
2. Duplicate it.
3. Alt-drag your clean plate onto the duplicated layer.
4. Apply this FFX.
5. Set the reference time to the frame number from which the clean plate was created.
6. Mask as necessary; toggle orientation to camera lock as necessary; animate orientation property as necessary.

Again, many thanks to RoRK for his guidance. There are now some comments in the expressions that explain what's going on, but I'm happy to go into more detail if there are questions. Feedback is always welcome!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jef HueyRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:45:25 pm

Hi Walter,

Excellent. Will take a look at this ASAP. Appreciate the work.

Cheers,

Jef


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:11:14 am

I was going to mention Ben's Projection script but I forgot!
Sorry Ben ;-)

Looks like a good V3 Walter. Let's see if we can improve it a bit more. I'll revert to you offline.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Jef HueyRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Sep 8, 2013 at 10:53:28 pm

Hey Walter,

Any chance of saving that Animation Preset as a CS6 preset?

Thanks,

Jef


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Walter SoykaRe: 3d track workflow Q
by on Sep 10, 2013 at 5:42:20 pm

[Jef Huey] "Any chance of saving that Animation Preset as a CS6 preset?"

Hi Jef,

Here you go:
http://f1.creativecow.net/6496/keen-3d-camera-tracker-null-plate-transform-...

This will work for quick and dirty 2D solutions -- if you need a proper projection solution, I highly recommend Ben Rollason's Projection script [link].

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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