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Sam Freeman
Tracking markers
on Feb 27, 2014 at 8:31:06 am

Hi guys,

I'm after some advice. I'm a long time user of After Effects and I'm quite experienced. I spend a lot of time fixing shots for adverts - tracking key features and swapping branding on products, painting out old brands, wires etc etc. I'm pretty good at it (modest too). I rarely get tracking marks to work with because the editor has dealt with those easier shots - I only get the car crash elements. And the scene background is generally very neutral coloured, so there isn't much info to work with for tracking.

However, next week I get the opportunity to actually go on the shoots and my responsibility will be laying out the tracking points. They're shooting with an unbranded product that will then need to be branded up in post - so I'll need to add tracking markers to this. I'm getting the branding artwork so I know where to put the markers. I'll also need to add markers into the scene to reference the floor and walls etc - hopefully this will give me something to work with...

My questions are

1) what should I use for a marker? I was thinking sticky dots, with a cross marked on them?
2) I'll use a variety of white, grey and black dots (depending on the surface)
3) I was avoiding coloured dots as these will be tough to paint of if there is motion blur, whilst greyscale should blend in - do you agree?
4) Is there anything else I need to worry about?
5) I use Mocha and Foundry camera tracker - are there any other programs that can assist me in my work?

I'm used to being able to sit in the graphics suite and curse 'the fool who didn't use markers' - now I have to put my money where my mouth is! I don't wish to be that fool...

Thanks for you help in advance - sorry if I've missed anything out.
Sam


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Tracking markers
on Feb 27, 2014 at 3:35:08 pm

Since you've done lots of post work on such tasks, you should know that markers are a two-edged knife. Too many can hurt as much as none/too few.

Without seeing the scene, it's hard to provide definitive advice. As for specific markers, if the marker(s) is going to be over integral areas, then make them a chroma color. If they are outside of the final composite area then use anything with high contrast.

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

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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Sam Freeman
Re: Tracking markers
on Feb 28, 2014 at 11:53:23 am

Thanks Roland - that's actually really useful. I can see myself getting over excited and fly posting the scene.

Unfortunately I won't be able to see the scene myself until Monday - and then we're straight into it. I'll make sure I use high contrast dots.

Thanks for your help!

Sam


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Tracking markers
on Feb 28, 2014 at 9:22:56 pm

Sam, if you're going to use mocha, then use markers with distinctive four-corner edges. This comes in really handy should you need to jump into mocha's Adjust Track module.

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

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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