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Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens

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Jake mendezOpinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 5:19:08 pm
Last Edited By Jake mendez on Mar 6, 2014 at 5:37:19 pm

Hey guys, was hoping to get your opinion on this. I've been doing mo graph for several years commercially, but admittedly have not done a motion tracking job in a couple of years. I'm familiar with mocha so thats what I'll be using with AE CS6. A client needs several shots of a phone with the screen replaced with graphics later on. The shots are well lit and locked down, and will have a white image on the phone to help with tracking. They need many shots like this get the screen swapped, with shots being 10-15 seconds each, AND some would have finger interaction with the screen. My question to you all is, how long would you estimate each shot to take to comp up, and get tracked to a good place/roto hand. I know mocha is an amazing tool, but last time I tracked, it was with less than ideal settings so it took a LOT of tweeking.
So, if under these ideal conditions that client has described, what is a rough approximation of time you'd expect to spend per shot? I was told there may be additional shots needed down the line, so they wanted a ballpark of how long each 'tracked shot' would take for me to comp up should more be added in later.

I'm a mid-advanced AE user, but like I said its been a long while since I've needed to do image tracking, and dont want to shoot myself in the foot by telling them these can be knocked out like 30 minutes per shot. Advice and opinions? Thanks in advance.

Linked image to show how they will shoot the phone.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22394782/photo.jpeg


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Dave LaRondeRe: Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 5:49:03 pm

I'm not good at time estimates, but here's a thought on the phone shot: how about changing that white background to gray: right in the middle, 128/128/128?

Once the track's done, it would be easier to use the phone screen itself in a blend mode to add in screen highlights, reflections & shadows to help sell the shot.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Matthew RossRe: Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 6:17:18 pm

Any chance they can put green on the screen instead of white? (I couldn't tell from your post if everything's already been shot or not). If some shots will have hands moving in front, you'd be better off not having to rotoscope.

Take a look at the last video on this page, particularly starting at 7:45:

http://www.hollywoodcamerawork.us/vfx_sampleclips.html

As Dave LaRonde recommended, this tutorial also recommends that even if you're not going to use green, you should definitely try to keep natural reflections to help sell the composite, though this video tutorial recommends black on the screen rather than mid gray.

As for time estimates, I think if you got the routine down (got fully back up to speed with Mocha), and had green on the phone's screen, you could probably do each shot in an hour. But, like Dave, I am also not particularly good at estimates. :(


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Jake mendezRe: Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 6:46:39 pm
Last Edited By Jake mendez on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:09:40 pm

Thanks for the thoughts! They haven't done the shoot yet, and they said they MIGHT be able to just shoot the real screen and not need to track it, I'm not holding my breath, and I'll still need to do tracking onto some laptop screens which are a tiny bit easier.

I had originally told them to have a green screen on the phone, and the DP emailed back saying he likes white so theres no green cast off on the flesh tones. However your points about reflection and rotoscoping are good, and I will reiterate to them that, at least for the scenes where the finger interacts with the screen, it would make tracking/roto easier, though still do able if he insists on doing a white screen (so that they can have directional arrows for the model to follow), just may take a little longer to track. thanks for the help guys.


**per my recommendation they'll shoot on green for the phones, thanks again for the help.


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Darby EdelenRe: Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:31:23 pm

[Jake mendez] "I had originally told them to have a green screen on the phone, and the DP emailed back saying he likes white so theres no green cast off on the flesh tones."

Green cast is incredibly easy to remove using spill suppression techniques. It will also allow you to create a spill matte that you can use to add color from the content you're compositing onto the screen (the hand lights up with the color of the composited screen). Can't do that with white.

Find a nice way to tell the DP to stick to DP-ing :)

Darby Edelen


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Jake mendezRe: Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:48:03 pm

Ha, that's pretty much what I did. Explained why it was better and that getting Rid of green spill is pretty easy, so luckily they took my advice.


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Walter SoykaRe: Opinions on time needed for motion tracking smartphone screens
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 10:04:57 pm

[Jake mendez] "Ha, that's pretty much what I did. Explained why it was better and that getting Rid of green spill is pretty easy, so luckily they took my advice."

It's not often that VFX gets to fix it in production.

Congratulations :)

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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