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After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To

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Holly McNamaraAfter Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To
by on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:05:32 am
Last Edited By Holly McNamara on Apr 8, 2015 at 8:03:33 am

Hi everyone,

I'm having a problem with understanding how the 3D Camera Tracker works. I've watched a million and one amazing tutorials online on how it works, but when I apply it to my own composition, it tracks the complete opposite of what I need.

My job is simple - we've filmed a green screen on a mobile phone, and I need to replace the green screen with a text message screen. Easy. There's very little movement in the vision, other than the bright green screen in the centre.

https://reels.creativecow.net/film/green-screen-mobile-phone

However, all After Effects seems to track is the background and steering wheel, and completely ignoring my green screen! I also tried it in Mocha, but it told me there were errors in the track. What the heck am I supposed to do? How can I 'force' it to look at my green screen? I've tried masking out the background, but that doesn't help.

Please help me with some suggestions on what I can do.

Thank you in advance!

- Holly


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Michael SzalapskiRe: After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To
by on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:15:57 pm

The camera tracker in AE should ignore the phone. It is not an object tracker. It is not the right tool for this job.

Mocha should be a good choice for this, but without knowing how you tried to use it or what sort of errors you were getting, it's hard to say.

You could also use AE's built-in corner point tracker.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Daniel WaldronRe: After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To
by on Apr 8, 2015 at 7:00:52 pm

You've got some great built in markers to track. Use AE's motion tracker to track the dots that are at the top of the phone. Like Michael said, Mocha should have no problem tracking this, but if you're not familiar with it, there is a bit of a learning curve.


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Holly McNamaraRe: After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To
by on Apr 9, 2015 at 3:36:31 am

I've spent the last several hours (and sleepless night) pouring over Mocha tutorials. I've done 'phone screen tracking' tutorials, I've done 'corner pin tracking' tutorials, I've adjusted settings from 'luminance' to 'auto-channel' back to 'luminance' again... and nothing!

*deep breath*

As soon as the phone moves, the planar surface goes all wacky and moves everywhere. All it takes is the phone to be nudged a tiny bit, and the edges go haywire!



I've tried numerous different ways of tracking by (1) eliminating the finger, by (2) only tracking the edges of the phone, by (3) tracking the edges of the phone and the green screen.

*sigh* I'm at my wit's end! Is there something I'm doing ridiculously wrong?

Thank you.


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Ross ShainRe: After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To
by on Apr 9, 2015 at 10:01:10 pm

You need to deal with each phone track as their own mocha layer and surface.
Track on the edges of the first phone and make sure this encompasses the corner edges and the information at the top and bottom.

Once this is tracked, turn on your surface to adjust and check the track. If that is not working you are doing something else wrong.

Ross Shain
Imagineer Systems
http://www.imagineersystems.com


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Holly McNamaraRe: After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracking - Not Working How I Need It To
by on Apr 9, 2015 at 10:25:45 pm
Last Edited By Holly McNamara on Apr 9, 2015 at 10:27:12 pm

Hey Ross, thanks for your response.

Sorry it I didn't make it clear before, but that picture I uploaded before was mocked up in Photoshop to show three frames moving, rather than posting up three individual pictures. The video that I am working with only has one phone, as per the original video I shared in the first post. Sorry for the confusion.

In regards to your suggestion, yes, I've done what you said and more! I really must be doing something wrong!

I've turned on 'track all layers' to make sure I catch any fast movement, but that doesn't really seem to help.


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