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How to center on a tracked object?

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Thomas birrings
How to center on a tracked object?
on Dec 31, 2015 at 11:07:10 pm
Last Edited By Thomas birrings on Dec 31, 2015 at 11:09:21 pm

I would like to compose the frame such that a tracked object is perfectly centered. The best example of this effect that I can find would be from Skyfall when the eye is kept center as it approaches the camera: (start watching at 1:20 and you will see what I mean)






I know how to track motion and apply the points to a null object so that I can have text or other images track along, but how do I center the clip on the tracking keyframes?


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Ivan Myles
Re: How to center on a tracked object?
on Jan 1, 2016 at 5:28:59 am

What about setting the Position coordinates to center the tracked object?


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Thomas birrings
Re: How to center on a tracked object?
on Jan 2, 2016 at 3:33:42 am

How would I do that? I am new to after effects. Once I get the tracking points, what do I do?


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Ivan Myles
Re: How to center on a tracked object?
on Jan 3, 2016 at 3:09:18 am

Expand the layer properties, select Transform, and adjust either the Anchor Point or Position.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: How to center on a tracked object?
on Jan 1, 2016 at 3:06:15 pm

That was probably easier than you think. You never see all of the subject's face. The shot was tight to begin with. Plus the camera was positioned very precisely in front of the eye. It was a simple matter of a zoom into the subject's eye.
Sure, they did it several times to get the speed right, the subject blinked, what have you -- but because the subject's head was immobilized and the center of the shot was the eye, they could repeat it AND use the eye's pupil as the anchor point.

I'm not convinced there was ANY tracking at all involved. Just careful planning & shot setup.

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


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Thomas birrings
Re: How to center on a tracked object?
on Jan 2, 2016 at 8:27:54 pm

I don't want to accomplish that effect specifically. I was just using the eye zoom as an example of what the final product would look like. Say, for instance, that the shot was shaky and someone wanted to accomplish that effect, how would one do this?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: How to center on a tracked object?
on Jan 2, 2016 at 10:57:47 pm

Well, here's the deal: the shot was NOT shaky. It was planned out to give the effects people the easiest chanceto pull it off with the minimum amout of needless work. They knew what they were doing.

Now, if you're trying to do something similar with a hand-held shot, you have not given yourself the best chance to be successful. A good EFX shot begins with planning. It continues with shooting to accomplish the plan. It does NOT continue with the phrase, "We'll fix it in post."

Sorry, but a shaky shot puts you behind the 8-ball. If you didn't know that going in, you did yourself no favors. If you're trying to capitalize on a shot that you think may work, you may want to re-think that notion and re-shoot if at all possible.
I understand this isn't what you wanted to hear, but your task becomes a LOT easier if you know the truth and do what needs to be done if you can do it.

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


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