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Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker

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Andrew Akada
Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Mar 15, 2014 at 4:54:30 am

I'm working with some particularly bad footage (e.g. shaky, track points moving on-and-off screen, blurry objects, etc) and I was attempting to apply the 3D camera tracker to the entire mess in the hopes of masking dual elements with an solid layer using the tracker.

Of course, as could be expected, the 3D cam tracker "fails to analyze" once it runs thru the footage. I've pretty much given up on trying to "fix" the footage to make it more agreeable to the tracker (even the stabilizer is all over the place).

Short of the standard 'track motion' options, are there any comparable alternatives to this process to track a solid or mask that I'm not aware of?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:28:28 pm

I'm afraid not, sorry to say. There's only so much AE can do, and if the footage is as bad as you say, the 3D Camera Tracker has probably reached its limit.

You won't like the alternative: do it by hand.

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


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Mar 20, 2014 at 1:52:18 pm

Dave is correct - but there may be a middle ground to be found. Get your track as close as you can, and then clean it up by hand. I've done fairly complex tracking projects for years (starting in Combustion), and there has never been a single project where there wasn't a certain amount of hand work that had to be done - sometimes a few frames, sometimes a few hundred. It all hinges on the quality of the video you get, and that's always a crap shoot. The only way you're ever going to get perfect is with a motion control camera rig.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Andrew Akada
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Mar 25, 2014 at 10:17:22 pm

Haha, thanks guys. I don't think I have the kind of cash to shell out for a motion-control rig but it's good to know that I'm overlooking an easy fix.

I'm not afraid of expending a little elbow grease on this issue (as there's no pressure from above at the moment). I'll take your advice and try this by hand.

In the meantime, you'll pardon my noob-ish follow-up question but: how do you scrub through analyzed footage and touch-up roto work without erasing the auto-generated data from AE?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Mar 26, 2014 at 5:25:40 pm

You prerender it and reimport it.

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


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Andrew Akada
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Apr 2, 2014 at 7:31:05 am

So every time I do a pass - before scrubbing through and retouching where it failed - I have to pre-render and re-import it? Damn, you weren't kidding about the elbow grease :-P


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Apr 2, 2014 at 3:52:12 pm

Sorry it's so messy for you. I advise taking your frustrations out on the photographer who provided you with the lousy footage: a good Dope Slap sounds like it's in order.

Perhaps more Dope Slaps should also be awarded... if there is a producer or director involved who said, "We'll fix it in post."

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


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Andrew Akada
Re: Workaround for 3D Camera Tracker
on Apr 7, 2014 at 3:54:24 am

No shortage of those sadly. Oh well, live and learn, right? Thanks for all the feedback! :-)


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