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any way to speed up tracking?

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Jon Iversonany way to speed up tracking?
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 3:01:22 pm

I have been using the analyze track motion feature of CS4 to track a moving bird across the screen. The process ends up being successful for the most part, but is taking up to 12 hours to track a 30 second video. The bird does move across a fair portion of the 1080p screen, so the search region is rather large and encompasses 3/4 of the screen area, with the feature region being much smaller. Since the bird moves unpredictably, I didn't know if there was any other way to proceed or if there was a way to speed up tracking time. Thanks, Jon


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Dave LaRondeRe: any way to speed up tracking?
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 3:07:28 pm

[Jon Iverson] "The bird does move across a fair portion of the 1080p screen, so the search region is rather large and encompasses 3/4 of the screen area"

Ah, 1080p. I bet this footage is still in its native HDV or DSLR acquisition codec and I bet you're not running AE 10 yet. If I win both those bets, your problem isn't so much a tracking problem as it is a footage problem:

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, mts, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless. I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jon IversonRe: any way to speed up tracking?
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 3:38:03 pm

Thanks. The original footage is indeed in MP4 format and I did just try converting to an uncompressed AVI and tried tracking on that, but it was no faster. I'm using CS4v9 on Win XP.

Jon


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Dave LaRondeRe: any way to speed up tracking?
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 3:50:06 pm

[Jon Iverson] "The original footage is indeed in MP4 format and I did just try converting to an uncompressed AVI..."

You've eliminated one problem, but there could be a couple more:
  • If you've made the tracker's outer search box half the size of the footage, it's probably way too big; it only needs to be somewhat bigger than the track point moves in any one given frame. The result: a faster track.
  • Got Open GL turned on to accelerate rendering? Turn it off -- Open GL rarely does any good in AE.
  • Got the free upgrade to AE 9.0.2? It solves a lot of AE 9 weirdness.
  • Got multiprocessing turned on? If you have 6GB RAM or less on your machine, turn it off right now: you don't have anywhere near enough memory to use it effectively, and you are in fact slowing AE down.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: any way to speed up tracking?
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 3:51:49 pm

[Jon Iverson] "The bird does move across a fair portion of the 1080p screen, so the search region is rather large and encompasses 3/4 of the screen area, with the feature region being much smaller. Since the bird moves unpredictably, I didn't know if there was any other way to proceed or if there was a way to speed up tracking time."

The search area doesn't need to cover anywhere in the frame the bird might be at any time; it just needs to cover how much the bird might move from one frame to the next. In other words, as the track proceeds, the search area moves with the feature. Your tracking speed will increase as you tighten the search area.

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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