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adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route

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douglas mcleod
adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 30, 2010 at 6:31:16 am

Hi Everyone. As with an old post I am also hoping there is a tutorial or advice on adding a graphic to represent the path of a proposed road on aerial footage. The graphic a line following the proposed route This footage is stablized from a nose mounted camera. No jittering in the aerial footage but the forward movement of the helicopter. The track of the route remains infront of the helicopter as it tracks the route. There is some movement left to right as the route turns corners. I have reposted as I am hoping new tracking and masking features in After Effects CS5 and perhaps Mocha have produced a solution?
crossed fingers


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Dave LaRonde
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 30, 2010 at 4:21:49 pm

[douglas mcleod] "...crossed fingers..."

I'm sorry, you'll have to uncross those fingers. I assume you want this route to stick like glue to the terrain. Even though AE 10 has nice new features, it still doesn't do the kind of 3D work a project of this type demands.

If the perspective didn't change, it would be a different story. But in aerial footage -- even nice, stabilized aerial footage -- the 3D perspective changes a lot. AE isn't the tool for this particular job.

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


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douglas mcleod
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 30, 2010 at 5:56:48 pm

Hi Dave thanks for your reply. The graphic I was hoping to overlay would be a semi-transparent 2D coloured line to indicate the path of the route. The graphic does not have to change perspective or cling to buildings, but float in space above the footage. I would see the graphic extending from bottom frame up to half to 3/4 quarters. Is this a possibility and have I explained what I am after. I am an After Effects novice and therefore may not be giving enough information or terminology. Thanks again. Douglas McLeod


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 30, 2010 at 6:22:07 pm

Here's a few ideas of how to do this:

1- The "forget the footage and fake it" way. Not the most elegant but works at times and it's quite easy. Create a series of stills from your footage (export from AE stills when the details at the top of frame reach the bottom) and stitch them in PSD (much like when you create a still panorama from separate shots). Draw a path on a separate layer. Bring all in AE and animate an AE camera over the "panorama" of the landscape while revealing the path.

2- The " dig in and loose some sleep" way. Get a 3d tracker - Boujou or SynthEyes or the free Voodoo, and do a 3d camera track. Export the camera to AE. Create a path on a 3d layer. Position over the footage so that it matches the perspective, altitude, size... Precomp leaving all attributes in the initial comp. Open the precomp and animate mask that reveals the path.

3- Try Mocha, contrary to what Dave said (most times I agree with him, but I'm only human..;-) I think it may prove useful.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist


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Matthew Woods
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 30, 2010 at 7:45:30 pm

I've used Synth Eyes to do this in the past, and it worked very well. It is pricey though, and does require a bit of learning. One important thing if you try that route is to work with the raw unstablilized footage. If you try to use a 3d tracker like Synth Eyes with footage that has already been stabilized in 2d, it won't work correctly because the perspective will be slightly off and the 3d tracker won't be able to build an accurate model. Synth Eyes has some built in 3d stabilization features that you can use to stabilize the footage and your virtual 3d camera at the same time.

-Matt

Need a quick break from motion graphics?
Try my game Constellation at:
http://www.paperdragongames.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:30:29 pm

[Tudor "Ted" Jelescu] "Try Mocha... I think it may prove useful."

I'd start with Mocha, too. Unless you're going to be stroking a 3D path for the route, I'd think that planar tracking will probably be good enough.

If you do need a 3D tracker, I'd add The Foundry's CameraTracker to the list of considerations. It's a 3D tracker that works entirely in After Effects.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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douglas mcleod
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Dec 31, 2010 at 6:47:09 am

Hi everyone. Thank you all for the suggestions. I will work through them and hopefully get a result. I will post when completed.
Thanks again. Douglas McLeod


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Daniel Barreiro
Re: adding a graphic to aerial footage to illustrate a route
on Mar 29, 2015 at 3:05:11 am

Hey all,
I have a similar question, 5 years later...
Can you help me, and/or give me a proper phrase to search?

"Tracking vector masks in AE" or "Anchoring points to graphics in 3D camera tracker"?
Or is this more a Mocha task?

I'd like to superimpose this property line as I film (fly) 180 degrees around it.
I'm attaching a video link (read the comments below on the video page too)
Many many thanks for any direction you guys might have.

Here is the video clip:

Tracking a 3D Graphic from Daniel Barreiro on Vimeo.



Here is a screen shot:




Here's the property line following the slope... so... it IS recognizing the tracking points. I just need to be able to pin/anchor some areas.
(haven't tried correcting the lens distortion in the footage)



In respects of everything lining up this is ultimately what I'm shooting for, here over an image from Google Earth (which I obviously can't use):





I know this is possible, and more so every year.
I've been searching for a good 4 days, thanks again!
I'm a member of Lynda, on Adobe TV and forums... here...


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