After my crash course with Annabeth she sowed me a little test she had done with match moving.

This is right up my ally so I wanted to give it ago. I didn’t want to spend time on modelling so I asked permission from Chris Luk to use his little alien he had made for our previous module. It would just mean importing the model or camera into the Maya scene file. I thought it would be nice to have him sitting on my desk at college.

I drew 7 dots on a sheet of paper and recored a few seconds of footage. I used the video recording on my camera but the footage was pretty bad.

The frame rate of my camera and the strip lights in the studio made the footage flash in different colors. We thought this would interfere with the track but we tracked using grey scale and not colour and it tracked fine, not fantastic but enough to try out a 3D track using Match Mover.

The auto track worked well, it tracked most of the dots and also tracked some areas on the keyboard. I did some manual tracks on the dots that didn’t track so well, solved the camera, inputed the focal length of the camera, film gate and created a co-ordinate system.

When tracking you need to take note of a few specifics about the camera and environment to help the software calculate the position of the camera in 3D space, but i want to go more into that in another blog post.

I expoted the the scene in Matchmover as a MA maya file and opened it in Maya. The file created the camera in maya with all the key frames needed to simulate the live camera.

To see the footage you can import the image sequence onto the image plane of the camera and test how it sits and where in the scene it is placed.

Low rez Maya playblast.

It’s just a case then of rendering out the scene from the imported Matchmover camera and layering them together in a program like AfterEffects.

The first reder out i forgot to tick alpha, so the background was black and i couldn’t tidily remover it. Luckily it didn’t take long to render out with alpha applied.

First rendered out composition.

I was so chuffed with this when i saw it, but between Andy and myself we spotted some problems with it. At 0.11 the model appears to vanish for a frame, but looking at the frame the model is actually very small.

Also at 0.15 and a few other points it flashes larger for a couple of frames. We later discovered the possible reasons for this but would like to go into that in another post.

So for the time being I cheated slightly and edited over it so I could put it in my resentation.

I had quite a bit of help from Annabeth so now i need to get to a stage where i can do a track indipendantly. I also want to see how something looks when it is moving around a tracked space so will quickly animate something in maya using the same camera as this test.

I thought i would have a quick go at removing the piece of paper from the scene using the perspective corner pin track in AfterEffects. But it would work, i think it is because of the quality of the footage. I tried several times increasing and decreasing the size’s of the bounding box’s but it wasn’t able to keep a good track all the way through.

I would like to use dots or markers on the actual surface next time to see if i can remove them from the footage.