I was looking at who uses PFTrack in the industry and found that it was used in the movie the Watchmen by the VFX house Intelligent Creatures, they also used Houdini and Maya.

In particular they used PFTrack for the face of the character Rorschach.

The VFX supervisor, Jeff Newton said;

“This required a lot of very exact head tracking as Rorschach is a major character in the movie and had a lot of close ups”

They had over 300 mask shots for the character and used PFTrack for them all. They used the software to solve the camera for all of the shots and like i have been finding with motion blur,some moving shots needed manually tracking as the tracking markers on the face would blur. But with close up shots they were able to use automatic tracking.

Reading about another shot they did it seems that tracking software doesn’t like zoom shots and they would fail at the track but PFTrack is said to be ‘famously good’ at them. It seems this is down to the lens distortion correction facility in PFTtack.

“With the help of PFTrack’s lens distortion correction facility we were able to engineer our own lens distortion correction and redistortion solution. We then imported the lens distortion corrected footage into PFTrack and with the help of its Automatic and User Feature Tracking it solved the camera move and zoom animation easily”

Jeff Newton

I defiantly need to have a look at this software in the future. I remember watching this movie when it came out and wondering how do they do that?!  I’m slowly learning how.

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