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Old January 11th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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Programs for 3D motion tracking?

Hi all, I've been reading and learning about different programs, and was wondering what the alternatives to Boujou 5, for 3D motion tracking might be? $10k seems a lot, for a simple guy wanting to learn how to use these things, to drop for a program. I'm eventually going to pick up Cinema 4D, and I understand the $3600 for that, but was curious about adding Boujou, but for my "wanna be, indie action/special efx" aspirations, $10k seems to be a little much.

This is something that I have an interest in learning, but am not a student of any institution, so academic pricing wouldn't apply for me.

Thanks for any advice,
Jeff
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Old January 11th, 2011, 08:46 AM   #2
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SynthEyes:
SynthEyes Camera Tracker - Andersson Technologies LLC
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #3
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Second the recommendation for Syntheyes. Fairly priced and a good product.

There are a bunch of tutorials on the C4D Cineversity site re using Syntheyes with C4D
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Old January 12th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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Ive watched a few tutorials on both Boujou and Syntheyes. In the Boujou ones, after motion tracking and before exporting to C4D, they pick points, to define the x,y, and z axis'. But in the syntheyes tutorials, I haven't notice them having to do this. Does anyone fanilar with Syntheyes know if this is something that also needs to be done? The Syntheyes tutorials haven't been the same kind of tutorials, they were more about functions within the program itself, as opposed to tracking and then transferring to C4D.

Thanks for the info,
Jeff
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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Have you looked at the Syntheyes manual? Not sure it;s available without the program - but I'm pretty sure you get it if you download the trial.

I'll take a look at my manual tonight and see what it says. I haven't been doing motion tracking with it so haven't worried about this part of the program, but I know it's written up in the manual.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #6
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I took a look at the manual last night. In the section on camera calibration (ie aligning each camera that will be used simultaneously) there is a discussion of coordinate assignment and there is a coordinate control button shown.

I didn't dig into it too deeply, but it would seem to address your question about setting the X/Y/Z axes. One thing about Syntheyes is that the workflow may not be as slick as more expensive programs, but there is usually a way to get the same result. Considering the price, it's a real winner.

Not sure about your timeframe, but Russ Andersson (Mr Syntheyes) usually shows up at NAB and Siggraph and he's always willing to answer questions.

He also has an intense dislike of CMOS sensors and considers them absolutely useless for accurate tracking.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 07:17 AM   #7
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I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on Cameratracker, by The Foundry? It looks like a plugin for After Effects.

Any thoughts?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #8
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I have the Cameratracker plugin and it works great and is very easy to start using. I haven't done so yet, but I believe you can even export tracking data into C4D, which I also use. For most of my solves, this plugin works perfectly.

But for another newly released and extremely powerful tracker, there is PFMatchIt.

FYI, Syntheyes was used in Avatar.

Before you start buying software, take a look at FXPHD.com which provides great software to use for free:
fxphd - vfx and motion graphics training
- Cinema 4D Release 12
- Maya 2011 Unlimited on Linux/Windows/OSX
- Smoke on Mac
- PFTrack 5 from The Pixel Farm - Linux/Windows/OSX
- PFMatchIT from The Pixel Farm
- Nuke 6/X from The Foundry - Linux/Windows/OSX
- Furnace for Nuke
- Mari from The Foundry - Linux
- Imagineer mocha Pro
- Renderman

On a side note, you state that you want to get into VFX. My advice is to decide which area and which software: ie, Compositing (Nuke, AE, Fusion), 3D Modeling - C4D is best for freelance AE artists and the broadcast industry. You won't find it very often in Hollywood or high-end TVCs. For that, Maya is the standard but it doesn't integrate as well with AE as C4D. There are several sub-categories in 3D in the large firms where one person's job is lighting or rigging. More advice is to sign up to FXPHD and ask questions in the forums in whatever classes you take. I have no affiliation with them but I have taken 3 terms of the last 4 and plan to sign up next week for the Jan 11 term.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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When the time comes that I start looking more into 3D programs, I will definitely look at that training site. I have to admit, my interest is first and foremost for my own private "indie" desires. But 2nd for a desire to learn a new skill, that I may be ale to use as a source of income. I'm not counting on the 2nd, as I have a non film/video job, that pays the bills. I understand about learning a certain aspect of 3D. I guess since I don't know anything about it, I have a very generalized interest right now. I think a lot of that comes from an interest in being a director, and wanting a knowlege of what these programs can do, so I know what I can do, as a "wanna be" director. I have a bit of the "DV REBEL" spirit, in that at this point, anything I'd be doing, I'd be the director, and sfx director/artist.

As always, I thank everyone for all the great information and advice. I'm starting to edit my first project. Not something I've shot. But if anyone has read some posts of mine, from other threads, I'm helping some friends by editing a reality show for them. I'm having a good time with that one, and am interested in moving into projects I want to do.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Jeff,

FXPHD also has DOP courses including DOP202 - Lighting and DOP203 - Tools of the DOP - both of which I have and find them absolutely required for anyone producing their own video. I also have taken EDT202 - Crafting the Scene which is a fabulous class on the various ways of editing and how to setup a certain 'flow', and it also includes material to create your own clip for review by members and the prof.

There is also a Directing course taught by award winning director Jason Wingrove; however, it is not in this term's course listing.

Essentially what I am saying is that this site has a lot more than just VFX training.

If you haven't already, take a look at Lynda.com which is great for learning to use various software as a beginner.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #11
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I'm already a lynda.com member and I have a bunch of books for varius programs I'm working through.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #12
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I'm for sure going to check out those courses, tonight when I get home. Those DOP course are just what I'm looking for. Have read a few books on lighting and cinematography. So I take it this is regular school format? You mentioned semesters, so I wouldn't just sign up anytime, if not this semester, I'd wait until next?

Thanks again for all the info.
Jeff
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Old January 20th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Jeff,

FXPHD also has DOP courses including DOP202 - Lighting and DOP203 - Tools of the DOP - both of which I have and find them absolutely required for anyone producing their own video. I also have taken EDT202 - Crafting the Scene which is a fabulous class on the various ways of editing and how to setup a certain 'flow', and it also includes material to create your own clip for review by members and the prof.beginner.
Steve, I just checked out the FXPHD site, and I have to say, I am excited. Unfortunatly, I will have to wait until the April 1st term to sign up, as my life is a bit hectic right now. By then I will have Adobe CS5 purchased, and am interested in possibly taking an AE class. Although I have the AE classroom in a book, and After Effects CS5 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques (by Mark Christiansen, one of the Prof's on FXPHD, I noticed). Going to work through both of those, and hopefully I will feel comfortable enough with AE, to skip to the level 200 or 300 courses.

Then I can dig into the 3D programs. Thank you for turning me onto this site, I can tell I will be taking many courses of the next couple years.

Jeff
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Old January 24th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #14
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I love FXPHD. I think one of its big pluses is that the instructors respond in the forums - I remember asking a question in one of the tracking classes and the instructor not only answered it, he included an example in the class itself.

I'm taking the PFMatchit class this term. It's pretty interesting.
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