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Week 3: Camera tracking

Now that we have our footage for the live action shots, it is time to match cameras and do the camera tracking for the moving camera in shot #3. As the compositor for my team, I have been on the camera tracking for most of the time during the few days we had between the last presentation progress and this one. I also started working on the clean-up of the plate for shot #3, in which we have to replace the white car.


Camera tracking

Tracking the footage was harder than I though it would be. The camera motion is a nodal pan and therefore, has not the footage has not a lot of parallax, which made the point cloud look pretty flat. I had to re-do the tracking several times to get it right and I tried different methods and parameters too. My solve error was always pretty low in almost all my tries (around 0.6 and 0.67) but even then I sometimes got some slight slipping when I put geometry in it. With each try, I got more accurate and got a better knowledge of the settings that worked best with the footage until I finally got to a good result. I mainly kept trying different settings for the camera motion (free camera or rotation only) and the focal length. I also used a roto to mask out the parts that would be an issue for the camera tracker like the trees.


Shot #3 clean-up

With the camera tracking done, I have started working on the clean-up of the plates. I decided to start first on shot #3, since it has more to remove than shot #2. For shot #3, I have to remove the car parked on the left side and its reflections on the glass doors. Fortunately, we have some footage from the same angle without the car in it and I'm planning on using it to replace the car. I'm thinking of doing a projection of the empty footage that will move with tracked camera so it looks like the perspective is changing. For shot #2, I'm planning on removing the dust and dirt in the street with a simple roto paint. Here is a quick composite of the empty footage on top of the car that I tested to make sure it would work.


New pre-visualization

We made a new pre-vis video with all the progress of this week. In shot #1, Lorena has lighted the CG tunnel and is currently doing tests to optimize the scene. In shot #2, we see progress for the portal Mitch has been working on and a rough comp of the car and the reflections on the theatre's doors that Elizabeth made. In shot #3, we have my rough comp with the camera tracking.


Final thoughts

The small amount of time to produce new progress and the issues with the camera tracking didn't make this an easy time, but I'm very happy with the result. I also feel like I learned a lot more on how to troubleshoot camera tracking issues. Overall, my team and I have worked very hard this past few days and we have made a lot of progress. I can't wait to start compositing all the elements as we start rendering more passes and tests!

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