Friday, 4 November 2011

3D Environments and plate stabilization.

Having looked at pretty basic match moving in previous posts I thought Id take it a step further today and try and Match Move some footage and then recreate the environment within Maya to match the camera.

After much trial and error of footage, also outlined in previous posts, I managed to find a piece of footage that was appropriate for this exercise. The main issue that I was coming up against was the jerkiness of the handheld footage, however on this take I managed to feed the footage into Nuke first, track the footage and smooth it out using Nukes de-jitter transform option. I might also add that the de-jitter option in Nuke is something that AE lacks and is one of the most useful plugs out there for film makers.

Above footage before the De-Jitter tracker was added

Footage after De-Jitter

Once the footage was stabilized I outputted it into Autodesk Matchmover once again and tracked the footage, creating a bunch of 3D track points. With the footage stabilized and less movement in the X and Y axis then previous shots, the solve worked out very well. Although there were a few focal adorations due to the fact it was my girl friends hand held stills camera on auto focus... 

Once the shot had been solved I imported to to Maya and got onto digitally recreating the environment. As I didn't have my tape measure handy when I shot this footage a lot of the geometry placement came down to guess work and trial and error. This was a good lesson for next time however, it is vitally important to take measurements of your environment!

The above frame is a snapshot of the very basic scene recreation. There is no detail as such and is all basic geometry, but with the match moved camera and the now virtual environment, this was the result of the render.

As you can see, the movement exactly matches that of the physical camera and the environment more or less lines up with its physical counterpart (apart from a few slips here and there!)
The real power of this technique is not in the recreating an already existing physical space, but more as a great frame of reference for adding 3D elements to the original footage. With the ground plane and walls added to the Maya scene, this ultimately helps to achieve realistic shadows, lighting and reflections for anything else I may want to add to this scene. Although this one is very rough, it is very promising for things to come!

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