Better Motion Tracking In Icarus And Voodoo

We need to composite a helicopter into live footage. We have done this before, but this time we have a lot of grass and trees which has caused us a lot of trouble. Voodoo does not have any masking or manual tracking I know of, so we are using it for scenes with less footage. Icarus has masks and user feature tracking, but if I export the track its really unstable and bad. Masking hasn’t helped us very much either, because there is just too much grass. I have been trying to use user feature tracking as a way of manual tracking, but every time I try to calibrate it it, it finishes 1/4 then automatically goes to 80% of 4/4 and crashes. Anybody know how to deal with this?

What type of footage is it? Is it a nodal pan, or a 3d move? Did you shoot it with a 3ccd camera, or a CMOS camera? We need to have more information before we can help you…

Actually, we don’t know. We don’t go that in depth. We just use an an HD camera. Really, I’m just wondering how to track better in Icarus. I’ve been adding user feature points to track it. If I’m lucky and it lets me 3d export, it gives me a really bad track that makes the camera move everywhere.

That isn’t in depth at all. :mad:

A nodal pan is one where the camera only rotates on a tripod.

If you shot it with a 3ccd camera (it’ll say ON THE CAMERA) you’re good, if you shot it with a CMOS camera (again, ON THE CAMERA) then may God have mercy on your soul. Seriously though, if you’re using a camera with a CMOS chip, DO NOT move it fast at all.

You can’t “just track” a shot. You have to shoot it right. You have to have something for the computer to lock onto, to find in one frame to the next. Basically, you can’t track a plain white wall.

Well, I already know that. We aren’t using expensive cameras if your thinking that. We are using a regular HD digital camcorder that we moved freely. Well really my trouble with the footage at the moment is that there is a person in the footage that needs to be there, moving grass, and trees. Icarus has never given me reliable results. Voodoo has, but it doesn’t have masking, and I don’t know if it has points you can place on selected parts of your footage. I forgot to add in that, there is basically not a solid thing to motion track other than tree branches. The camera is a Aiptek Action HD. I’m sorry thats all the information I have unless the director can give me more information about the camera.

i don’t think anyone will be able to help w/o the footage.

I will try getting a picture of the scene if director allows it.

Yup, that’s a CMOS camera.

Your director better allow it, because if he doesn’t, this shot isn’t getting finished.

Like I said in my previous post, you have to set up the shot properly, and lots of times that includes putting tracking dots into the scene that you’ll paint out later.

Another thing: It sounds like you’ve attempted a very difficult shot without much experience. What you need to do is attempt much simpler shots first to get some practice in. That’s pretty much what my whole youtube channel is: me screwing around, getting practice and experience. :wink: I’m not saying you shouldn’t challenge yourself, I’m saying you need to only challenge yourself so that when something doesn’t work out right (like it is now), other people aren’t depending on you to do something you’re simply not ready to do.

A picture isn’t enough for a tracking question. We need a video clip to see how sporadic the motion is.

what he said. Not even counting the shutter type, it’s a compressed format, a complete pain to composite.

Yeah, I’m not that experienced. If I’m lucky, some scenes work out fine. Most of the time, the tracks are not good, because there is some moving object like grass or people. Sometimes, there aren’t even moving objects and there still seems to be a shaky track. Its hard for me to determine the problem, because I haven’t spotted any good tutorials. Really, the problem is getting a solid track. We want an forest area for these shots though, plus there is a lot of grass, so its a real challenge to get a good track. I get perfect tracks in civilized areas with cars and buildings by the way. I just need somebody who has experience in places with just forests and lots of objects that interfere.