Shelob

I’m not sure this is in the right place, but I’ll put it here anyway (the moderators will take care of it if it’s not). Does anyone know what kind of software or techniques people used to composite Shelob (LOtR) into the scene so well? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA0ffVBw584

Camera tracking, there are a few softwares you can use.

Syntheyes:
http://www.ssontech.com/

Voodoo:
http://www.digilab.uni-hannover.de/download.html

There are a lot out there just Google camera tracking software.

Two more things; are there any other free camera tracking programs? I know Voodoo is free, but it has never really worked for me. Also, what about things like color grading, and getting the shadow set. I know how to get a plane for example to display only shadow, but I’d think that those scenes would be so hectic and time consuming to do that there might be some other way. If you think about all of the little crevices and bumps in the ground and walls

One thing to bear in mind is that, when you watch LOTR, you are looking at the finished composite, after a great deal of color-grading and other forms of post-processing have been done. It is essentially impossible to “reconstruct” exactly what was done and in what order. “At some point in the production pipeline,” the Shelob model was added to the scene, but you really don’t know what that point was. You also don’t know what was done “upstream” vs. “downstream” in that data-flow.

Certainly, camera-tracking information was an important part of the process, since it is essential to know exactly where the camera is (in 3D space) so that you can match the virtual camera’s position exactly to it. But that’s only one small element of the process.

It would be hard to work out the exact workflow, but thats the fun of it all, working out your own way to the end product.

I would recommend Syntheyes, Im going to buy it soon after trying out Icarus and Voodoo (both free, but both lacking…) Ive seen a lot of good stuff done with Syntheyes and for the price its really quite affordable for hobbyists or people starting out. Download the demo version from the site to give it a go.

But yeh, like I was saying above, the pipeline for this kind of stuff is different for everyone. It could also vary shot to shot. You just have to work through it yourself (of course referring to the way other people do it is a great way to get a good idea) but in the end its up to you on how you and what programs you use to get that end result.