View Full Version : question-painting out tracking markers.

03 March 2005, 09:58 AM
I am not new to animation or the broad theories about compositing cg elements in live action plates but I haven't done much live action-cg compositing and am fuzzy about some of the process. I have lots of questions and don't expect all of them to be answered but if even one is answered I will be a happy man. Here are some basic questions (at least I think they are basic).

How are tracking markers painted out of a moving shot? Sometimes I see (behind the scenes of movies etc) that markers are brighter values of chroma color so they are just keyed out in those instances (blue screen filming) however there are times (non blue screen filming) when artists just have to sit there and paint them out.

I am not positive about this but it seems the tracking software I have demoed doesn't have any painting options. Or does it? i.e. boujou, Matchmover, 3D Equalizer.

What sort of software is typically used in this process of painting those pesky markers or wires out? .Especially in situations where you don't have a clean plate to work from. Say a moving shot with actors and no fancy motion control eqipment to track a lean plate.

Are these tools in the given software similar to clone tools in photoshop in anyway? Have heard of animated spline tools that clone across multiple frames but I don't know anything about them.

Are there any suggested resources (books, tutorials not workshops as I can't afford them now) that professionals reading this post can suggest as a good starting point for learning these paint skills?
Some people may say "who the hell wants to learn about being a paint artist"? As a friend at ILM argues it will be an obsolete job in the not so distant future. Here is on product that gives some credence to his argument
Personally I find the skill set involved very important and in making my own films that involve effects here and there I con't get around not knowing more about it.

Thanks in advance,

03 March 2005, 08:47 PM
Virtually any compositing app. will have what you need. I'm most familiar with AE and Digital Fusion, which both have clone tools like photoshop, but anything from Shake to Combustion to Commotion will have what you need.

So to answer your questions, tracking markers are simply painted out. Or if you're not shooting on blue/green screen than you may be able to find a few points in your footage to track without markers (less work for you!)

03 March 2005, 01:44 AM

thanks for your response. So it's really compositing software that will have the painting functions (tho i know you can track in AE and Combustion too). I was able to ask my friend the same questions and he said bascially the same thing. I will check out comotion as well. Thanks again.
By the way, cafe fx....amazing visual effects-you guys have um by the short and culries.

03 March 2005, 03:34 AM
I haven't seen to many cases that real footage, not a green screen setup, needed a lot of extra tracking markers. Most of these pixel trackers seem to be able to track just about anything these days.

I remember seeing on Jurassic park they planted tennis balls on a field to create a grid, then tracked that to a CG grid. And I'm beating some poor person had to track that thing by hand.

Also most of these compositing programs have a 2d pixel tracker built in, so you could, depending on your shot, track your marker and over lay a clone to follow that track, and remove your tracker automatical.

I was lucky with my greenscreen setup, I found a blue Scotch painters tape at Home Depot that works great because I can layer another key on it and pull it right out without having to do any extra work.

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03 March 2005, 03:34 AM
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