View Full Version : Compositing Nightmare: A tale of tracking...

01 January 2010, 04:34 AM
Alrighty! Here is an example of something that should have been done on set, but wasn't. I need to get a steel "V" on the jacket of the actress.

In the first frame below, I've added in a "V" on her right forearm, it was fairly easy to motion track - pretty easy as her arm moves up. The other V comes in on her left forearm as you'll see in the next pic. For now here is pic 1:

Pic 2: This is basically where the V should be. I've blended it in alright, but I have nothing to track with! It's just a blue smudge of fabric. I've tried tracking the cuff between her skin and fabric, and then offsetting the anchor point of the V, but to no avail, it looked terrible.

Pic 3: This is basically where it should end up, I moved it here manually for illustration purposes. I'm not even sure if it matches up with the above pic LOL.

Any help on how I could possibly digitally glue this "V" onto the jacket would be AMAZING!

01 January 2010, 01:22 PM
If you're using CS4 you could always use the mocha for After Effects planar tracker that comes with AE. There isn't much contrast in the area you want to track but there might just be enough detail in the texture of the fabric for it to handle okay.

01 January 2010, 06:54 PM
In AE, precomp the footage and color correct it until contrast shows up. Then track that precomp. There's probably some data that's usable in the color channels, you could also use the contrast there - pick out the most contrasty channel, really turn it up, then track that.

Or, worse comes to worse, you could hand track it. I know that sounds crazy, if you make a little solid, and then just go through the sequence positioning it where you think it should be, creating keyframes, it will appear floaty. But do that maybe 10 times, relatively quickly, then average them all together to get a new single layer with that motion, it might be surprisingly accurate. I've done this on quite a few feature films.

Hope that helps! Oh, you'll need TrackerViz to average the layers you create together. You can get it at

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01 January 2010, 06:54 PM
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