View Full Version : matching softimage camera with live footage

04 April 2011, 10:14 AM
Hi guys
I am working on a project and I have to incorporate some CG element into live footage. The camera is static all the time. What is the best way to match softimage camera with real one - what kind of info I would need. I guess the distance between the floor and the camera, the distance between the camera and the objects that need to be filmed, the lens of the camera.

Your input will be appreciated.


04 April 2011, 06:56 AM
since the camera is static, you could even approximate everything by eye. simple survey data might help, but if there is no movement, you could get away with it manually. in case of animation, just run the sequence through a solid tracker (like syntheyes), and about 80% of the time, you will get great results, with the occasional manual fiddle. (depends alot on the quality the sequence itself, and the amount of motion)

04 April 2011, 09:09 AM
During the shoot, record all available camera info, e.g. camera height, lenses used, distance to lens, camera angle etc. Also measurements from the set would help a lot later on getting a proper match.
If you have all that info, it's the first step to quickly match the scene.

If all goes pear-shaped and there's just no time (happens a lot), just scribble notes as fast as you can during the shoot, and eyeball it when back.
If you have access to SynthEyes or PFTrack you can figure out the camera/lens, and even export the result to your 3D app.


04 April 2011, 09:34 AM
Thank you guys. That info was really helpful. The camera is static all the time.

04 April 2011, 09:57 AM
just remembered about this one, an oldie but still useful:
There's a pdf link at the bottom of the page.


05 May 2011, 12:04 PM
Thanks for your help Rob. That is really useful.

05 May 2011, 12:52 PM
You're welcome :-)

Good luck on the shoot and the project!!


05 May 2011, 10:05 PM
Thanks man :)

05 May 2011, 08:00 PM
yeah Unfortunately Softimage's camera lacks a lot of the standard conventions that real world cameras. I guess the key thing is calculating the FOV since that is pretty much the only setting in the SI camera.

this site has a good FOV calulator:

Using this all you need to know is the resolution of the frame and then the focal length used on the camera at the time of the shoot. Then you can get the FOV from the calculator. once you have that you should be able to get it pretty close.

But let me say this. IT IS NOT GOING TO MATCH UP EXACTLY! once you get it close you are most likley going to need to remove the lens distortion from the image. This can easily be done in any compositor like AE, Nuke, or fusion or even composite.

Then load them back in and everything should be VERY close if not dead on.

Hope this helped.

05 May 2011, 06:54 AM
There's a nice little plugin that will help a bit with setting up the camera, it's called Paparazzo. You can find it here:


05 May 2011, 03:55 PM
Thanks very much guys. Really helpful stuff.

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