Looking for: how to integrate arch viz in real footage?

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Looking for: how to integrate arch viz in real footage?


I m trying to get my hand on as many tutorials on how to:

I will film some landscape from a helicopter, and then i want to integrate some 3D arch viz in the footage.
I have some good ideas on how to get it done, but i would like to hear about people that already done it, and have their experiences on what to and not to do.
So any information or tutorials on that subject would be really appriciated.

Thank you in advance!!
Old 04 April 2013   #2
Can you tell us what programs you use?
Old 04 April 2013   #3
What you're wanting to do is essentially VFX. You're going to need to matchmove your footage (if indeed you're going to comp your CG elements into moving footage and not simply stills), then render your elements through matchmoved cameras and with lighting that matches that of the footage, and composite the result. Probably the most difficult part will be matching the lighting but I'm sure you can find plenty of tutorials on this online.
Old 04 April 2013   #4
shot stabilization and keeping consistent tracking points in the plate will help immensely. Heli's aren't as smooth as they look. It sounds like you are going to be doing the filming yourself on a tight budget. If that's the case, I'm assuming you will have to stabilize your footage afterward and will not have a pro mount on the heli. Frame your shot with plenty of excess footage around your actual area of interest because when you stabilize the footage, you will get some shift around the edges requiring you to crop down to a full frame. try this out by driving in a circle around an object in an empty parking lot while holding the camera.
Lastly, try to avoid framing any foreground elements in front of your subject during the shoot if at all possible. If there happens to be a treeline in front, it's often faster to create a new cg treeline covering the real one.
After that, what leigh said

check out this book:
Old 04 April 2013   #5
Originally Posted by Cg-Creator: Hi,

I m trying to get my hand on as many tutorials on how to:

I will film some landscape from a helicopter, and then i want to integrate some 3D arch viz in the footage.
I have some good ideas on how to get it done, but i would like to hear about people that already done it, and have their experiences on what to and not to do.
So any information or tutorials on that subject would be really appriciated.

Thank you in advance!!

Pretty much what people have said. Track your film, put in your buildings. For the best looking result, construct as much as you can around your building in actual 3D, and then use those pieces of geometry to cast shadows and get reflections into the building.

The most difficult part is getting the lighting correct, but honestly, if its a good track, and your shadows face the same direction, you can generally get a way with murder in post.

Personally, I hate using tracked footage. I can never get it smooth enough, unless you are tracking into footage that was shot with some really high end equipment. I find that treating my scene as a matte painting, and using low res geometry and camera projection, I get the best results with the most freedom.

Granted, you aren't going to be able to swing the camera around too much, but helicopter tracked footage tends to be quite slow as it is.

Essentially, if you can, take as many high resolution photographs as possible from the chopper, so that you at least have this as an option if the footage isn't usable.
Old 04 April 2013   #6
Shadowlich: I will be using 3DS Max and After effects.
leigh: Thank you, I will read some more about matchmove.
jdollus: Thanks, great infos, I ll keep that in mind.
Pyke: Thats awesome, thanks, I thought about doing some projection map, but hopefully I ll be able to get some good tracking happening.

Thanks for the quick replies guys.

Today I ll just try a quick test of filming around my house and add a 3D objects, from all the tuts I have seen seems pretty straight forwards, but you never know.

Thanks again.
Old 04 April 2013   #7
Good(lighting + tracking) tend to be the cinchers in my experience.
"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

- Jesus
Old 04 April 2013   #8
JamesNZ: Defenetly lighting will be a big part of the process, I just spent time this morning doing some 3D tracking with AE CS6, its pretty good but not perfect, I ll have a look at some other softwares, maybe Boujou or PFTrack, I ll see if they get better results.

Old 04 April 2013   #9
If you have an autodesk subscription you get Matchmover from autodesk. You can download it from the website when you log in. Great program.

Also the cameratracker from Nuke is very good. It comes even as a plugin for after effects. Though i allways had difficulty with getting the scene into max where it would properly line up. There is not much info to be found on that topic.

PF track is a cheap solution that does the trick well for the solution it is.

Adobe's 3D tracker isn't very fit for the job i think. Since i'ts a one click operation you definitely don't have control.

And for stabilizing your heli footage. Don't use the warpstabilizer!!! It will warp your footage and by that the tracking markers/points. Rendering them useless. The tracker works out the camera from fixed points in 3D space. If the points warp it isn't fixed anymore.

And your heli needs to be super stable. You NEED to iron out high frequency noise as good as possible. Otherwise you get wavy footage.

And don't move to fast. Or you get rollingshutter problems. That one threw me off. Not much info/tutorials on how to fix that. In adobe CS6 has a rollingshutter fix filter. DOn't know if it's any good though. The foundry (Nuke) also have a plugin for rollingshutter. Don't know if that's any good either.

Hope it helps. Looking forward to seeing what you've made!

Old 04 April 2013   #10
DarkstaR1st: Thanks for taking the time to give me this infos, well so far I only tried the tracker with AE CS6 and I m pretty happy with the result I ll post a little video today, its nothing to crazy but it got me to try and understand a bit more the principle.

One tricky part not sure if that s what you meant is getting my 3D models to be well aligned with the perspective, hmmm its a bit tricky, but I guess with a wide angle and having objects in a distance should look pretty good and should be easier, than the close up I did.... I hope

Also, about the helicoper, cheaper way will be to probably get a drone or a remote helicopter, as they are pretty stable and move smoothly, still need to think about it, but after only a day on it I m happy with the result.
Old 04 April 2013   #11
A friend of mine, www.aerovisials.nl, has made flying drone camera's his business. I help him out constantly and know many of the pitfalls in respect of getting great footage.

Great footage from a drone helicopter is difficult. He is very meticulous about the helicopters and has tried many setups. He even built 2 helicopters himself, a hexa copter and an octocopter. He started out with a regular 2 bladed heli's which started out great. Even with a Canon 5D under it looked good. Though dreaded vibrations killed the footage. And stable flying and hoovering is difficult (wind and such, and he's a pro in flying).

The octocopter he has build now carries a Canon 5D, Blackmagic cinema or even the RED cam. It is fitted with GPS and and elevation measuring hardware for extra stable hoovering and flight. And still it's difficult.

But, we are very nitpicky with the results. We're now so deep into it i think other people wouldn't even see the difference.

One big advice... When u shoot footage for tracking place objects to track where your model is going to sit. relying on distant object will bite you in the ass. The tracker needs parallax (perspective shift) to calculate accurately. You don't want your model to bounce around. Not even wobble a slight bit. Think of big boxes with tracking markers on it. And place them around the area in a way you don't need to paint them out. Also put a box on a stand. So it sit higher... It'll help. When in nature, open field and such, wind will let foliage wave rendering them useless for tracking.

AND measure the distances. It'll help you get the right scale in 3DSmax.


Old 04 April 2013   #12
DarkstaR1st: Thanks again for this advices and infos, that s exactly the kind of information I need
So as promised a little something, its nothing crazy, but a small step in the right direction, I tried another one with a pan and a bit of jiggling and as you guys said, well it didnt work the dragon wasn't sticking to the table anymore....hmmm I ll try to troubleshoot this, see if I can fix it without having to reshoot.

Old 04 April 2013   #13
practice with some distant objects as well. tracking closeup objects is a bit different than aerial arch viz work. I find it less forgiving as a vew pixels shifting could wipe out a lane of traffic if you aren't careful. If you have access to the bldg site and it's empty, I find placing a couple of those temporary picnic canopies work great for establishing known points/dimensions. Like someone else mentioned, just put them in a place that will be covered up by the cg development.
Old 04 April 2013   #14
jdollus: Cool, thanks. Yeah thats my next step, I did another close up, with more camera movement, and it came out not to bad, but I think theirs some sliding, so yeah trying on a bigger scale now is crucial, and I ll try to have some markers also, thanks.


Last edited by Cg-Creator : 04 April 2013 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Adding the new video
Old 04 April 2013   #15
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