Track data From SynthEyes not matching up in 3ds max 2013

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  10 October 2012
Question Track data From SynthEyes not matching up in 3ds max 2013

Hi guys, I just started leaning syntheyes and I have tracked a scene I shot. Within syntheyes 2011 all is well, my error avg is 0.4722 and going through frame by frame there is little to no floating of a test box I tossed in. The problem I am experiencing presents its self in max 2013, upon running of the exported max script, you can tell by looking carefully that the tracker points are not quite situated in the same way relative to the footage in syntheyes. The footage I am using in max and syntheyes has been undistorted already in aftereffects and I have set the image aspect of the viewport background to match the bitmap. I am really at a loss here and I have a quickly approaching deadline to meet, I hope one of you can point me in the right direction!

Thanks in advance!!
 
  10 October 2012
first, always use the raw footage for tracking. when you warp the image it will mathematically make less sense to the solver) You can use syntheyes to undistort/stabilize after tracking if you must. check the 'start at frame 0' checkbox in SE export dialog. Are your framerates matching? (shouldn't matter I guess since both software work on a per frame basis) Does it match if you render a few frames, viewport background maybe a bit of?
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  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by jonadb: first, always use the raw footage for tracking. when you warp the image it will mathematically make less sense to the solver)


I've seen both ways in production. Some like to undistort first, others don't. I see some sense in change the math of the scene, and the small blurring around the edges that undistorting a footage introduces. Is this really a rule, to use the footage undistorted and unstabilized?
 
  10 October 2012
First rule of tracking is that there are no rules If it works it works!

Recently I had some octocopter footage that came heavily stabilized and the tracker had a really hard time. After getting the raw footage, and removing the shutter lag, it tracked fine and almost instantly.

You can stabilize the footage but you'll have to use syntheyes' stabilizer, that will produce footage that is still mathematically solvable. A warp stabilizer just warp the image as if on a rubber sheet, the tracker will go insane on that!

Lens distortion doesn't influence the solver much, I find it best to track the footage, export the undistorted footage using the found lens distortion parameters. Then use this straightened footage to comp the 3d on. The 3d which will always be rendered with a 'perfect' lens. Then give the final comp some distortion back again to make it look more authentic. Or you can distort the 3d after rendering to match the original footage which will keep things more crisp. The advantage of the straightened footage is the the 3d will match in your viewport perfectly (viewport cam is a perfect lens with no distortion)

So there are 3 bad guys here:

-shutter lag -> always fix before you do anything

-stabilization -> use a stabilizer that produces trackable footage. AEF's warp stabilizer does not do this! Or you can stabilized once the 3D is comped on.. motion blur is something to watch out for. If you stabilize before adding 3d the footage will still have some motion blur in it from original movement, the 3d will have not. If you render the 3d though the shaky cam it is easier to match the native motion blur.

-lens distorion -> you'll either match to footage to the 3d, or the 3d to the footage. Once comped you can distorted it together as you wish.

Anyways, tracking imperfect shots requires a lot of voodoo to make it right!
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Last edited by jonadb : 10 October 2012 at 06:45 PM.
 
  10 October 2012
@jonadb - exactly what I'm doing right now! I have an octocopter highly distorted video here which was captured with a fisheye lens (10mm). Some guys told me to undistort it first, others like you said to work with raw. I've both undistorted and stabilized it in After effects and SynthEyes still did a pretty good job at tracking it.

Having said that I'll try my chances again with the raw footage and see if it is easier/more accurate. Do you always start with autotracking or you place your trackers manually? And when you have trackers on different levels (say, different floors of a building without walls) do you HAVE to select them and constrain them to a plane?

Sorry to hijack your threat yamanash. My advice to you is check your origin point. It's a good idea to place a tracker to be the origin in the same place where the origin is in Max - that way your only a rotation away from a perfect match. If you can pinpoint two common points then no need to manual tweaks later.
 
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by davius: Do you always start with autotracking or you place your trackers manually? And when you have trackers on different levels (say, different floors of a building without walls) do you HAVE to select them and constrain them to a plane?


Usually I start in the 'feature panel' by letting it find a bunch tracking points by it self, and 'peel all' them. I, it will have found a few good trackers by it self. Then I'll delete the shaky ones, and those that are obviously wrong. Best spotted if you turn off the footage and enable tracker trails. You can easily spot those that jump around or do weird things Then manually add a bunch of trackers that span as much frames as possible, just add them where the solve is bad or where there are to little. If you have trackers that go out of frame and later come back you can use the 'combine trackers' to align those, that will help keep the solve consistent over the whole length of the shot.

Usually I don't use the constraints a lot, just '3 point axis setup' to set up the main coordsys dimensions and that is it. Maybe I'm missing something but I never found constrains to be that helpful, good trackers will solve it without them.
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