camera track/match to live action


Here is my WIP thread on a camera track with a match to live action lighting exercise. Feel free to post any crits or questions. Here is a link to the live action background plate:

[Background Plate](

I used a Panasonic DVX100 with a glidecam rig for the shoot. I am using Realviz’s Matchmover 3 for the camera track, Lightwave and Maya for modeling, Maya again for the lighting and rendering, and finally Shake for the compositing.

Here is an example of a previous camera track with match to live action:

[Match to Live Action](

That shot was a pan with a rotation. This one will be a truck in with a slight rotation. I hope this one will turn out even better!



Here are some stills of the models that will be used.


The table match is really good, I didnt see the glass was fake at first :thumbsup:


Looks great! First I didn’t realize that the glass was a fake, good work.
The only thing that doesn’t look realistic is the reflection of the fake plate. It’s too powerfull when you compare it to other reflections on the table. :thumbsup:


The only thing that doesn’t look realistic is the reflection of the fake plate. It’s too powerfull when you compare it to other reflections on the table.

Are you talking about the reflection on the plate looks fake? Or how the entire plate is fake? That plate is real, with a composited (fake) reflection on it.



I think he means the reflection on the fake bowl… it is a little strong indeed.


I mean the reflection on the table from the fake plate. It’s too strong and accurate compared to others.


Well I have to drop the stairs track for now because I am working on another camera track/match to live action project. This one is a bigger and better project with a small team. Basically we are making a rhino chase a truck down a dirt road. Here is a sample of the background plate:


The markers we used are really good, except we had to manipulate the footage to make it more tracking friendly. We subtracted the blue channel and played with the constractLum in shake. This brought the green markers out much better. Our result is this:


I have tracked half of it so far and did a camera solve to test. So far the results are promising.



Really like the table. I was just trying to figure out what was fake and what was real. Great job on presentation too. I like the way you have it layed in with the objects coming on one at a time. I hope the rino project goes good. It wounds fun.


Here is the tracked road:


I am very happy with it. The clip is just a 200 frame sample of the entire thing. Next step to do is to track the truck bed and connect it to the road tracked camera. The purpose of tracking the truck bed is so that we can add a digital dummy to the truck flap and for the dust particles emerging from underneath the truck.



Hey this piece is really well done nice lighting match. Well done!


Nice work! For practical purposes, it’s perfect.
Most of it is dead on.

Very picky:

  1. The spoon jumps slightly. but didn’t notice until knowing it was fake.

  2. Right now, the cup and bowl looks like it’s sitting on a burned table, when the window reflection goes by. On the wine bottle, the light reflections from the windows eliminate the shadows. Actually, in the real deal I don’t see much shadows on the table surface, just the the light blocked by the objects in the reflection.

So perhaps a change in order:
Like the brightest parts of the original+reflection pass (a threshold) on top of the table shadow pass, on top of the original+reflection.

  1. The inside reflection in the bowl could use a reflection map, instead of or with the specular highlights,

very impressive work. nice motion capturing!
The road looks great. did you survey all those points?


The road looks great. did you survey all those points?

We placed the trackers every 15ft on both sides of the road to keep things on a square pattern. That way when I constructed the road in Maya, I just created an elongated grid, snapped the points to the locators, subdivided it once, and we are ready to rock.

However, on the track for the back of the truck, I did survey the points. I just selected 5 constant points, entered in their relative coordinates, and hit go. It was as easy as that. However, because it is a seperate track, the challange will be to parent the truck track with the road track and do it in such a way that the double transforms do not screw the entire thing up.



Here is a sample of the track of the truck’s tail gate:




I got the truck track lined up with the road track good enough to a point where I am able to start the particles. I used the truck track to create a mask of the truck to block the particles. Here is a short test of the dust particles off the back of the truck. The two particle trails are definately not what it should look like. If anybody knows of a movie with some great reference of a shot off the back of a car or truck with a big dust trail coming off of it, post the movie’s name.

Particle Test


And here are some screenshots of the rhino model that we will be using to chase after the truck: (The model was done by Scott Spencer. Please visit his site to take a gander @ his awesome sculptures and models. He is really talented! He will soon be in the process of zbrushing a displacement shader and texture map for the rhino.)



Realy nice tracking. Cant wait to see the finished piece


Here is the first dust test. It is getting there. I need to watch more Indiana Jones for reference. I think the dust needs more noise to it. The color is also off.

Dust Test

On a side note: Our rigger almost has the rig done. Tomarrow I will be skinning a low res box version of the rhino to the rig and I will start the previs for the actual animation. Animation on the rhino commences Monday,



Here is the previs on the shot.

Previs Movie Clip

I showed it to our animator and he really liked the gist of the movement. Some things that he is changing in the animation itself is the Rhino will be swinging as soon as it enters the shot to heighten the surprise element. Also, at the end, the Rhino will not come to a full stop but rather will slow then turn and start walking back up the road as the shot ends.



goodLuck with the whole project. it’s coming out nicely now.
and boy! would i love having a mecha and whole bunch of bots chasing the truck…hehe!
would love to see this finished mate…go for it…:thumbsup: