– 3D Track

I’ve been wanting to learn 3D tracking/matchmoving for a really long time… Ever since I started at Frantic, and saw Matt Broeska using a copy of Boujou i’ve been amazed at this kind of software. The math behind all of this just boggles my brain, and the fact that this software has become so accessible is also mind blowing. When I started at Frantic 6 years ago, Boujou was one of the major players, and it cost around 20K a seat. Now, you can pick up a copy of PFHoe for $87CDN. Total insanity, but a total plus for guys like me that want to do this kind of stuff on the cheap!

I shot this footage at the lake in the spring of 2009, with my Panasonic LX3. It’s a sweet little point and shoot that also does 720p video @ 24fps. Fantastic, but the results are very un-film like, because there’s no manual control over the shutter, aperture during filming. It also does automatic exposure balancing, so you get some nasty pops in your footage if you’re not careful.

In any case, I managed to get a few decent shots, and I wanted to try and throw something in the scene just to see if I could track it. Granted, this is a bit of a cheat, since it’s not sitting on any surface, and floating in the air, so any minor imperfections in the track will be less noticable. In any case, I think it turned out pretty good. Some comp love, reelsmart motion blur to get rid of the strobyness, and grain helps make it look almost like 16mm or 8mm film.

I’m pretty happy with this test, and I hope to do something a little more interesting in the future :)

If anyone has any comments or questions, please feel free to ask!




  1. Jason Cobill says:

    PFHoe is the old ICARUS tracking software from that university team a long way back – I remember beta testing it. They started out at $1200 or something – now that it’s dropped so low in price I guess I have no excuse not to go legit. :)

  2. Matt says:

    Nice track Kert! Tests like that are always the most satisfying ’cause the turnaround from track to render and comp is so quick.

  3. vipul says:

    Nice work kurt…would like to see more tracking stuff from you. And will you please upload some tuts on how to track shot as good as possible.