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3D tracking & integration

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Hi everyone and welcome to the tutorial section of my website. I found that I can do an interesting solutions for integration live and CG together and would like to share with you the process I've been through over the journey of this project. Please make sure you download the PDF above for more involved instructions and theory.

This is the tutorial of creating two visual effects shots from scratch. It is very crucial to explore the background and reference materials of the effect that is aimed to be achieved and the context of the technique that is used in order to provide such visual experience to the audience. Those two shots are the part of the one minute visual effects assignment of making visual effects movie trailer for imaginative movie where the story and the concept of the film had been developed as well. The trailer is about the film which is quite established in its type of genre and storyline. As the examples of that could be films such as Grand Prix [John Frankenheimer, 1966], American Graffiti [George Lucas, 1973], Gone in 60 Seconds [H.B. Halicki, 1974], Tron [Steven Lisberger, 1982], Gone in 60 Seconds [Dominic Sena, 2000], 2 Fast 2 Furious [John Singleton, 2003], animated film Cars [John Lasseter, 2006], Speed Racer [Andy & Lana Wachowski, 2008], Fast and Furious [John Singleton, 2009] and Tron Legacy [Joseph Kosinski, 2010]. All those motion pictures are the representation of the language that the movie is spoken with in terms of context and elements of the genre.

Youcan also download a file with a pattern for bump mapping in maya for the background texture of the shot. Just click on orange "Ai" sign to download an illustrator document of it. Its preatty good file. Sweet.

Well I hope the contect of this tutorial will help you with your own projects and bring a better understanding of integration pipeline and methodologies of work for visual effects shots. Please feel free to contact me about the tutorial. Enjoy!


This is just basic overview of the entire process of the tutorial and view all of the processes involved as well. Just as you can become aware of the complexity of the project and stages.


Here I'm just explaning the pipeline of the project and tell a story of production of this shot and more involved and bigger sequence of the movie trailer that this shot was the part of. Its always good to have a visual representation or map of the process to go.

Start modeling

You have to start at some point and cause it is a 3D animation project in terms of CG realisation its usually starts at planning and storyboarding or modeling in my case. This is more interrior design excersise which uncovers the style of the project and its mood as well. From technical perspective I would say there is nothing too special going on in the process of building the geometry. Just full screen and bring some necessary windows up front which make the process go more enjoyable and fun as well.

Interrior of the garage was based on inspirational Cobra video on youtube and other architectural visualisation field of computer graphics as well as sience fiction approach mixed with avant garde dark representational style of visual vocabulary for the moving image piece.



As you can see the full screen mode in Maya is quite good for working on newanses and little details of the interrior design. When you usually work at that level of details and vertex points its the scene itself usually goes heavy and perfom slow, but you can place some geometry on a different layer and make it transperent or reference it and this could help your viewport as well as switching time after time on a wireframe mode. Anyway I end up with deleating a lot of geometry in this shot for ncreasing the rendering time as you will see in further videos.


I was aiming to put a lot of details into interrior in order to pull of a good visual experience out of the video integration because the original live action footage was quite good. It was HD 1920 by 1080 which basically required another level of details and duplication as well as subtle glowing animation of the space. The floor idea was taken from the same Corba video as an inspiration and study subject as well.

Now we have to jump up into Masking, Tracking, Integration and match move the scene for integration of live action character into a CG scene. Start at After Effects where we export the video. Dont forget to watch videos in HD and produce HD shots as well. Use wacom tablet in AE its quite cool, two monitors as well. After exporting an Image sequecne we basically import that into bujou for match move.

In bojou the pipeline is basically very straightforward:

  1. Mask rotoscoping around a moving character.
  2. You track the sequence.
  3. Camera solve. Check out the 3D view.
  4. Export into Maya.

 As you can see in terms of the geometry and perfomance enhancement I deleteated half of the scene. You can do it after modeling stage or after matching boujou data with your virtual set. Animation is also quite important here as well. Probably its not noticible in the shot but the sliding lift of the car in the garage has a mechanical behaviour when the stage connects with the ground base of the building.

This is basically what you have to end up with in the camera of which boujou created for you in Maya, arter that just create a custom camera and match up you geometry with a cloud of boujou data. Be aware of the issues of scale and perspective. As you can see there is no animation yet build but there is a camera animation tahnks to boujou work. Overal quality is not important at all both in terms of live action plate and CG renderings. just composited raw keying of the footage and playblast fom Maya to get a sense of the matching. This expample was done with lighting set up in Maya. just place spot lights where you had lights when you were shooting the scene.

After you've done your matchmoving process it is a must to end up with as best renderings from Maya as possible and render them out for compositing.


This picture is the final render result from Maya that I had a chance to come up with hustlening mental ray materials and rendering settings.

Well for the conclusion I would say that this is one of my best work in terms of skill set enhancement and documenting that as well. I hope that when you watched videos you get a nice understanding of the workflow process and all ideas that I came up with. The reason behind all ideas and concepts are into the entire vfx trailer that came out in November 2010 but actially had some issues that i didn't like in terms of some shots and the final quality of it so I decided not to put it into portfolio and enhance it during the year. I think I will be able to run a parraler rendering for it. Anyway I'm glad I made this tutorial and if I get any responses on it I maigh do a CD cover and burn several CDs with resourse files, Maya scenes and other sourses neccesary ro the project. If you want to play around with the scene, just let me know on email. Well thanks for paying attention and staying on track with me. Second massive tutorial will be made in full soon on photorealistic human head with the further continuation and complications. Enjoy!

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Категории: CG Tutorial 3D
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