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Solving cameras

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Solving cameras

Matching graphics into your 3D scene can be a lot of fun when you use the camera tracker. Now if we look at our scene, I can scrub through the timeline, and you'll notice we have our soccer kick happening. And I want to add a word right in front of the goal line. Usually with traditional camera tracking, this would be a little problematic because the graphic would start off screen and sometimes that causes issues. But like I said with the camera tracker, this is going to be a lot of fun.

Solving cameras

Matching graphics into your 3D scene can be a lot of fun when you use the camera tracker. Now if we look at our scene, I can scrub through the timeline, and you'll notice we have our soccer kick happening. And I want to add a word right in front of the goal line. Usually with traditional camera tracking, this would be a little problematic because the graphic would start off screen and sometimes that causes issues. But like I said with the camera tracker, this is going to be a lot of fun.

So, let's make sure we have layer one selected, we'll go up under the Animation menu. And here, we'll choose Track Camera. Now, it's automatically going to analyze in the background. Let's just let it analyze based on the default settings and see what we get. So immediately, you can see these little x's appearing on the page. And when I rotate around the screen, you'll see this target. This target looks like this because the 3D camera tracker currently can't figure out the 3D data because the camera shot was created by a camera on a tripod.

Usually, when you click around in a 3D scene, the camera would rotate around on its perspective. But, we'll find a way to work with this here in just a quick second. The biggest thing I want to make sure is when we scrub through that our track points are all locked in place. Notice how some of the track points around the soccer ball disappear. Now when I scrub through the timeline, I want to go ahead and choose some points over in this general area. Just to make sure that my shot is locked off the way that I'd like, I want to actually create an origin for my track.

If I click and drag, I can draw a lasso around any of the points that I would like to select. Now with those points selected, notice it put the target right equal distance between all those points. I'm going to use this as the origin for my scene, that means the center of the x,y values. That'll mean placing this object easier, especially when you're trying to balance between After Effects and Cinema 4D. I'm going to go ahead and right-click, and we have a couple different options.

The first thing we should do is set a ground plane and an origin. When we do that, it'll appear as though nothing's happened. But that's okay, when we add an element into the scene everything is going to work exactly like we planned. Let's go ahead and right-click back up here again, and this time we're going to choose a solid and a camera. So, it's automatically going to make the solid the size of the target, which is perfect, because we're going to have to rotate this. If you select the camera in the timeline, you can press U on your keyboard, and you'll notice it has position data and orientation data.

Since the camera is already animated, we can go ahead and rotate our layer solid into perspective view. So, I'm going to press R to open up its rotation. Let's start by changing its x rotation from 270 to 0. That'll make it relatively flat in the scene, but we need to go ahead and just click and drag on its rotation and try and line it up on the plane. Now, just so I can see whether this fits on the scene more clearly, I'm also going to rotate on the x-axis. I want to try and make the right edge of the solid and the baseline of our end zone here perfectly parallel. Now, if we scrub through the scene, it looks as though our footage has tracked relatively well.

But what we should do is just adjust its Opacity down so we can scrub through and check to see if there's any drift. So, select Layer 1 and press T, and click and drag in the Opacity value to bring it down. Now, when I scrub through, it appears as though everything's locked okay. But there is a little bit of a shift in the solid. So, I'll go ahead and select the Camera and the Solid and Delete. Let's select the footage that we have analyzed, and notice when we click back on the camera tracker, that's when our points will reappear.

What we need to do this time is go to the Advanced section, and in here, we need to turn on the Detailed Analysis. Now if we have any other information that we know about the scene, we should go ahead and add that info. So, I'm going to go up to the first pull down underneath the Cancel button. This fixed angle of view, if you click on that you can actually specify the angle of view. So, I'll change that and the angle of view is a 24 millimeter lens. So I'll say 24, and then we can just wait a second as it analyzes. Once it finishes analyzing, we can then try and match our graphics back into the scene and see if there's any shift.

If we scrub through, we have a number of points here. There's one more setting we can turn off. This auto delete points across time. We turn that off, we'll actually be able to see any of the cross points in the scene that would have been deleted because there were errors. Sometimes even those extra points will allow you to help lock down a shot a little more clearly. Let's click and drag and draw a lasso around this cluster of points here. Now, we'll right-click again and choose Create Solid and Camera. Now with that set up, I'll click on my layer solid here and open its rotation settings and we can change its x orientation to zero and its y orientation to zero and zero orientation to zero.

Now, we just need to rotate on its axis. So when we scrub through now, it looks like a very successful track. Just to verify, let's press T and lower the Opacity. And then, when we scrub through, you can see it's completely stuck on that white hash mark, which is exactly what we want. So if we open up the camera options here, you can see we've got a camera created and it is a one node camera. And we can easily add graphics into our scene in 3D space now because of this camera.

So, I'm going to add a graphic that appears right over top of our layer solid. In order to do that, I'll just create some text. Let's click on the Text tool, and just click anywhere in the composition. Let's type the word Kick and make sure that 3D is enabled for that layer. Now, it'll disappear off the comp for a quick sense. But as long as you have the parenting column open, you can hold down Shift and click on the pick whip and point it right at our layer solid. Now the word kick has automatically positioned itself right over the anchor point of our layer solid. So, all we have to do is press R and click and drag on the x parameter to tilt this word up in the scene.

So, let's tilt it to a 90 degrees and I'll scale it down here just by adjusting the scale. And now, we can turn our Track Solid off. If we scrub through the scene, you can see we've easily created the word Kick, and it's tracked into the 3D environment. We could add a little more realism to this by enabling Motion Blur in our layer, and then enabling Motion Blur for the entire composition. Now, when we scrub through the word kick is matched into the scene, and the blur matches the blur from our camera.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 55191 viewers

Ian Robinson

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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