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After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying
Illustration by John Hersey

Tracking in 3D (new in CS6)


From:

After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Tracking in 3D (new in CS6)

In the next set of movies we're going to focus on the 3D Camera Tracker introduced in After Effects CS6. I'll close my other compositions and if you have access to the Exercise Files, open up the Composition CT_1-Poster*starter. The 3D Camera Tracker works differently than any other tracker we're discussing in this course. The way the other trackers work is they track some feature in your underlying footage and animate a layer to follow that feature as it moves through the scene or across your Composition Panel.
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  1. 9m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 38s
    2. The Tracker panel
      4m 24s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 13m 25s
    1. Warp Stabilizer basics
      5m 59s
    2. Warp Stabilizer advanced parameters
      7m 26s
  3. 30m 6s
    1. Setting up a stabilization
      2m 57s
    2. Track points explained
      5m 48s
    3. Performing a track
      5m 11s
    4. Applying a stabilization
      2m 42s
    5. Cleaning up the results of a stabilization
      3m 0s
    6. Performing a motion track
      5m 57s
    7. Applying the results
      4m 31s
  4. 13m 48s
    1. The Radio Waves effect
      4m 16s
    2. Tracking the mountain
      5m 31s
    3. Compositing the effect
      4m 1s
  5. 24m 28s
    1. Perspective tracking overview
      2m 40s
    2. Tracking to a corner pin
      7m 1s
    3. Improving the composite
      5m 39s
    4. Tracking with mocha-AE
      9m 8s
  6. 31m 49s
    1. Tracking in 3D (new in CS6)
      4m 31s
    2. Creating 3D objects (new in CS6)
      5m 12s
    3. Hanging a poster (new in CS6)
      8m 8s
    4. Adding text (new in CS6)
      5m 33s
    5. Using shadow catchers (new in CS6)
      8m 25s
  7. 16m 46s
    1. Tracking dots
      5m 43s
    2. Dealing with obscuration
      5m 12s
    3. Cleaning up the stabilization
      5m 51s
  8. 12m 40s
    1. Basic keying
      7m 20s
    2. Refining the key
      5m 20s
  9. 13m 32s
    1. Quizzler challenges
      3m 35s
    2. Quizzler #1 solution: Stabilization plus masking
      2m 58s
    3. Quizzler #2 solution: Stabilization plus tracking
      2m 50s
    4. Quizzler #3 solution: Copying a camera's motion
      4m 9s
  10. 12m 28s
    1. Tracking for multiple effect points
      4m 44s
    2. Converting to ray-traced 3D (new in CS6)
      7m 44s
  11. 23m 59s
    1. Legacy tracker advice
      8m 14s
    2. Tracking interlaced sources
      5m 59s
    3. Using garbage masks for keying
      4m 51s
    4. Using the Rolling Shutter Repair feature (new in CS6)
      4m 55s

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After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying
3h 22m Intermediate Nov 23, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Explore how to use the motion tracker and stabilizer built into After Effects and shows how to handle a variety of shots. Author Chris Meyer leads a quick tour of the third-party software mocha and demonstrates the workflow for The Foundry's KEYLIGHT, both bundled with After Effects. The course also covers tracking a greenscreen shot with a handheld camera and replacing its background.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Understanding motion stabilization and keying
  • Performing a track
  • Applying tracking to effects
  • Keying with KEYLIGHT
  • Replacing images
  • Improving the composite
  • Garbage masking
  • Dealing with interlaced footage
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Tracking in 3D (new in CS6)

In the next set of movies we're going to focus on the 3D Camera Tracker introduced in After Effects CS6. I'll close my other compositions and if you have access to the Exercise Files, open up the Composition CT_1-Poster*starter. The 3D Camera Tracker works differently than any other tracker we're discussing in this course. The way the other trackers work is they track some feature in your underlying footage and animate a layer to follow that feature as it moves through the scene or across your Composition Panel.

What the 3D Camera Tracker does instead is analyze multiple points in a scene and uses the movement of those points to reverse engineer where the camera originally was when it shot this footage, including how the camera moved through the scene. Then, rather than animating a layer, you place a layer at a fixed location in space that matches the 3D location of the actual features of your scene and After Effects will animate a camera to move through the scene thereby creating sensation and movement for the layer you've placed.

In this case, we want to place a poster on one of the sides of this building. To do that, first I select my footage, leave it in 2D, because it's already been shot, we're not going to add any perspective to the scene, and go over to our trustee Tracker Panel and click on Track Camera not Track Motion. Doing so will bring up banners that are familiar from working with the Warp Stabilizer. First After Effects analyzes the scene then it computes where the camera is. The Effect Control panel will keep you informed as to where it is.

But if you don't like watching paint dry you can go ahead and work on other compositions while After Effects does its magic in the background. When you're ready, return to Effects Control Panel for your footage you're tracking. You'll see it's already moved on to solving the camera, it's tracked multiple points in my scene, and now it's trying to decide where the camera was based on those points. And when it's done this banner will go away and I will see multiple brightly colored crosses on my scene.

Drag your Current Time Indicator through your timeline and you'll see these crosses track features of your scene and appear and disappear as After Effects decides whether or not they're good points to use. After Effects does a pretty good job on its own determining what are good points. But if you see any of these crosses traveling across a surface that should otherwise be stationary such as a window of a building, you can delete them and further improve the quality of your Track. For example, I'm looking at this purple dot right here in the scene.

I'm watching it slide across the building as I move the current time indicator. That tells me it's not a good point because the feature it's tracking that building should not be animating. So I'll delete that point. You'll see After Effects is resolving the scene in the background and I'm going to look for other bad points. For example, there is a red cross down in here, I don't trust because it's also sliding as I move through the scene. So I'm going to go ahead and select that red cross and delete it.

If you're overwhelmed by the appearance of these Track points, you can increase or reduce their size. They are skilled to give you an indication of how far away or how close After Effects thinks those points are, but in this case where it looks like we have got a bad infestation on the side of this building I'm going to reduce my Track Size to make the scene easier to read. I'm just going to look quickly for any other bad points that have merely jump out at me. There's a green one here that I don't trust, I'm going to delete that one.

And if you don't catch them all don't worry, After Effects does a good job of determining which points don't agree with the points around it and it will automatically throw those out of its calculations as well. Okay, I'm going to let After Effects finish resolving the camera, now that I've deleted a few known bad points. And in the next movie, I'll use these points to create a camera and start placing layers in 3D space.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying.


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Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2012. What changed?
A: We added new chapters on the Warp Stabilizer and the exciting new 3D Camera Tracker, and new movies on the Tracker panel, converting to ray-traced 3D, and rolling shutter repair, all new features introduced in After Effects CS6. In addition, there are new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6 and a companion movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files.
 
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