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Autodesk MatchMover is the perfect camera-tracking companion for Maya, and it now comes bundled with Maya 2010 and later. Staff author George Maestri gives you an introduction to MatchMover's interface and automatic matching capabilities, and then shows how to import MatchMover scenes into Maya, solve for cameras, and do object-based tracking.
Now let's take a look at how Maya organizes the data that it gets from MatchMover, and really, this applies to any 3D application. You're going to have very similar types of data come into Max, or Cinema 4D, or whatever application you're using. So, I've loaded up my shot called Cityshot.ma, which is what I've exported from MatchMover. And as you can see, we've got a lot of locators in this scene. In other applications, you may have what's called null objects, but basically it's going to be the same.
So, we have our camera, and notice how the camera has key frames on every single track. And, you'll notice how you can see how the camera itself is moving. In fact, if I get this over a little bit, you can see from the backing plane how that's all moving, the camera and the image plain are all moving at once, and that's basically the motion of the camera in the scene. And notice how all of these points are actually still, which is really what we had in real life. The scene was still and the camera was moving.
If we go into our outliner you can see how this data is set up. We have the camera here, and then we also have what's called the tracker group, which are basically all the points that it tracked. If I expand this, you'll notice that I have all of the auto tracks, and you'll notice that we have several hundred of these, which is what it needed to track the scene. We really have a lot of data here, and it's data that we kind of want to organize. The reason that you're actually going to be tracking a scene like this is usually to bring in 3D assets to combine with this live action.
So, let's go ahead and bring in some 3-D. So, I'm going to go ahead and close this outliner window. We're going to go File, Import, and I have a file out here with a robot in it, it's called Robotanimation.mb. And now, if I import that, you'll notice I get a robot scene here. In fact, let's go ahead and look at this in the outliner. You can see here, I have an object here called Robot Master, which is my robot and everything else. In fact, if I move him off to the side, you can see this is what I brought into the scene.
Now, what I can do is I can use this to actually place the robot in the scene. So, I'm going to go ahead and put him here, and I'm going to start looking through the camera. So, I'm actually going to go to RZ Camera 1. And, you can see here that this robot is a little big, so I'm going to go ahead and select that master node, scale him down, I'm going to hit the 5 key to shade, and then just go ahead and rotate him and move him into place here. And you could see, also, that he's actually amongst all of these little locators.
So, you can actually see that, yeah, he's kind of right there in the middle of the street where there wasn't too much data. He was actually tracking the curbs and the lights on the side of the street, and that's basically where the robot is. So now, if I look, you can see here the robot is actually moving amongst the scene. Now the robot's already pre-animated, so you can see how that's all working. What comes in from MatchMover, really, is just location data and a camera. We can combine that with objects in the scene to actually match those objects to the location that we've created.
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