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Entertainment Creation Suite: Getting Started with MatchMover
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with MatchMover scenes in Maya


From:

Entertainment Creation Suite: Getting Started with MatchMover

with George Maestri

Video: Working with MatchMover scenes in Maya

So now I've saved out the data for you. So now you can see that the robot really is in position.

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Entertainment Creation Suite: Getting Started with MatchMover
1h 6m Beginner Feb 10, 2014

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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.

Subjects:
3D + Animation Video Visual Effects
Software:
MatchMover
Author:
George Maestri

Working with MatchMover scenes in Maya

So now I've saved out the data for you. It's called CityShot_01 and this has the scene data along with the robot. Now we're going to go ahead and fine tune this to make sure that the robot matches the scene exactly. Now the reason that we need to do this, is that when MatchMover does automatic matching, it doesn't have really any indication as to what's up or down, where the ground is. It doesn't really know, so it just matches points and tries to make it as accurate as possible.

But a lot of times, what happens is that it keeps the camera flat and it tilts the world, so that the camera stays flat but the world is actually tilted. Now we have that a little bit in this particular scene. So if I look at it from the side view, it's probably the best way to see it, you can see here I've got my Z-axis here. This flat line, which is supposed to be the ground plane or in most Maya scenes, you want that to be the ground plane because you really want to animate along a flat plane, makes it a lot easier for constructing the scene.

But, MatchMover has all of our ground points starting up here and if you notice, as it goes to the right, they go below that line. So what we've got is, we've got a little bit of a skew here. So, in other words, instead of tilting the camera, it's actually tilted the world. So we need to make sure that the world and the camera match what we have with the robot. So we can do that in one of two ways. We can tilt our camera and scene data to match the robot or we can tilt our robot to match the camera data.

It's a lot easier to tilt the camera. So let's go ahead and do that. We're going to go into our Outliner and you'll notice here, we have our Camera and our Tracker Group. This is the data that we really need to work with. So I'm going to go ahead, Shift and Select both of those. And then we're just going to do Edit Group, or Control + G. And what that does is, it just puts both of those into a group. Now I can move that group independently and keep all of this tracking data alone. So what I'm going to do is just move the node that's the group and match that to the scene.

So for example, if I tilt this, you can see how I can tilt this to match the scene. In fact, if I look through the camera, you can see how when I tilt this, it's literally looks like it's tilting the ground to match the camera. In fact, let's go ahead and take a look at this in the camera view. So basically, what I'm doing is I'm just tilting the actual camera but it looks like I'm actually tilting the robot to match. And that's basically what we're doing. So let's go ahead in the side view and just tilt that until it's pretty much flat.

In fact, we could also move that a little bit so that it's pretty much along the ground plane. You can get as accurate as you want and there are other ways of getting MatchMover to be more accurate and we'll cover those a little bit later. But for automatic matching this is probably the easiest way to get things all aligned. So as you can see, once we have this aligned, you can see that the camera was actually shooting up just a little bit and now we've got everything in line. So now you can see that the robot really is in position.

Now once I have this, I really don't need to see all of these different points. So I'm going to go back into my Outliner, Select My Tracker Group and just go Display > Hide Selection. So now all I have is the camera, the robot, and the backing plane. And now you can see that my grid pretty much matches the ground that I was shooting. So now my ground and my grid are pretty much in the same place. So now I can move my robot around and I can be confident that he will always be on the ground.

And this is great because if I wanted to, I could also, for example, put in a plane to catch shadows or do something like that. So if I wanted to create a ground plane and white him and create shadows, I could do that. So as you can see, once we have our camera data matched to our scene, it makes it very easy to put objects in the scene and animate them and make it look like they're actually part of the scene. Now, the second part of this is actually getting the rendering of your 3D objects to match those of the scene.

And we're going to go ahead and take a look at those in our next movie.

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