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One of the most powerful 3D applications on the market, Maya 2010, now includes three complimentary bundled applications: MatchMover, powerful camera matching software; Toxik, a node-based compositor; and Backburner, a network rendering manager for Maya, 3ds Max, and Toxik. In Maya 2010: Getting Started with MatchMover, Toxik, and Backburner, instructor George Maestri demonstrates how to use these applications with Maya's existing powerful feature set to create engaging 3D animations. Exercise files accompany the course.
Once you have your footage loaded, you can start matching that footage. There are several ways of doing this. You can actually do it manually by marking out points that you know are stable within the image and then having MatchMover track those, or you can do it automatically. This is the first method that we are going to use. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to use MatchMover. So you'll find Automatic Tracking under 2D Tracking and it's actually F10 or just select it here and this brings up Automatic Tracking.
Now there's a number of options that we can do. The first one is to say what's called Delete Soft Tracks. Now we'll get into those little bit later, but I am going to go ahead and keep that clicked. We can also Automatic 2D Tracking, which is what we want to do. Let's go ahead over here to Settings and let's take a look at these. We can track using Grayscale or Color. Let's go ahead and leave it on Grayscale. We can also set a Min Track Length. Typically, this defaults to 10, but you can also make it higher. What the Track Length is is how long will a tracker point before it forgets about it? So, the point has be stable for at least 10 frames in order for MatchMover to pick it up.
For longer sequences, this may create a lot of points, which is not really what we want, so I am actually going to bring this up a little bit. I am going to bring it up to about 40. If we want, we can also set the Sensitivity and the Density, so if we bring up a higher Sensitivity, you can notice how more points are going to be tracked. If we bring it down, it's going to be less sensitive and it's only going to track a few points. So again, this will give you more or less points. The more points means the better, more accurate it's going to be, but also the more stuff it has to take care of.
So really what you want to do here is you want to get the best balance between the minimum number of points needed to accurately track it versus having a lot of points that you have to deal with, and you really don't want that. Then also the Density, how dense do you want these points? Typically, for myself, I tend to turn these down rather than turn them up because I don't like a lot of superfluous data in my solution. But again, this is going to be scene-by- scene dependent, so it just depends on what the scene is like, then also Displacement Range, so 13 versus 128 pixels. This means how far does a pixel have to move before it will start tracking it? The higher resolution your footage, the higher these numbers can be and also with MatchMover, you do want to get as high a resolution footage as possible because that's going to create a more accurate track.
So with all that in mind, we also want to do what's called Solve For Camera and once we have all this, you can just hit Run. Now this is going to take a little bit of time and what it's going to do is it's going to go ahead and find all the points it thinks are stable and it's going to track them. Once it's tracked all the points, it will then solve for the main camera, which means it will go ahead and figure out where the camera was compared to all of these different points.
Now, this may take a while, so be patient. Okay, so now our track is done and if we scrubb through this, you can see how all of these points that I determined were actually tracking objects in the scene. So for example, this point here is tracking the edge of that lamp. This point here is tracking the top of the building and so on. You can see how it's got all of these and they are all tracked to that footage. If I go into 3D, you are going to get all this stuff, but really what it does is it actually puts a little cone here and it actually shows us where it thinks everything is in Perspective.
So each one of those cones is a point and it has also calculated where those points are in Perspective. So once I have all of that, then I pretty much have a track that I can use.
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