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One of the most common tracking problems is trying to track a target moving out of frame. The Planar Tracker is able to cope with this situation amazingly well. Here, we'll take a look at two different cases of tracking out of frame. We're going to need our training clip, so let's get a Read node, select our Project Media folder, go to Lesson_06_Media, our TrainingClip, and select the frames. Click Open; connect to the viewer. We'll need our PlanarTracker node, so make sure the Read node is selected, go to the Transform tab, and add PlanarTracker.
We need some more screen space, so lets open this up; cursor in the Viewer to type H to re home the viewer. Now, let's say our problem is that we want to track this area over here. Now, by the end of the shot, we can see lots of the floor, but it starts off by being mostly out of frame. So the way we'll tackle this is, we'll start at the end of the shot, and track backwards. So I'm going to draw my shape here.
Oops! I went out of frame; oh no. Actually, the Planar Tracker doesn't care if the shape goes outside the frame a little bit. Not a problem; it knows where the edge of the frame is. So I'm ready to track backwards, so the first thing I do is I check my tracking motion. Well, Perspective is fine for this, so I'll leave it there, and then we'll select track backwards. The tracker stays locked to the target, even though it's drifting out of frame, because it's comparing each frame to the next.
So there's enough pixels left here for it to follow the action all the way out of the frame. Even when we get to the very end of this shot, over half of the target area is gone; there's more than enough of the texture left in frame to compare to the previous frame. Okay, I'm going to set the playhead for ping-pong, and let's play, and see how we did. It looks like my tracking shape is sticking quite nicely, so we can stop that. We come up here and turn on the planar surface.
Oops; we're not on the reference frame. As you know, the planar surface will be yellow on the reference frame, and you have to be on the reference frame in order to adjust it. So we'll select the jump to the reference frame button here. There we are. Then we have to turn on the planar surface adjustment tools, which is here, and now we can adjust it. I don't like seeing the animation tracks in frame, so I'm going to type O on the keyboard to turn off the overlays for the animation path, just to tidy things up a bit.
Okay, so now we can put this guy in here; get it roughed in, and now we can push in. Now we can turn on the planar grid to help us line things up. I want the planar grid to be absolutely parallel with the floor. So I want this line right here to stay on the edge of the floor; that's nice. I want these lines to be parallel to the floor boards. So let's adjust this one over here like this, and we'll adjust that one over there like that, and this corner down a bit.
Okay, so this looks nice and parallel here, that looks parallel there, this is good, that stays even with it -- oops, nope, I'm off a little bit. So let's brings this down a little bit here. There. This edge is now good. The lines all look good. Let's play, and see that it sticks nicely. We're looking good, so we'll stop that. The next thing we want to do is use to Stabilize Viewer option to confirm that we have no drift. We can turn off the planar grid if we want, and we don't need the planar adjustment tools anymore.
So we'll set the viewer to Stabilize, maybe zoom in just a little bit to get a nice close view, and play. And what we're checking for is that the points don't drift. Good; that seems to be sticking quite nicely. So we'll stop that, and re-home the viewer. Okay, we're ready to drop in our graphic, and corner pin it. Remember that the corner pin will always be to the planar surface; it will not be to the spline that you draw.
We do not have to be on the reference frame in order to hook up the planar surface. Oops, I didn't turn off the stabilize viewer. There it is, and one more time, home the viewer. Okay, now we're good. Okay; to drop in our graphic element, let's go get Marcie. So we'll get a Read node; select Project Media. Remember that Marcie lives in the Lesson_ 04_Media, and there is Marcie; open. Okay. To drop the graphic into the planar surface, we need to, first, start the Read node, second, make sure the planar track layer we want to use is selected, and third, come to the Output pop-up, and select CornerPin2D (absolute).
There's our corner pin node. All we need to do with the node selected is type M to get a Merge node, and then hook it in to the main composite. There we are. I'll turn off all the overlays by typing O in the viewer, and then we'll play to confirm that everything is sticking quite nicely. Okay, that looks really nice. Let's take a look at another case.
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