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The Planar Tracker can be used to stabilize the Viewer for rotoscoping which can be a real productivity tool when trying to roto a moving target, which is frankly most roto targets. I'm using the Dolly movie clip here from the Lesson_04_Media > Camera Moves folder. As usual, we're going to study our clip, scrubbing through it, and note the camera moves. Here, we have a very strong push-in from a Dolly shot. So this shot is going to have a lot of parallax and perspective change.
The strategy is to track the boy and use that tracking data to stabilize the Viewer around the boy. Then we'll roto on the stabilized picture, doing a faster and better job because the picture is stabilized. Since our target is scaling quite a bit, we learned before the starting on the largest version and then tracking down to smaller is the best way to go. So let's zoom in a bit here and we'll draw our tracking shape. I'll use an x spline and just draw a crude outline. Okay.
I'll adjust the tension of the handles a bit, make a few small changes, and there, that will be our tracking spline. I'm going to turn Shear off and then track backwards. Even though the boy is not a planar surface, the Planar Tracker still gets a very good grip and locks on very nicely. Now, to see the stabilizing effect in action, I'm going to zoom way out.
Now, as I play the clip, you can see that the size of the frame is constant. So I am going to stop that, turn on the Stabilize feature, and it'll stabilize around whichever shape is selected. I'll turn off the zoom windows. Now let's play it. You can see that the image is being scaled up and down in order to hold the boy a constant size. That's going to make our roto work much easier. We'll stop that. I'll rename my shape, Boy Tracker, turn off the Cog and turn off the Visibility.
I'm now ready to draw my roto shape. So I'm going to home the Viewer and then we'd be working on the largest version possible, I'll go to the last frame where it's pushed in, turn off Stabilize, push-in, send in my picture, and draw my roto shape. So I'm going to use the x spline, and I'll very quickly tighten up my spline. Okay, let's say that's good enough.
Now, if I play the clip right now, my Roto Shape is obviously not locked to the target. We'll stop that. I'll go back to the last frame, and rename my spline, boy roto. The reason it's not locked to the stabilized is because it's not linked to the tracking data. In order for the boy roto to stabilize the picture, I'm going to have to link it to the tracking data first. So boy roto is going to be linked to boy tracker.
Now, watch what happens if I turn on Stabilize and I play the clip. The Stabilize feature is using the tracking data that's linked to boy roto in order to stabilize the Viewer. This is going to make my rotoscoping much easier obviously. So I'm going to go to frame 1 and tighten up my roto. I'll quickly refine my roto.
I'll turn on the Mattes Overlay and see how we're doing. We're on the first frame, I'll jump to the last frame. Okay, looking good. back to the first frame. With the Splines turned off, that can make it easier to see any mismatch between the shape and the target. So I'm going to scrub to a middle frame, looking for another keyframe to put down. Oh! Yeah, I've got some digression here. So I'll turn my Splines back on, my Mattes off and refine this frame a little bit.
Okay, let's say we like that. Another helpful tip is if you turn your Mattes on, then over here with the Show spline tangents, if you'll pop that up, and turn off the Splines, you can now see your Overlay Mask much better. It becomes much easier to see your edges. You can even turn off the tangents themselves. So this can be a very helpful way to refine the edges without having the spline define the edge for you.
Also, if you hold down the Alt key, you can pull out feathered edges on any point you want. So the Alt key is a very nice keyboard shortcut. Okay. Let's say we like this. We'll turn our Splines back on. We'll hide our Splines, rehome the Viewer, turn off Stabilize, and play the clip. There you have it! As you can see you can save yourself a great deal of work by using the Planar Tracker to stabilize the Viewer while you adjust the keyframes of your roto.
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