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Ordinary point trackers have a very difficult time with either a long pan or a whip pan. With the long pan the tracking points are constantly moving out of frame, and with the whip pan everything is so motion blurred, that there is practically nothing to lock on to. Incredibly, a Planar Tracker copes with all these situations very easily. All we've to do is unlinking the tracking shape from its tracking data. I'm using the whip pan movie located in Lesson_04_Media folder.
So let's see what we've got. Our mission is we want to track we want to track on this wooden target here. As I scrub through the shot, you can see it goes completely out of frame on both ends of the clip. Furthermore, it has a lot of motion blur and in addition to that there is a focus change. Here in the middle of the clip it's out of focus and over here it's much sharper. In addition to all that it has a terrible amount of noise. Let me push in and you can see all the noise in the footage. I'll rehome the Viewer.
Let's see how we would tackle this by unlinking the tracker. I'm going to scrub to the middle of the clip, putting my target right there in the middle. Then use the Forward Slash key to set the zoom 1:1. Now I go over my shape and again the tracker doesn't care if I go out of frame. I just need to keep it high enough to be above the heads and the hands and the cameras taking pictures, and I'm going to rename this Tracker. Now with the normal setup the tracking shape is connected to its own tracking data right here, Link to Track, so it's being linked to itself.
So the tracking data that it collects would be use to shift the tracking shape frame by frame. Let's see how that works. I'll track forward a little bit and stop. You can see that the tracking shape is being moved by the tracking data and by turning on Manual Track we can see the tracking point keyframes right here. So I'm going to delete the keyframes I've so far, and turn it back to Large Motion and now it's no longer connected to the tracking data. Now we'll need to do the tracking with an unlinked tracker.
So I go up to Link to Track and I say None. The tracking shape is no longer linked to the tracking data. All right, so let's watch what happens now. We'll track forward. It's still collecting tracking data but it's no longer picking up the shape and moving it frame by frame. If I select Manual Track I can see my keyframes right here for my tracking data. Back to Large Motion, click in the viewer and now pull the playhead back to here.
Select my shape so I can see which part I tracked and I'll pick it up from here and track backwards to the beginning of the shot. Tracking all done. I'll show you Manual Track one more time. Now we've keyframes for all the frames of the timeline. Turn that back to Large Motion and I'll click in the Viewer to refresh the timeline and click on the shape to reselect it. So I've got tracking data for the whole length of the clip but it's not moving the tracker shape at all.
All right, what do we do now? Okay, let's turn on the Planar surface and I'm just going to hide my spline and I'm going to adjust the Planar surface to line up with my target. You see the planar surface is always connected to the tracking data. It's only the shape that can be linked and unlinked from the tracking data, the planar surface cannot be unlinked. So the planar surface is always connected to the tracking data. So let's see what happens. Well look at that. We were able to track it all the way up to one edge and track it all the way back to the other side, out of frame, no problem.
We'll stop at here. Now let me try and explain how this is working. I'm going to turn my Spline back on, and my Planar surface off. So on a frame by frame basis Planar Tracker is picking up all of these pixels, then it shifts to the next frame and it compares the set of pixels between the two frames and decides how much and in what direction they move. But in this case, since we unlinked our shape it didn't move the shape. Now it takes all the pixels from this frame and compares it to the next frame and comes up with the amount of movement, and then the next frame, and the next frame, and the next frame for the whole length of the shot.
It's simply not repositioning the tracking shape with the tracking data frame by frame. We'll turn off Spline and turn on my Planar Surface again. Now we can watch it. While I conclude with unlinking the tracking shape from its own tracking data allows the Planar tracker to collect tracking data for very long pans and whip pans without the tracking shape going out of frame and needing to be repositioned.
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