Join Amy Leland for an in-depth discussion in this video Motion tracking in Axis, part of Smoke 2013 Essential Training.
For this next lesson, we are going to continue with the excess effect and look at a couple of more controls inside of it. For this lesson, I am going to continue working inside of this same opening scene. So again, if you don't have this opening scene yet. Make sure you go back to the third section of this course. Where we covered first, conforming the X amount and then reconnecting the offline media, and for the purposes for these effects lesson, I made a duplicate of it called opening scene access and that's what I'm working in right now. What I'm going to take a look at next is this clip that we have in this second layer called opening scene Arthur video chat.
This is a clip that's being used to emulate a video chat in the virtual controls that our lead character is using in this scene. What I'm going to do is use the Access Effect to place this video chat into that scene. Now one thing I want to point out, I'm going to hit my Page Down so that my focuser goes back to that first track. This video chat clip actually spans across a couple of different areas of the timeline, across different clips. When the video clip is across this master shot for the opening scene, I'm going to want it to look one way.
And when it's on this reverse angle clip, I'm going to want it to look a different way. I just want to show you a little trick. Which is that when you're about to apply an effect to a clip like this to manipulate it in the scene, we can actually break it into pieces. I'd like this section of that clip that's over this reverse shot to be different from these outer sections that are over the master scene. So before I start adding effects I'm going to actually cut that clip. Now if you've come from other editing applications you may be used to things like having a razor blade tool or an Add Edit Tool.
What we have in Smoke is a keyboard that lets us do that. So I am going to move my play head to this edit point at the beginning of that reverse clip. I did that by the way, just by hitting my up arrow. And with that up arrow and down arrow to move to edit points by the way. It will work with the Focuser, if my Focuser is in this top track, it will move to whatever the edges are that it finds there. With the focuser in the first track, it moves to the edit points it finds there. So I moved my playhead to that edit point, and then did Page Up to move my focuser into that second track.
The shortcut for quickly creating an edit in the clip is Ctrl+v. That will place an edit in the clip, out the play head position in the track where the focuser is. I am going to hit Ctrl+v. I am going to hit page down to move the focus into track 1. The down arrow to move to that other edit point and then Page Up to move the focuser back to track 2 and hit Ctrl+v again. I now have a section of that video chat clip that I can manipulate over that reverse angle clip. I could then come back and add the access effect to these other pieces and manipulate them separately.
But let's focus on this middle piece. Now that I have that piece cut, I'm going to make sure it's selected. I'm going to hit FX and add the axis effect. Or of course, you can always right click on the clip or use that short cut Ctrl+Tab. But I'm going to add the axis effect, and this time let's just go straight into the editor. As I've mentioned in the last lesson the first thing I'm going to check is that my preview button is set to preview FX and not to no preview. And now I'm going to start manipulating this clip. Just like we did in the last lesson, I'm going to first scale it down so I can see where it is in relation to the clip beneath it.
And I'm going to rotate it on its Y-axis so it looks like it's directly in front of her view. So again, use these same controls we used before, the rotation controls, once you select the rotation. Or the position controls, and place this clip where you want it to be in the scene, scaled the way you want it to be, rotated the way you want it to be. Get that clip positioned the way you want it to be to be the video chat in front of her. I'm also going to chose a blend mode. In this case I'm going to try Simple Add and I like the effect that that gives to be a video chap sitting in front of her.
But the additional element that I want to add inside of this axis effect, you'll notice as I move the playhead through the length of this clip that. There's camera movement in this clip. The camera is moving around behind her shoulder. So if that video chat doesn't move, it makes it really obvious that I've added that clip on top of the scene. I'd like to make it look like it was in the scene when the scene was shot. In order to do that I'd like to make this clip move with her movement.
And in order to accomplish that, we're going to use a really neat element of the axis effect called the tracker. In the middle of the screen here, we have a button that says stabilizer which will take me into the menu where the tracker is. And this can be used for two purposes, for motion tracking or for stabilizing. The way you determine which one you're going to be doing before you go into the tool is the button beneath it. This is the toggle button. It toggles between track and stabilize. Make sure the one you want to use is set before you go in.
We want to track. I want to track the motion in the scene and apply that to the video chat clip. I'm set to track. I go into the stabilizer. One thing I always recommend when your tracking always make sure that your play head is either on the first frame or the last frame of the clip either one ,you can track motion in a clip either forward or backward. But you'll get the best results if you do the tracking for the length of the whole clip. I'm going to leave it on the first frame and track moving forward.
And what I'm going to use is this tracker in the middle of this screen here and let me talk about this a little bit. The square in the middle is the actual tracker. This is where it's going to follow whatever object I choose. The square on the outside is the search area. The tracker as it is, is probably going to work for what we need to do, but if you're ever tracking something that moves a lot and very quickly through your scene, you might want to increase your search area before you do the tracking.
But again in this particular case I think it's going to work the way that it is so I'm just going to move that back in again. What you are going to want to do is find an object to track in the scene that provides some contrast difference. That's the easiest way for smoke to follow an object. So what I am going to use is the edge of her dark shirt against this brightly lit window. I am going to place this tracker on the edge of her shirt, right there. So what it'll be able to do is follow where this contrast movement goes.
Once you've placed your tracker, I'm going to double check the movement of the tracker, it's set to go forward. Again you can toggle it to backward if you wanted to start on the last frame, if that was the easier place to locate something. But I'm going to make sure this is set to forward. And I'm going to click Analyze. And what it does is the tracker follows the movement of her shoulder throughout the clip. And what I now have is a path for that camera movement. I'm going to return to my axis, and what I will see is if I scrub through, the clip follows the movement of her shoulder.
However, the clip is now sitting right on top of her shoulder right where I place the tracker. Now that the movement is applied, I can reset the starting position for that clip. By using this button that says Offset. Make sure that you do this out here. There are offsets inside of the Tracker, but that works a little bit differently. Here on the Axis Controls, I'm going to click this button that says Offset, and then use the Position Controls to reposition this clip up into the middle of the scene.
Where I want it to go. And now you'll notice when I scrub through, it still has the tracking motion but from its new starting position. I have reset that original position to an offset position. But it still has the tracking. I'm going to exit back out to the timeline. Now I have used that axis effect to place a clip inside of a scene, and then track the motion to the camera motion inside of that clip.
And now that we've adjusted this middle piece, I'm actually just going to walk through really quickly fixing the other two pieces because I want you to see this. I'm going to move to this first piece of the clip. I'm going to select that first piece, FX Access. I'm going to move into the editor. I'm going to quickly scale the clip down. I'm going to rotate it on its Y axis where I want it to go. I'm going to reposition it in front of her. I am not going to do this very specifically. I just want to a get a general idea to show you how to adjust both pieces the exact same way.
I am going to apply the same simple add blend, and when I exit back out to the timeline. I want to show you the fast method for telling Smoke, hey the way this piece of the clip is adjusted. I want to adjust this piece the exact same way. Here's the fast way to do that. Here's the clip that I've already adjusted and it has its axis effect in the toolbar. I'm going to leave this clip selected but move the playhead over here to the other peice of the clip so you can see this.
With that first piece selected, I can see its axis effect here in the toolbar. I am simply going to grab that effect and drag it down on to the second piece. And it applies to the second piece. Identical to the way it's applied to the first piece. I have now quickly used the axis effect to give her a video chat. Along with some camera tracking on the middle piece, and this is starting to look like a more complete scene.
This course was created and produced by Amy Leland. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Creating a project and user
- Importing with MediaHub and the Media Library
- Drag-and-drop editing in the timeline
- Adding cutaways with three-point editing
- Creating dissolve and wipe transitions
- Keying green-screen media
- Performing primary and secondary color corrections
- Composing in ConnectFX
- Importing layered Photoshop files
- Using 3D text
- Editing and mixing audio