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Thread: Pinning keyed items to secondary tracks

  1. #1
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    Default Pinning keyed items to secondary tracks

    Well what an ambiguous title for a thread right? Probably because I have no idea what to call it.

    I have a green screen person that is keyed and in a sitting position. On the 2nd track there is a forest scene which shows a rock amongst some trees, the keyed person is sitting on the rock.

    On the 2nd track there is a panning motion from the rock and away to the right, I want the keyed person to stay on the rock, but the rock is moving right to left and out of frame during the pan.

    How do I keep the keyed person stationary on the rock when the 2nd track is panning?

    I tried track motion, it's jerky. I don't know the math for using key frames to follow a random cam pan.

    Is there some magic trick to pinning an item? I doubt it, but if I don't get an answer, at least I hurt some peoples heads.

  2. #2

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    Well…. the FIRST thing you should tell us next is what software you are using or have access to?

  3. #3
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    We propably can't help you much before we learn what software you're working with, but essentially you have already listed your options. Motion tracking or doing it manually with keyframes. If the movement is smooth and only pans from left to right on a tripod, it should be relatively easy with manual position keyframing too. Add a position keyframe at the start, jump forward a bit and add a new keyframe to fix the position. If the movement is smooth/linear, I usually start by putting some keyframes throughout the footage and see how it looks. Then add more keyframes in between to fix whatever parts might look wrong.

    It's a shame if motion tracking provides too jerky results, it's not very often the case when done right. You might want to try it again and choose very clear target that is visible throughout the panning movement (if possible).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    Well…. the FIRST thing you should tell us next is what software you are using or have access to?
    It's in my profile

  5. #5
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    That's ok SS, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting time because I didn't know something. I played around today, put in lots of keyframes, then realised I only really needed one per major movement, and zooming in a lot on the footage helped too. It's still a pain to do, and really the solution is to use editing to suggest the movement and getting away with the least key framing possible.

  6. #6
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    Ah, always forget to check user profiles for preferred software. Most forums don't list that kind of information. Not a Vegas user myself, so I can't give any spesific suggestions based on that.

    And you're quite right. It's good to start with fewer keyframes and add them when needed. It might feel like hard work when thinking how much time you spend on a few seconds clip, but motion tracking and position keyframing like that are things that can really come in handy if you learn them well. With automatic motion trackings the learning process is usually about picking the right spot that the algorithm can keep it's eye on during the movement.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSCinema View Post
    Ah, always forget to check user profiles for preferred software. Most forums don't list that kind of information. Not a Vegas user myself, so I can't give any spesific suggestions based on that.
    Ditto!

    As said above, start with as few keyframes as possible, start and end is good, then only fill in where you need to. So look for any change in direction and put a keyframe there. Once you have that, see if there are any inconstancies between this and the last keyframe (or next one) and fill in there too.

    Something worth doing FIRST though is to make sure your footage is stabilised. If it's not then you'll have a hell of a job matching them. I have no idea how to stabilise footage in Vegas, but I've done a lot of it in After Effects (Warp Stabiliser) so that may we worth looking in to. If you don't have After Effects grab a 30 day free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud and do it that way AE also has some great tracking tools, including a Mocha plugin which seems to be able to magically track objects even when they go off screen! It's not a trivial learning curve, but it can be done.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys, yeah it's all learning curve. For instance today I am trying to have someone pick up a green screen isolated object, and the masking nightmare begins for when the hand crosses the object and then has to lift it, which is when the key frame nightmare begins. And yes this is a 3.5 second shot.

    In the end I cut the edit before the hands get to the object, because the motion of the hands toward the object already suggests it is going to be picked up. Then I cut to reverse angle and show the guy picking up and walking away with the object. Time saved 3+ hours. All I have lost is a stunning effect, but what's the point of having an effect that is only 85% technically correct, it will only bring the scene down and distract the viewer.

    I ain't got no helpers, or a Star Wars budget, work smarter not harder

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