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John Bigboote

Recent work marrying CGI with live action TV spots

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https://vimeo.com/127739839

 

Hey folks- I am embarking on a new campaign for my 'Belle Tire' client and it occured to me that I never 'showed off' my big 2014 campaign. Here it is... 6 :30 TV spots for Belle Tire(9th largest Tire reseller in the country, after Discount Tire #1 and CostCo #2)

 

All animation and renders done in A:M. Motion tracking and composite, color correction and edit done with Adobe CC products.

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Nicely done Matt. Did you do the parrot too? Or am I seeing C.G where there was no C.G.

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Nicely done Matt! :)

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I'd say the parott is a real one ;).

 

Well done Mad :) I really enjoyed it and the quality is great :).

 

See you

*Fuchur*

 

PS: Great that it worked out with that customer :).

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Hey, I must've missed the story, but didn't they try to take that client away from you? I remember awhile back you being in a quandry about giving them your files. How did all that shake out?

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I thought that was a different client.

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Fine work, Matt! We're proud of you!

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Fantastic tires do you also animate brakes and struts...nice work

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Good stuff, Matt. How much help do you get from the crew that shoots the live action? I know shops like ILM and WETA have enough clout to get footage with a reference sphere to match their lighting. Or do the video files just show up on your server with a rough storyboard and an arrow "insert Tireman here".

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Hi- Thanks for all the nice words. Yup- real parrot.

 

I get a LOT of help from top-notch shooters, agency etc. I am on set for the shoots with a cardboard cutout of Tireman, and the director will always consult with me for any shot involving animation or interaction. I will take reference shots and have an app that shoots a 360 HDRI style panorama on my iPhone. The agency and client hammer out the scripts weeks in advance, the agency storyboards the action and times out the cuts to the second in advance... top-name directors (Detroit area) and their crew use dolly's tons of lights and all the 'belles' and whistles on the shoots. Last weekend we shot this year's live action plates in 2 14 hour days and there was about 50 people on the set... actors, BT employees, extras, grips and PA's, sound guys, craft service and catering, agency and BT clients. A huge production.

 

Now I am in the middle of filling the animation and editorial for it all... so far so good- happy clients. A:M is chugging away rendering while I type. Then it will go off for final edit, sound mixing, effects and music... and then uploaded to Comcast for airing in lower Michigan and upper Indiana/Ohio. Belle advertises heavily during sporting events like Tiger, RedWing and Lion games... Will post when done.

 

Attached is a reference from the shoot. I will be making my Tireman character hand the actress a cup of coffee... I loved the extra guy in the background checking her out. EDIT: Added final shot.

temp2.jpg

handoff.jpg

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Living the dream Matt! Living the dream! :)

 

Thanks for the insight into your production.

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Here is a sneak peek at this years' crop of 4 TV spots for Belle Tire... some of them are still rough as far as music and tagging. The director chose to use a LOT of camera movement, and last year I was able to simply put Adobe After Effects camera tracker to use- this year, the shots were to 'wiggly-giggly' for After Effects to track. On the shoot I saw 1 guy raising-lowering the boom arm, while another guy controlled the camera axis and zoom and a 3rd pulled focus via remote. I resorted to using an old copy of Synth Eyes- which saved the day! Synth Eyes has a '1 button and done' tracker and exports an Animation:Master project file with the camera moving as tracked and lots of nulls to help you place your model in the right place. Only problem I encountered with Synth Eyes is that the scale of the scene is WAY small once opened in A:M (microscopic) and I havent figured out how to adjust scale in SE or scale-up the entire comp in A:M. It is not too much a problem working that small other than klieg lites not working as expected and scene manipulation gets wonky.

 

All animation done in A:M V 18.0L, compositing in After EffectsCC, editorial in PremiereCC, sound done elsewhere. Shoot was done in 2 -14 hour days... animation and post in 10 days.

BT_2015_small.MOV

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... Only problem I encountered with Synth Eyes is that the scale of the scene is WAY small once opened in A:M (microscopic) and I havent figured out how to adjust scale in SE or scale-up the entire comp in A:M. ..

 

 

I'm going to guess some text editing would fix it.

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So basically.... you need to make the motion of the camera bigger to match the size of the original A:M environment?

 

Is it just the camera you need to scale or all of the nulls too?

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It's been years since I even opened SynthEyes but there should be a setting in SynthEyes that will scale the output.

 

Here's a relevant suggestion from the SE manual:

 

 

Setting the Units of an Export

SynthEyes uses generic units: a value of 10 might mean 10 feet, 10 meters, 10 miles, 10 parsecs—whatever you want. It does not matter to SynthEyes. This works because match-moving never depends on the overall scale of the scene.

SynthEyes generally tries to export the same way as well—sending its numbers directly as-is to the selected animation or compositing package.

However, some software packages use an absolute measurement system where, for instance, Lightwave requires that coordinates in a scene file always be in meters. If you want something else inside Lightwave, it will automatically convert the values.

For such software, SynthEyes needs to know what units you consider yourself to be using within SynthEyes. It doesn’t care, but it needs to tell the downstream package the right thing, or pre-scale the values to match your intention.

To set the SynthEyes units selection, use the Units setting on the SynthEyes preferences panel. Changing this setting will not change any numbers within SynthEyes; it will only affect certain exports.

The exports affected by the units setting are currently these:

· After Effects (3-D)

· Hash Animation Master

· Lightwave

· 3ds max

· Maya

· Poser

Before exporting to one of these packages, you should verify your units setting. Alternatively, if you observe that your imported scene has different values than in SynthEyes, you should check the units setting in SynthEyes.

 

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Yes- the nulls, the camera- and the relation to each needs to scale proportionately. Thanks for the info, Rodney- I will be giving it a good read-over... I had gone thru every menu looking for a way to scale the export, maybe there is one!

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If that doesn't work, come back and I might have an alternate work-around. But Rodney's info ought to be the way.

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Well- I just went thru and tried several different 'units' combinations in SE and AM... just get different variations of the same thing... a very 'small' camera and nulls. (see image)

 

Rob- I would be interested in your thoughts on doing an overall 'scale-up' once in A:M.

TEMP.jpg

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Rob- I would be interested in your thoughts on doing an overall 'scale-up' once in A:M.

 

 

Matt, do you need to scale all 120 nulls or could you just pick out 3 or 4 key ones as the reference points for aligning your A:M world?

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I downloaded the current demo of SE so things might be a little different if you are using an older version.

My initial problem was that the scale was HUGE... so *tiny* scale/markers wasn't the issue on my end.

Changing the units from inches to millimeters got the scale about right for me.

I didn't see any place to enter numbers for the units (other than world scale... which didn't appear to change anything for export purposes).

If your unit are set to millimeters you might try inches and see if that doesn't get you close.

 

Added: Image of the preferences panel...specifically the Save/Export panel:

units.png

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I am using an older version I had back in 2007. There is a demo? What are the limitations? Rob... yes, I could select maybe 6-7 nulls only once I determine which ones mark my spot.

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Matt, can you send me a tracking PRJ that has more camera translation motion? That will make the example clearer.

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There is a demo? What are the limitations?

 

Yup and I dunno (other than it'll only let you export the first 6 frames and the last frame in a sequence).

 

Note that you might have to 'resolve' your setup before the new units will take effect but this shouldn't be the case.

I'm just saying that if the exported units don't change after you've changed the preferences a reexported... something=wrong. Resolving might fix that.

It almost looks like your original data might be scaled for pixel units (which isn't an unit option in SE so you'll have to find the next best thing).

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COOL! Here is a scene that had one of the more active camera moves... altho when the entire chor is teensy-weensy... so does the camera action. I will include the shot before/after so you can see that I did get a GREAT track out of Synth Eyes JUST by hitting that green auto button and then exporting to A:M... fantastic track! Just really-really hard to work that small. AND- attached is an image of the scene in SE...

SythEyes tracked7.prj

Reason Anim_before after.mov

TEMP.jpg

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Ta -dahhh!

 

SuperExpanderThing.mdl

 

How to use it (on YouTube)

 

(I forgot to mention it: a last step is to copy the camera parameters from the original camera to the new camera.)

 

 

 

There may be an even simpler way to do this, but I haven't quite got it to work yet..

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Hold the presses.... I got the simpler way to work. Ignore the above method!

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OK, here's the simple way and it doesn't need a video to explain it....

 

Add a model to your PRJ called Scaler.

Turn on Snap to Grid and add one bone to Scaler that originates at 0,0,0 where the model bone originates and points in the exact same direction.

Call that bone "CameraBone"

 

Drop "Scaler" into your Syntheyes chor.

Position it anywhere you want to be the center of expansion.

 

In the Chor, constrain "CameraBone" to your Camera with Translate To and Orient Like constraints to (with Compensate mode OFF each time).

 

RMB on the "Scaler" model in the PWS>Chor and choose "Bake All Actions". Set the reduction level to 0

A:M will key the "CameraBone" to match the Camera motion and delete the two constraints on it.

 

In the Chor, constrain the Camera to "CameraBone" with Translate To and Orient Like constraints, with Compensate mode OFF each time. (this is the reverse of what you did above)

 

In the Chor, Add a Translate To constraint to every "TrackerX" null you deem important (with Compensate mode ON each time) to constrain it to the "Scaler" model. (not to the "CameraBone" bone, constrain to the model bone)

 

Hide all the other Tracker nulls.

 

Select the "Scaler" model, scale it with the corner manipulator. The camera motion and the nulls will scale in exact proportion.

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Matt, I notice that the file you get from Syntheyes is in the old pre-v13 A:M file format.

 

Is it possible that if it were read by some version before v13 it would scale correctly? Then you could resave and move to modern A:M.

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I just recently used this thread to learn a fair amount about Motion Tracking! I have discovered all the issues that are discussed earlier, like why the Syntheyes export to A:M is very small, for example. Robcat, I did your method and I had some questions if you still remember! For one, I was not able to determine which trackers were important and which weren't so I added the translate constraint to each and every tracker (just to make sure). That's a lot of trackers! The camera flipped around, ultimately and my Scaler model floated at the top of the screen. When I scaled it, it moved toward or away from the camera. I may have done it wrong, I'm not sure. I'm also not 100% sure of the context other than it's difficult to work small. Anyhow, I just ran a render using the basic automatic tracking of an older version of syntheyes and I thought the results were a great start! This footage didn't make use of steadycam so it would have turned out even better if it had. I think this is an interesting topic ! Anyhow, here is a little something I did after discovering this thread. thanks!

 

Adam

 

 

https://youtu.be/Mj8IyLBHgzo

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