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3D Camera Tracker Not Showing Points

New Here ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Complete novice here.

I have a short 7sec clip that I'm trying to use the 3D Camera Tracker on. It's a clip downloaded directly from an online AE class specifically for practicing 3D Camera Tracking, so it should work - the teacher uses it in the class.

 

When I click track camera, it analyzes and solves the camera. No errors show up. But no track points appear either. When I switch 'Show Track Points' from 3D Solved to 2D Source, then they show up. But when I switch back, nothing. Show Layer Controls is enabled. The Fx symbol is on in the little box by the effect name. I tried switching project settings from Mercury Software Only to Mercury GPU Acceleration (Metal) and back. Nothing.

 

I'm using a 2020 Macbook Pro with:

1.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 Processor

16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 Memory

Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 1536 MB Graphics

 

I've searched on all the relevant threads already posted on here and nothing seems to work. Screenshot attached below.

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3D Camera Tracker Not Showing Points

New Here ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Complete novice here.

I have a short 7sec clip that I'm trying to use the 3D Camera Tracker on. It's a clip downloaded directly from an online AE class specifically for practicing 3D Camera Tracking, so it should work - the teacher uses it in the class.

 

When I click track camera, it analyzes and solves the camera. No errors show up. But no track points appear either. When I switch 'Show Track Points' from 3D Solved to 2D Source, then they show up. But when I switch back, nothing. Show Layer Controls is enabled. The Fx symbol is on in the little box by the effect name. I tried switching project settings from Mercury Software Only to Mercury GPU Acceleration (Metal) and back. Nothing.

 

I'm using a 2020 Macbook Pro with:

1.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 Processor

16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 Memory

Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 1536 MB Graphics

 

I've searched on all the relevant threads already posted on here and nothing seems to work. Screenshot attached below.

TOPICS
Error or problem, How to

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Embedding your screenshots with the menu bar on the forum makes it a lot easier for us to see your problem. 

 

I can see your layer controls so the View options for the comp panel are correct.

 

Start by changing the Show Track Points option. If they show up then click Detailed analysis and analyze the shot again. If you still can't see the track points try increasing the track point size. 

 

I think that I have seen this footage before and that it requires both increasing the track point size and detailed analysis to get a good camera solution. If possible, post a link to the footage so I can take a look.

 

The advice I just gave assumes that your version of AE is up to date.

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Sep 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Hi Rick,

 

Thanks for the quick response. I tried the steps you suggested, still no luck. Here's a link to the footage I'm using:

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AVsyj0_ebZfP_4StzOJL2wsTIutfWTSI?usp=sharing 

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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That is the shot I have seen before. It's a terrible shot for camera tracking. If you are on the first frame and you set Show Track Points to 2D Source and you set Track Point Size to 300% you should see something like this (note - I am using the Motion Tracking workspace):

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.17.44_TcKB5o.png

If the Track Point Size is set to 100% the points are so small they are hard to see. Change Show Track Points to 3D solved and you won't see any track points at all, even though the Average Error is only 1.54 pixels. You can't see the points because the shot can't be solved for the first few frames. Most of the time you will get an error message telling you that the camera cannot be solved.

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.18.02_e3HJWI.png

If you move down the timeline about 3 seconds some tracking markers start showing up and you should be able to grab a few and set an origin and ground plane, then add a camera and a solid on this frame. You should also set a layer marker so you know where the origin and ground plane is at 0, 0, 0. 

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.23.32_xImeo6.png

So I set the origin and ground plane, then add a camera and a solid using the same points and same target. Remember how I said the origin and ground plane should be at 0, 0, 0. Look at what you get:

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.26.48_iFxOei.png

This tells me that the camera solve is no good. I suspected that because the first two or three seconds of the shot is a crazy terrible Tripod Pan. Only after about 3 seconds does the shot turn into something that can possibly ave some depth information. Scrubbing through the shot confirms that the solid will not stick to the ground. 

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.32.05_mV5zZ2.png

From the marker forward the solid sticks pretty well. 

 

You have two options here. Split the layer at the marker and treat the first about few seconds as a camera pan and the second as a normal track, or just ignore the first few seconds. Here's what that looks like. The first part of the shot as a tripod pan:

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.36.53_n8sqYM.png

The second part of the shot analyzed again and a new marker set, a new Origin and Ground Plane set, and a reference solid and a camera added. Note the position property of the reference solid is at 0, 0, 0. That's the first indication of a good camera solution.

Screenshot_2020-09-22 22.41.05_XJJSdR.pngScreenshot_2020-09-22 22.42.34_3DaJ8X.png

The solid is not going to line up with the first part of the shot, and you'll need to add a camera and a solid to the first part of the shot, but there will be no depth information. Maybe if you overlapped a frame you could somehow line up a second solid with the Tripod Pan camera so you could cut between the shots, but it's not likely that it will be easy to do or completely seamless.

 

Unless the tutorial that goes with this footage explains why the shot won't work for normal camera tracking or at least asks you why it won't and where camera tracking works, and unless this tutorial talks about setting an origin and ground plane and explains that the reference solid is at 0, 0, 0 (use a solid so you can see if it tracks to the surface), I would give the tutorial an F, delete it from your bookmarks, and look for a camera tracking tutorial prepared by somebody that knows what they are doing. Unfortunately, most of the tutorials you find using Google are prepared by enthusiasts that have discovered some kind of a recipe that kind of works with their specific shot. They are poorly explained and often the workflows are incredibly inefficient. This shot would confuse anyone that does not have a good understanding of the proper camera tracking workflow.

 

I'm saving a copy of this thread so I can point others to the solution. This is at least the third time that I have helped folks figure out how to track this same shot. It would help if you could post a link to the tutorial so I can give it a proper review.

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Sep 22, 2020 2
New Here ,
Sep 23, 2020

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Hi Rick,

 

Thank you so much for your help, this was great. I think this is exactly what the problem was. I tried downloaded some stock footage from the internet and using the tracker - it worked without any issues. So I think you're right about the clip. I appreciate it!

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Sep 23, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 23, 2020

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I would really like to know what online class is using that footage.

 

There is no software that will track every shot. The reason you add a visual effects supervisor to your film crew is so that these kinds of mistakes don't happen. If the VFX supervisor on a feature film had told the director that that shot would work it would have probably been their last day in the business. Let me tell you a story. 

 

I recently worked on 15 shots in for a feature film. The longest shot was about 180 frames. To complete the visual effects on these 15 shots, took more than 300 hours over 4 months because they were not shot in a way that made it easy to do the tracking and do the effects. If the shots were properly staged and photographed the post-production for all of those shots would have been under 15 hours. Why did it take so long? Because almost every single frame had to be masked, painted, distorted, and layered by hand. I was able to help things a bit with some motion tracking,  but every shot had at least 8 layers and all layers had at least 2 and sometimes as many as 6 effects applied. It wasn't uncommon to have a 120 frame shot that had three or four hundred keyframes in it. After each shot was complete the director and producer had to review each shot and decide if the glitches that always happen when you put that many keyframes next to each other, were acceptable. If the shots had been staged, lit, and photographed with a little more care the total post-production time for those 15 shots would probably have been less than 15 hours.

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Sep 23, 2020 0