3D tracking/Matchmove questions

rgbii Posts: 960 Just Starting Out
Hello folks. I've been searching the forum for information on 3D tracking/match moving and have a few questions. I think I've narrowed it down to VooCat and PFHoe. Playing with the demo's, I like VooCat better.

1) It seems that PFHoe and VooCat are the only options in the couple hundred dollar range, is this correct?
2) Has anyone used VooCat with HitFilm? How well does it work? (I did a search, but didn't find much).
3) PFHoe's website has some info on the different between the standard and pro version, but not a lot. What is really gained by going with the pro version? Best I can gather is it gives you a few more options to tweak things.
4) Somewhere I saw that if you've purchased HF, you can get a discount (?25%) on PFHoe Pro, but I can't remember now where I saw it. Is this still available and if so, how is it done? If I go with PFHoe, this would make the decision easier between standard and Pro.

Thanks in advance for any help,


  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,156 Expert
    Blender 3D can perform camera match moves and... it's free! :D
  • rgbii
    rgbii Posts: 960 Just Starting Out
    I've seen it mentioned that Blender can do it, but haven't found anything telling me how. I searched the site and the online manual. I recently downloaded Blender, but am not familiar with it. Can you recommend a link to more information?

    I really like how easy VooCat was to use, I'm just not sure it exports something HF can properly import.

  • InTheFlesh
    InTheFlesh Posts: 143
    If you can afford the extra, I seriously recommend Syntheyes (http://ssontech.com/) It's $399 for the 32-bit version or $599 for the 64-bit version.
    I have production experience with "The Big 3": Boujou, PFTrack and Syntheyes.
    Boujou can give great results, but is mainly a "press go and pray to jesus it comes out right". It doesn't have many tools for refining problem shots, which reduces flexibility and I really don't think it is worth the $10,000 asking price.
    PFTrack and it's sibling PFMatchit are great and robust applications with plenty of options for solving difficult tracks manually. It is what we primarily use at work for our tracking needs. But at $3,300 and $700 respectfully, when it came to choosing a package for my personal work it was too far out of my budget. I also found PFTrack to be rather slow at solving.
    Syntheyes has all the features of PFTrack plus more, for a fraction of the price. The algorithms it utilizes are fast and accurate, and it has all the tools you need to solve difficult tracks. I cannot recommend it enough.
    Honestly, I have never heard of VooCat in the professional field or freelancing field. That's not to say it isn't a great tracker, just that it doesn't have the reputation and public resources of others.
    When it comes to applications like PFHoe and VooCat, what you sacrifice for a cheaper price is manual tracking and problem solving. Although it sounds like a drag and something you wouldn't want to have to do often, the reality is that for most shots except the most basic, you will need to do some manual tracking or adjustment of a automatic track.
    If you seriously get into matchmoving for shots, it won't take you long before you out grow the features of cheaper applications. You will get much more for your time and money if you spend that little bit extra to begin with.
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,156 Expert
    I hear a lot of good things about Syntheyes and the Pixel Farm products. I was even saving up the cash to purchase Syntheyes but I knew that Blender was developing a match mover into it's interface, so when it came out earlier this year... I've gotta tell you, it's amazingly fast but it does take a little manual work, but it's still super fast. It now has an automatic detection and tracking feature but from the tutorials that I've seen, the automatic detection and tracking is no where near as good as Syntheyes, PFTrack or PFhoe.
    From personal experience, having to do a little manual tracking in Blender is really not that difficult and it's really fast and very accurate.
    The Blender tracker is still under development and is being improved all the time. There's a guy out there that coded a "planer tracker" whatever that means? into the Blender UI.
    So if you don't mind having to do a little manual work every now and then... I suggest using blender.
    But if you want an automatic solution, I'd go for Syntheyes if you can afford it.
    I'll post some links for Blender tracking tutorials in a little while.
    Oh, before I forget, Blender can export it's cameras and empties into HitFilm.
  • rgbii
    rgbii Posts: 960 Just Starting Out
    edited June 2012
    Daniel and spydurhank, thanks for all the info. Daniel, VooCat is the commercial version of Voodoo: It's much easier to use, more automated, and much, much faster. It's priced at 99 e (about $122 USD).
    Spydurhank, I did find the tracker in Blender. Looks interesting, but you're right, more manual work.
    Right now, I'm not sure how often I'll be needing this so spending the time to get good at Blender or spending the money on Syntheyes doesn't seem like the best choices for me, though the feature set of Syntheyes looks great - I'm hoping I can justify it one of these days :) I'll be keeping an eye on Blender too, since it seems to have a lot of cool stuff to play, um, work with :)
    I'd like to go with VooCat, but since I can't confirm how well it works with HF, I think I'll go with PFHoe for now.
    Thanks again for y'alls help,
  • rgbii
    rgbii Posts: 960 Just Starting Out
    Thanks, interesting tutorial. Looks like Blender has a lot of nice features.
  • I have used the Blender tracker, without much success, but I can tell that it is VERY possible and has a lot of potential. I just haven't had time to play around with it, but I am excited for it. I have seen extremely successful tracks.