I cannot, for the life of me, figure out the foundry tracker.

Snadegg
Snadegg Posts: 35 Enthusiast
edited March 13 in HitFilm

I've tried using it about a dozen different times and only got one good track out of it. I have no idea what I did differently then, so I decided to try tracking a minecraft clip because it SHOULD be easy. (Lots of contrasting textures, sharp corners, and no motion blur.)

Yet I still can't get a good track on this clip. Also there seems to be a bug with the solve refinement tools that makes it impossible to fix. Clip below:

Please help! Any tips are appreciated.

Edit: I edited the clip I have linked and it screwed up the timing in the export. Whatever, another issue for another day.

Answers

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,782 Ambassador

    Hopefully someone else might have a few tips. But suffice it to say not every shot is reliably trackable. It could be there are too may points and things moving in the scene. Complex software is well... complex.

    If you are just learning the tracker, it might be best to try it out on a more simple scene that doesn't zoom too fast. For instance, shoot some footage with your phone slowly panning a room or slowing walking down a hallway. Then get the hang of the software before moving on to something more complex or fast moving. I know that doesn't help with your current project, but just my $0.02.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,681 Ambassador

    If the water texture itself is animated it'll throw off the track (same goes for reflections, people, moving characters, etc) . Camera trackers expect to track static objects only. You'll need to make a matte layer - probably in a Comp Shot - to tell Hitfilm to ignore the water. I believe the Stranger Things "Upside Down" tutorial covers the technique.

  • Snadegg
    Snadegg Posts: 35 Enthusiast


    The legend himself! Is the matte technique better than just masking it? I was going off of what FXhome showed in their AT-ST video. I'll give it a shot. I originally had kind of an hourglass mask to get rid of both the sky and the ice but that track ended in the ground plane randomly going vertical.


    Thanks for the tip. I thought Minecraft would be pretty simple to track but I got proven wrong pretty fast lol

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,681 Ambassador
    edited March 16

    A bit of personal preference there, and a bit of "it depends." Both masking or a matte would work. However, for a matte I'd try duplicating the video to a new comp over a black plane. I'd try a chroma key to remove the blue water (and sky?) - maybe stack two chroma keys if some of the water highlights were an issue, then I'd add a Threshold effect after the Chroma Key to see if I could get all the rock to turn white and pre render the Comp. That should isolate the rock from the water without animating the mask. Could even add Hue/Saturation before the key to try and really boost the blue in the water. For a different shot I might try a different strategy. For example, if I had a single person in frame then, yeah, I'd roto a really sloppy mask. In this particular case I think you want to lose the water and keep the rock, so I'd try a key and threshold first.

    Remember, for Foundry you don't necessarily need the whole frame, just enough of the rock texture to catch the movement.

    Also, while Axel has updated the Hitfilm manual section on Foundry, the AE manual does have better discussion of the refine track features. The Ae manual is basically a 1:1 manual for the HF version. There's basically only a couple of differences I don't remember offhand, but they're really minor and only deal with how the tracker interacts with the Viewer.


  • Snadegg
    Snadegg Posts: 35 Enthusiast

    Maybe I need to look at more tutorials, it just seems like it's easy for everyone else to get a sub-2 error by clicking one button and it confuses me.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,782 Ambassador

    Tracking is as much an art as it is a science. Like I said different shots can produce different results with the same software. Essentially a tracker is just trying to lock onto pixels and keep them in view. There is a real fine line between not enough high contrast pixels to track vs. too many.

    @Triem23 had a good suggestion about not tracking everything in the frame and just the rock texture to follow the movement.

    Again I suggest try tracking some different footage, without as much movement, to get the hang of how the Foundary tracker is behaving.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,782 Ambassador

    @Snadegg I assume you've seen this tutorial on the Foundary tracker? At about 4:30 Zach goes into pretty good detail about how to refine the track and get rid of errant tracking points.