About this Tutorial

This tutorial will cover:

• Tracking
• Matting
• Calibrating
• Setting the origin and orienting 3D space
• Bundle Adjusting...
• Importing tracking data into Blender
• Importing tracking data into After Effects

Now, something to remember is: I am NOT an expert. I may be doing a number of things wrong. In fact, there's a good chance that I have no idea what I'm talking about (in some sections, at least).

Download Icarus

Distributed with permission from The Pixel Farm. Remember, this software is for educational use only.


Mac OS X: Icarus.zip-- 55.6 mb
Windows: Icarus.zip-- 44.2 mb

DV File Downloads

Stream_Encounter.zip-- 19 mb

Blender Import Scripts

(for importing tracking data to Blender)

Icarus 3D Import Script for Blender 2.41 --8 k (credit goes to Alfredo de Greef)

Icarus 2D Import Script for Blender 2.48 --8 k (credit goes to Wray Bowling)


Icarus Video Tutorial Series


1. Intro & Tracking

[Divx--24.3 mb]

[QuickTime--72.6 mb]

2. Calibration

[Divx--9 mb]

[QuickTime--19.5 mb]

3. Bundle Adjust

[Divx--14.5 mb]

[QuickTime--24.9 mb]

4. Exporting

[Divx--6.6 mb]

[QuickTime--12.7 mb]

5. Import to Blender

[Divx--3.6 mb]

[QuickTime--8.4 mb]

6. Import to After Effects

[Divx--11.1 mb]

[QuickTime--29.7 mb]

Bundled Downloads

Divx: Icarus Video Tutorial Series-- 64.2 mb
QuickTime: Icarus Video Tutorial Series-- 137 mb  


The tutorial is split up into 6 sections. You can download each section individually, in different formats, or you can download a zip file of the series. The Divx format I used is called 3ivx D4...


An Introduction:

Motion tracking, according to Wikipedia, is a visual effects technology to allow the insertion of virtual objects into real footage with the correct position, scale, orientation and motion in relation to the photographed objects in the scene.

Motin tracking, according to me, it's the REVERSE ENGINEERING of the CAMERA MOVEMENT of any shot, based on nothing but pixel luminance and RGB information, and how it changes from frame to frame.

Motion tracking should be invisible. It's not an especially creative process, but it is necessary any time you need to matchmove a cg element to a moving background plate.

There are different methods to tracking: you can track a small region of pixels (in After Effects, for example) and match a cg object into that anchor point. (2D tracking) You can track the entire frame, using areas of pixels scattered throughout, and can place one or more cg objects in 3D space. This is 3D tracking, which allows for parallax and complex camera movement.

What I will be demonstrating is sortof a hybrid. I wouldn't really consider it a full 3D track, because the clip I'm using was shot on a tripod (there is no parallax). However, the method is pretty much the same for o full-fledged 3D tracking.