Studying 3D Camera Tracker

Studying 3D Camera Tracker

Posted on 28. May, 2012 by in After Effects

I’ve tried many match-moving applications over the years, and nothing beats the build-in 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects CS6, eventhough it’s fully automatic with no manual control over the tracking process. Simply amazing.

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Some time ago I’ve posted a short introduction video Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags on YouTube about the new 3D Camera Tracker available in After Effects CS6. I’ve got a lot of comments and questions since then, so I decided to make a more in-depth video on the various aspects of match-moving. If you tried solving a 3D camera on your own either using After Effects CS6 or any other software and failed – this tutorial is for you.

Among general software specific tips you’ll learn some rules of thumb regarding shooting and processing footage for match-moving. There’s a lot more to it that I show in this tutorial, however I’m sure it will get you started if you’ve never done it or experienced difficulties.

You will see three different examples in this tutorial, one of which is pretty much the same as in the original YouTube tutorial, however with a little more detail on how things work and how to deal with tracking. The second example is perfect for showing how match-moving can be used and how to properly shoot the footage, so the tracking software can solve it. The third one is most impressive of all. The footage used was never intended to me match-moved and you will see how 3D Camera Tracker deals with it opening a new dimension of creative freedom.


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19 Responses to “Studying 3D Camera Tracker”

  1. Tom Daigon

    28. May, 2012

    Jerry: I always enjoy your tutorials. And I really appreciate being to follow along with accessible footage.

    I think animating a shape looks MUCH quicker then using a rotobrush. :D

    Keep up the good work!

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      28. May, 2012

      As I pointed out it might be true for this particular footage. However it also has a risk of masking out vital tracking and reference points. In general – the tighter the mask (roto) the better.

  2. Lyndon

    28. May, 2012

    Word, glad to see you’re back at it! :D

  3. franck

    29. May, 2012

    Very good walk through! Thanx!

    When I heard that you are making a separate 3D AE tutorial, two questions arose:
    – How do you deal with lens distortion in AE and in the 3D software? How do you correct/add it?
    – What would be the best workflow for stabilizing a shot? Track it all, insert your elements and then use the AE stabilizer?

  4. illd

    29. May, 2012


    thx for this review/tutorial. Some nice tips in here. I am really impressed how the 3D Tracker solved the last shoot. But I am still unsure about the whole automatic thing. At least several solving calculations to choose from (like in Syntheyes) would be nice. I think I wouldn´t rely on the AE 3D tracker for a real complicated track/Project – Would you???

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      29. May, 2012

      I’ve been using automated trackers for a long time – like PF Hoe, and have been using Syntheyes, PF Track, Boujou and RealViz. I think it all goes down to shooting footage that trackers like to deal with, and once you do that, you are usually ok with automated tracking – and if you’re ok with automated tracking, than AE is the best way to go.

  5. Loay Emad

    31. May, 2012

    It’s very good to see you back, Jerzy. I really Learn a lot from your tutorials.

  6. Rich

    01. Jun, 2012

    OMG . you are one of the best and you stopped posting tutorials and i felt bad . now you’re back for good?!!!

  7. Peter

    02. Jun, 2012

    Thank U :)

  8. Maxim

    06. Jun, 2012

    This tutorial is awesome! ThanX!

  9. Flavio Soares

    26. Jun, 2012

    Your tuts are impressive! One question: you computer seems very fast on rotobrush, cameratracker analyzing etc, much faster than my brand new 16GB RAM 4core macbook pro i7 with 1GB radeon 6770. What am I missing here? Are you using GPU processing? Thanks

    • Flavio Soares

      26. Jun, 2012

      Update: just realized that using the raytracer things go even worse, making it impossible to experiment and create freely.

  10. Sherif Gamal

    22. Jul, 2012

    when i render video messages shows

    “analysis solve failed”

    i want to know the steps to resolve this problem i cannot render any video

  11. SephirothNP

    13. Aug, 2012

    FANTASTIC. Absolutely tremendous- this greatly clairifies the current state of affairs- you have sold me on the 3D camera track capability built in to AE CS6.

    For ‘regular’ (2D) motion tracking, is there anything that you recommend beyond the Mocha for AE plugin? I.e. The Foundry, Mocha Pro, etc? Or would you be comfortable using just the software that comes built in to AE CS6 for all motion tracking requirements?

  12. This tutorial is awesome! Than you!!

  13. Jaypeeps

    24. Aug, 2012

    After Effects CS6 built-in 3D Camera Tracker
    is very amazing.
    Im now feel comfortable using this rather using third party program such as u mentioned in previous comment.
    Every second of your tutorial makes me more attentive.

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    -from philippines

  14. bronze

    28. Aug, 2012

    thanks a lot^

  15. hadipour

    26. Sep, 2012

  16. Westbam

    05. Oct, 2012

    Thank you so much, now I know how to make 3D tracking look good. Never realized that moving objects where messing up the tracking.