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Voodoo Camera Tracker Import Plugin


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#1 aaver

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 04:18 PM

The Voodoo Camera Tracker has been discussed on these forums lately. To be able to use it in A:M, I have programmed an import plugin. It works for me, but since it's a quick hack, you should expect it to have bugs. Also, it's not documented at all so help your self until I have some more spare time.

Since Voodoo is free for non commercial work, so is my plugin.

Please report bugs and make feature requests in this thread

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#2 mediaho

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 04:27 PM

Awesome! Thank you. Can't wait to try it out.

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#3 aaver

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 04:32 PM

Awesome! Thank you. Can't wait to try it out.



Wait before you praise it. It might make A:M crash... ;)

Seriously, please note it's a very early alpha version and you shouldn't rely on it for production work.

#4 John Bigboote

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 04:36 PM

THIS is good news Anders... I hope you find time to polish it up!

#5 ddustin

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 04:39 PM

Anders,
I need to test this.

I didn't see the save to text file option listed in the camera tracker options.

Thanks,
David
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#6 agep

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 06:58 PM

YOU ARE THE MAN! Thanks! It works!!!
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#7 pleavens

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 07:26 PM

Yes it does work! Thank you once again. Another great plugin. :D Phil

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#8 john2004

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:12 PM

Is this a version 12 plugin? I dumped it to the hxt directory of 11.1 ( on windows machine) and nothing related to Voodoo shows up in either Model -> Plugins -> import or in Model -> import Or in an action or Chor. Maybe I'm out of practice at importing stuff. John

#9 pleavens

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 09:41 PM

Is this a version 12 plugin?
I dumped it to the hxt directory of 11.1 ( on windows machine) and nothing related to Voodoo shows up in
either Model -> Plugins -> import or in Model -> import Or in an action or Chor.
Maybe I'm out of practice at importing stuff.

John

Right click on the camera shortcut in a choreography.

Phil

#10 john2004

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 10:14 PM

Phil,
I really appreciate that advice. New one on me. It is there.
John

Right click on the camera shortcut in a choreography.

Phil



#11 aaver

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 02:24 AM


Is this a version 12 plugin?
I dumped it to the hxt directory of 11.1 ( on windows machine) and nothing related to Voodoo shows up in
either Model -> Plugins -> import or in Model -> import Or in an action or Chor.
Maybe I'm out of practice at importing stuff.

John

Right click on the camera shortcut in a choreography.

Phil



Sorry.
If nothing else, I could at least have told you that. <_< But you found out how to use it and it works for you too. Great :D

#12 ddustin

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 03:25 AM


Is this a version 12 plugin?
I dumped it to the hxt directory of 11.1 ( on windows machine) and nothing related to Voodoo shows up in
either Model -> Plugins -> import or in Model -> import Or in an action or Chor.
Maybe I'm out of practice at importing stuff.

John

Right click on the camera shortcut in a choreography.

Phil



Sorry.
If nothing else, I could at least have told you that. <_< But you found out how to use it and it works for you too. Great :D


Anders,
Should it be applied to pre or post stabilized footage?
Thanks,
David
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#13 aaver

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:14 AM

Anders,
Should it be applied to pre or post stabilized footage?
Thanks,
David


David,

It should be applied to whatever comes out of the Voodoo Camera Tracker. My Importer only translates their camera data to something that A:M understands.

Actually I'm very new to camera tracking myself, but I don't think it matters whether the footage is pre or post stabilized. The Voodoo Camera Tracker "only" calculates camera data for a camera that would match the footage. For those with much experience from camera tracking, this may sound stupid though :unsure:

#14 ddustin

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 10:48 AM

Anders, I would think it should be post stabilized footage. Hopefully I can test it soon, but time is really tight right now. David
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#15 ddustin

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:02 PM

Has anyone played with the settings in the Voodoo tracker SW? David
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#16 Paul Forwood

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 03:49 AM

Anders, this is brilliant! I haven't tried it yet but it's on the top of the pile of things to do so maybe next week. Thanks for your superb offering.
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#17 Gene

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 05:08 AM

I have never even played with camera tracking... Can someone explain the "big picture" of how the Voodoo software works and how it is applied in AM? Thanks, Eugene

#18 Gorf

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 05:54 AM

From what I can tell, you use it to establish a seven-dimension representation of a real-life camera in space, using "features" of the video that are tracked from frame to frame. The six dimensions are position (X, Y and Z), roll, yaw, pitch and focal length. Eight dimensions if you also include time. :blink: You then use this in A:M (or whatever) for the 3D camera's position. When you composite your animation on top of the real-life scene, the CGI is seamlessly matched because the "camera" used to create it moved in the same way as the real-life camera. Or is that too simplified?

#19 gra4mac

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 08:07 AM

This is looking very cool. However, I can't get the Voodoo plugin to show using r click on cam shortcut. I'm using A:M v 10.5, maybe that's the problem. Also, anyone using Icarus. I have an OS 10 version that works, but when I try to import the cam.txt file into A:M on my PC, I get an "Invalid File Version" error. I have icarus v 2.06
Cheers, Graham

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#20 Gorf

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 09:44 AM

I couldn't get Marcel's Icarus plugin to work with 10.5 or 11 - the Z rotation seemed to oscillate badly - I'm sure I had something set incorrectly (like the rotation being accumulated over frames) but I never got to the bottom of it. Apart from that, the latest version of the plugin imports to A:M 10.5 or A:M11 without an error message. The VooDoo plugin seems to do a good job, it's the camera tracker itself that seems less accurate and slower than Icarus. You need the HXT file to be in your A:M HXT directory, and right click the camera in the choreography, select plugins, import, VooDoo. Also, don't forget to join the forum at www.digilab.uni-hannover.de/index.html HTH

#21 aaver

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 10:30 AM

Gareth, Have you done anything with VooDoo and A:M that you'd like to share? :)

#22 gra4mac

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:31 AM

Hmmm. Well, I can't get the Icarus files to import at all and the Voodoo plugin doesn't show. I've attached screen captures showing the voodoo.hxt file in the A:M hxt folder and what I get when r clicking the camera shortcut. Yes I have relaunched A:M since dropping the voodoo hxt file in. Any suggestions would be great.Posted Image
Cheers, Graham

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#23 Gorf

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 02:56 PM

Have you done anything with VooDoo and A:M that you'd like to share? :)


Unfortunately not - yet. I've got bigger plans than my abilities allow, so I'm working through them pretty slowly at the moment...

:(

Hmmm. Well, I can't get the Icarus files to import at all and the Voodoo plugin doesn't show. I've attached screen captures showing the voodoo.hxt file in the A:M hxt folder and what I get when r clicking the camera shortcut....


It looks to me like you're right clicking the chor, not the camera...

#24 gra4mac

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 08:28 PM

It looks to me like you're right clicking the chor, not the camera... [/quote] Bingo. That's it. I'd feel really dumb if I wasn't so happy to be making some progress. I was able to get the Voodoo camera data into the A:M camera, but there is a lot of slippage in all directions. I will have to tinker to see if I can figure it out. I gather that matchmoving can be tricky. I'd like to be able to compare using Icarus data. I wonder if my problem with the Icarus import is because the .txt file was created on my Mac. Does anyone have a PC version of Icarus? Ha sanyone ben able to get a good fit with Voodoo data?
Cheers, Graham

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#25 Gorf

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 03:11 AM

> It looks to me like you're right clicking the chor, not the camera...

Bingo. That's it. I'd feel really dumb if I wasn't so happy to be making some progress.


Glad I can do something construvtive for a change. I'm usually leeching knowledge while lurking or posting my own questions. It's not often I get chance to contribute.

I was able to get the Voodoo camera data into the A:M camera, but there is a lot of slippage in all directions. I will have to tinker to see if I can figure it out. I gather that matchmoving can be tricky. I'd like to be able to compare using Icarus data. I wonder if my problem with the Icarus import is because the .txt file was created on my Mac. Does anyone have a PC version of Icarus? Ha sanyone ben able to get a good fit with Voodoo data?


You might want to try a bundle adjust. There are examples on the VooDoo website of slippage "before and after"

I've got the PC build of Icarus 2.08 and 2.09 but there weren't any huge changes - I think the latter versions were designed to "hobble" the trackable image size down to D1, in anticipation of the program being sold.

#26 gra4mac

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 09:10 AM

So now I can import both Vodoo an Icarus cam data. The thing I'm wondering now is, how do I tell how far from the camera objects should be in relation to the video. For example, I'm using the building sample from Icarus, is there a way to tell where in the cho the corner of the building should be so that an object placed there won't ave any paralax motion with respect to the building. I hope this is making sense. I'm hoping if I can mark that point and adjust the camera curves to remove any slip then all other things placed in the scene won't slip either. Please let me know if I've missed something and there is any easy way to do this. :)
Cheers, Graham

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#27 Gorf

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 10:22 AM

So now I can import both Vodoo an Icarus cam data. The thing I'm wondering now is, how do I tell how far from the camera objects should be in relation to the video. For example, I'm using the building sample from Icarus, is there a way to tell where in the cho the corner of the building should be so that an object placed there won't ave any paralax motion with respect to the building. I hope this is making sense. I'm hoping if I can mark that point and adjust the camera curves to remove any slip then all other things placed in the scene won't slip either. Please let me know if I've missed something and there is any easy way to do this. :)


As far as I can tell, it's not a problem that you fix in the animation software. Any slip will be caused by a bad track, especially with tripod (pan/tilt/zoom) movement.

#28 Gorf

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 08:57 AM

Hi, Anders. I was just playing about with the VooDoo tracker and your plugin yesterday, and got a very good track into A:M (better than Icarus, anyway, which was a little confused by people moving about in the shot). Anyway - I have a slight problem which might be a bug but which is more likely my inability to use the software properly (either VooDoo or A:M). Basically, the focal length operates the wrong way - the footage I used had a fast zoom in, while the imported camera data in A:M means Camera1 actually zooms out. I'll try again tongiht with some specially filmed footage, but if you let me know if it's a known bug, or if it's obvious what I'm doing wrong, I'll be very grateful.

#29 Ganthofer

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 03:46 PM

I've been playing with the VooDoo tracker and the import plugin (Thanks Anders! :D it hasn't crashed my system even once!).

After searching the web for information, I was finally able to estimate the Filmback values. (camera specs - 1/2.5 inch CCD ~ 5.76 x 4.29 mm)

A few things I am trying to figure out, perhaps some one can point me in the right direction:

1 - I am assuming you use SAVE Textfile.. from the file menu in VooDoo, yes? :huh: At least that is what I have been doing and the data is imported.

2 - The description in the VooDoo txt file labels the last column of camera data "fov : Focal Length" but the value it populates with is the Horizontal Angle of View. Focal Length (what I know) is the distance from the film(back) to the focal point of the lens, and Field of View is normally measured diagonaly is it not?

For example: txt contains fov 32.031073, Focal Length in A:M 32.03. This value does not work, the 3D FPoints slide all around. The Diagonal Opening Angle (from the camera parameters 0r calculated manually) 39.4758 appears to track.

EDIT: OK, I'm seeing things, now a setting around 70 works for the Focal Length. I think I'll take a break from tracking for a day

Can some one confirm this? I haven't had to many film clips that would track well.

3 - The distances for the 3D FPoints are not even close to reality. I'm guessing it's the "Pixel Size: [mm/pel]", but these are being calculated by the program.

example: outdoor scene the results have the camera moving about 38mm in the Z direction and I'm guessing I traveled about 4 meters (so a multiplier of 100).

Any idea what value to adjust to correct the offset? Anders, how about adding an input for a multiplier?

4 - has anyone been successful getting values entered in the Position tab of the Camera config menu (i.e. translation, Pan, Tilt, Roll) to be taken into consideration by the program?

5 - I had my best luck with 320x240 format. Tried 640x480, but haven't been successful in getting a track yet. I also tried processing the TGA's ( Blur, Sharpening, Edge enhancement, B/W....), haven't found a technique that improves the tracking.

Any recommendations on what tracks well?


All in all, it's been a very thought provoking couple of days :wacko: (and a rehash of my trig).

Here is a link to some useful data on CCD sizes and the actual receptor dimentions (not that they nessacarily use the whole receptor, but it's all I could find).

CCD Sensor sizes

#30 KingVidiot

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 07:14 PM

The Voodoo Camera Tracker has been discussed on these forums lately. To be able to use it in A:M, I have programmed an import plugin. It works for me, but since it's a quick hack, you should expect it to have bugs. Also, it's not documented at all so help your self until I have some more spare time.

Since Voodoo is free for non commercial work, so is my plugin.

Please report bugs and make feature requests in this thread



I really want to try this but the voodoo beta download link seem to be down right now.

Can anyone point me to a good link to try out the host program? Otherwise, could someone send me the beta as a zip file? I doubt that the author would mind if we share a beta app. since it is free.


Thanks!
kingvidiot83@yahoo.com

#31 John Bigboote

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 06:54 AM

I thought that Voodoo had died. Dead. I used it back in the Version 8 days to do some cool stuff, but when I tried it in later days and versions it had become disabled and useless. Wasn't there a thread discussing a 'new' camera tracker that was in the works???

#32 Gorf

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 09:08 AM

Are you sure you're not thinking of Icarus? Icarus was the camera tracker developed by the Advanced Interfaces Group at Manchester University - and just when it was getting good they droppped support of anything higher than D1 resolution - then they sold the rights to The Pixel Farm, and it became PFTrack and the cut-down PFHoe. The last version of Icarus was 2.9. VooDoo is not dead as far as I'm aware, there is still the occasional post in the forum, but it has stalled a little. The last release was 0.9 beta.

#33 John Bigboote

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 11:40 AM

I'm sorry...yes, I was thinking Icarus. So, Voodoo IS the new-fangled latest-greatest free camera tracker for A:Mer's. Thanks for setting me straight, Gorf. My bad!

#34 Gorf

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 03:37 AM

It's very good, but there are a couple of niggles. You can't create a garbage matte in the program, you have to track a version of the video which has the area you want to ignore matted out with a gaussian blur. You also can't save your track (or at least, I can't see how you do it in version 8). Still, it's excellent for the price.

#35 Lewa11

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 06:48 AM

Wow! It works great for me! The one question I have though is pretty off-topic however. For the little test I did, I didn't have any tga's available, just an avi. I had to go frame by frame in my bideo editing software and save each frame manually... insane! So I just want to know about getting my captured dv avis into a format that Voodoo can recognize. But other then that, it worked great from what I can see, so kudos!

#36 Bendytoons

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 07:52 AM

Wow! It works great for me! The one question I have though is pretty off-topic however. For the little test I did, I didn't have any tga's available, just an avi. I had to go frame by frame in my bideo editing software and save each frame manually... insane! So I just want to know about getting my captured dv avis into a format that Voodoo can recognize. But other then that, it worked great from what I can see, so kudos!

Just load your .avi into A:M and export as a .tga sequence.

#37 Lewa11

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 07:59 AM

*Slaps forehead* Should've thought of that one. I probably didn't think of it because A:M doesen't tend to accept the avi files that my editing software produces, but I can workaround that easily by making them movs.

#38 John Bigboote

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 11:14 AM

OK--- thought I'd look in to Voodoo camera tracker. It looks great as a tracker, but I am getting 'flipped' data out of it into it's own 3D scene tracker module and into Hash...ANYONE ELSE GETTING THIS? (See attached imagery for further information.)

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  • voodoovoodoo.jpg


#39 Gorf

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 02:14 PM

If you're getting it in VooDoo's own 3D viewer, it might be worth posting the problem on the VooDoo forum, as it's not something specific to A:M.

What film back are you using?

#40 John Bigboote

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 07:21 PM



What film back are you using?


DANG IT!!!

I Can't believe the Red Wings lost!

I use default settings, except I'll change the one parameter to 'NTSC D1'....I don't get what they are fishing for with 'filmback'. I do, however, notice that the lens is set to 10mm which is very 'fisheye' and so I set it to '35mm' or '50' but it doesn't seem to matter, as once I get the data into A:M it is still set to FISHEYE 10mm...

OVERALL, the entire app does not seem to work like Icarus did. Icarus would import the camera .txt data AND give you NULLS for all of the motion data it percieved, whereas VOODOO is doing something more indicative of it's name-VOODOO...as in...what the heck is going on???

I don't know if joining their usergroup will help, as I can already hear the advice... "it is'nt meant to be used in A:M...get XSI Maya or Max...or even BLENDER!"

Gahhh! I CAN'T beleieve the RedWings LOST!!!!!

Sorry.

#41 Gorf

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 01:23 AM




What film back are you using?

I use default settings, except I'll change the one parameter to 'NTSC D1'....I don't get what they are fishing for with 'filmback'.


Film back is the size of the CCD or exposure (if using film, e.g. 35mm). It's the actual size, which can be hard to find. I don't know if you can just tell it 35mm and use the camera's lens parameters, which are often spoofed to their 35mm equivalents.

That image does look a bit fisheyed, though...


OVERALL, the entire app does not seem to work like Icarus did. Icarus would import the camera .txt data AND give you NULLS for all of the motion data it percieved, whereas VOODOO is doing something more indicative of it's name-VOODOO...as in...what the heck is going on???


It does work differently. To be honest, I never bothered with importing anything from Icarus other than the camera motion data.


I don't know if joining their usergroup will help, as I can already hear the advice... "it is'nt meant to be used in A:M...get XSI Maya or Max...or even BLENDER!"


:) They aren't too bad in there - in fact it's quite quiet. Did this topic not help at all?

#42 John Bigboote

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:06 AM

Gorf- Thanks for that thread link. After a quick read I can summarize that those fine people are experiencing the same problem as I am with VooDoo, that the camera is bass-ackward after scanning the scene. Apparently it uses a different 'Y-UP' convention than even it's own 3D viewer...which is strange. Those guys are writing scripts to apply to their cameras in Blender or XSI to solve/correct the issue. SO- in A:M, I imagine the solution is something along the line of 'scaling the camera NEGATIVE 100% in both the x and y axis after appling the Voodoo file...AND figuring a way for it to STAY flipped for the duration of the scene...' I also thought of making TWO folders of my source sequence...one being flipped180 degrees in After Effects that you use to run the Voodoo on...and apply the captured camera data to the UNflipped version. Fudge! The REAL solution would be...spend the extra cash for Synth-eyes.