In the visual industry, the term “matchmoving” refers to precisely synchronizing the motion and positioning of computer-generated imagery with those of real-world objects. When producing visual effects (VFX) that seem to be a natural part of the live-action movie, this method is crucial to having them blend in seamlessly. Even though they unconsciously expect it in every animation or movie they see, the majority of people are ignorant of the matchmoving procedure.
Matchmoving is a well-recognized phrase that can be used compatibly with VFX tracking. In this article, we are going to discuss about what is matchmoving and how the industry and artists are getting benefits from it.
What Is Matchmoving?
Matchmoving is a crucial component in the VFX industry. This method enables computer-generated imagery (CGI) to intersect with live-action video while maintaining the precise scale, location, velocity, and orientation of the photographed object in the relevant shots. In the modern CGI and VFX industry, camera/motion tracking is regarded as one of the most essential processes.
It involves resolving the camera movement in a frame to generate a virtual camera that is the same as the real one. As a result, matchmoving is also known as camera/motion tracking.
Types of Matchmoving
If you want to break into the field of matchmoving for the VFX industry, then remember that there are a total of three types of matchmoving, which are listed below.
1. 2D Matchmoving
When using 2D matchmoving software, your material is treated as “flat,” meaning that the tracker tries to track position, scale, and rotation even though it is unable to discern depth in the image. 2D matchmoving happens relatively quickly since we are not concerned with computing depth. Furthermore, it’s a common practice to employ 2D matchmoving techniques—which track numerous 2D points in an image and use them to transform or warp another 2D asset to give a sense of depth even in the absence of depth information.
2. 3D Matchmoving
On the other hand, a virtual 3D camera that moves in your scene precisely how your actual camera did when you recorded a movie or video is called 3D matchmoving. By employing methods similar to 2D matchmoving, the software tracks hundreds of points in its shot simultaneously. A virtual restoration of the depth estimation in the photos is made feasible by the software.
Similar to 3D matchmoving, motion capture (also known as performance capture) measures numerous attributes of an item and combines them over time. However, in motion capture, we are attempting animation-style performance and don’t care about what the camera does.
Why Does the VFX Process Need Matchmoving?
Because matchmove artists integrate computer-generated imagery into live-action videos smoothly, it is a crucial step in the VFX process. It would be hard to produce reliable visual effects in animation without matchmoving since the 3D objects would seem to be floating in space or moving apart from the surrounding environments.
Another reason matchmoving is significant is that it enables filmmakers to accomplish intricate camera movements that would be hard or impossible to accomplish in real life. Animators will be able to construct images that would not be possible otherwise, such as a virtual camera that can fly above buildings or travel through walls.
Prep, Rotoscoping, and Matchmoving are aspects of the first VFX production process. Stages and groups comprise the visual effect pipeline. At this point, the artist must focus on the finer details. Any faults that arise during the later stages of production will be difficult to fix and costly. In the VFX pipeline, the steps, including 3D animation effects simulation, could take longer to finish.
How Does Matchmoving Work?
In order to compute the camera’s movement, the matchmoving process in filmmaking involves tracking particular spots in the live-action footage. Tracking markers are the spots that are tracked; they might be artificial markers placed on a set or natural things like trees or rocks. These markers are then used by the program to build a 3D rebuilding of the scene that is accurate to the actual surroundings.
The Matchmoving Workflow
Typically, the matchmoving workflow consists of the following steps:
- Pre-Production: To organize the VFX shots and determine which tracking markers need to be placed on set, the VFX supervisor collaborates with the director and cinematographer during this phase.
- Production: Live-action footage is recorded, and tracking markers are set up on the set during production.
- Post-Production: In post-production, the camera movement is recreated in three dimensions after the footage is examined using matchmoving software. Then, using 3D elements, the VFX artist can make the scene seem as though it is composed entirely of real-world objects.
Different Ways to Track Motion
You can track motion in a number of methods, such as:
- Point Tracking: Identifying specific spots in the video, such as artificial or natural markers, is called point tracking. After that, the program determines how to move the camera based on the locations of these spots.
- Planar Tracking: The process of monitoring flat surfaces in a video, like walls or floors, is called planar tracking. When tracking moving objects inside a defined plane, such as a character moving across a room, this technique can be helpful.
- 3-Dimensional Tracking: Following an object’s movements in all three dimensions is known as three-dimensional tracking (3D tracking). For example, tracking an automobile traveling down a road is a helpful application of this technology.
- Object Tracking: Object tracking is the procedure of following an object’s movements throughout the film. When tracking things that move apart from the camera, such as a person holding a phone, this method comes in handy.
Animators must possess a high level of technical skills and specialization to use specific software for the complicated process of matchmoving. We hope this guide gave you a little exposure to the world of matchmoving. Match movement and composition are areas of expertise for the VFX artists at Anideos because we employ these techniques in practically all of our animations. Do you wish to create animation with outstanding visual effects? Our post-production and visual effects services include matchmove for animations. We offer complete film production services, including pre-production, script writing, filming, editing, and animation coloring. Our animation studio is well-equipped to handle any animation project. Making your movie idea a reality is something we are excited about!