Camera Tracking with Blender

  • Posted on: 23 April 2008
  • By: Jacob

Ever wonder how to make it look like a 3D object is moving in relation to a moving camera? For the effect I'm talking about, have a look at this:

http://3d-synthesis.com/movies/Lincoln_1961_02.mov

The car on the left is created in Blender, the car on the right is real.

To make 3D generated objects look like they're in the real world, you need to do what's called Camer Tracking. It can also be used to turn still photos or matte paintings into very realistic 3D environments. This is an effect that's used extensively in movies. Comercial software for Camera Tracking can cost $10,000 (such as Boujou), but luckily there are some free alternatives! Here are a couple of free programs you can find for camera tracking with Blender:

Icarus is one of them (but this is for educational use only):

http://www.blendernation.com/2006/05/31/videotutorial-camera-mapping-in-blender/
http://www.peerlessproductions.com/tuts/pages/Icarus.html

Voodoo is the other one (this one free):

http://www.digilab.uni-hannover.de/docs/manual.html

Camera tracking will eventually be integrated into Blender, but until then, we've got to rely on other programs to do it. Here are some general tips on how to get good tracking:

http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/3d__and__animation/the_...

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