How the “Motion Camera Shots” Series Was Created

Matchmove software is used to place computer graphic (CG) elements into live action scenes that have a moving camera. It tracks the camera movement in 3D space and that 3D geometric data can then be used in a 3D animation program to place elements and/or characters so that they match the cameras movement, hence the name matchmove. What I'm doing in the “Motion Camera Shots” series is taking that tracked geometric data generated by the matchmove software and having the 3D application Maya calculate the cartesian coordinates, in this example, the Y-Axis data, the degrees from 0 (zero) that the camera has panned and then rendering (compositing) that output in Final Cut Pro using a custom FXScript. In the case of the zoom shots the Z-Axis data was used to calculate the focal length and the tracking shots used the X-Axis data to calculate the distance the camera has moved.

Screen shot of tracking application

Screen capture of tracking software doing its thing

The clip is short and of not such great quality, but I wanted to keep it large enough in order to better see the tracking markers.

What the tracked data looks like in 3D space

The shot rendered with the Y-Axis data converted to degrees from 0