refining keying and tracking

This week my goal is to have a final key and track for both shots. The tracking is something that’s been a bit problematic through this project. It’s working pretty fine for the first scene but the second one is still something I need to work more on. The version I got right now is OK, But I want to see if I could make it even better.

and for the keying:

right now I’ve just added the different keyers that I will use and tried them out with some roto’s. both garbage mattes and a more detailed roto. I did one key a few weeks ago but the edges didn’t look that good. especially at the shoes and the hair (much greeen on them). (for the first scene). the second scene is much easier to work with when it comes to the keying. But it’s a close up instead so the edges need to look better than in the first scene.

I also did a render of the background from maya to see how it looks togheter with film in nuke. I miiight need to move it up a little. and yes, I forgot to remove the chair for the test. But the tracking looks good. The only thing I’m wondering about is the size of the scene and perspective. But I think it will be easier to see that once I actually got the trees and grass in the scene.

keying test

the node tree is not that structured right now. But hopefully I will add a better one at the end of this week :)

over and out – Michaela

testing textures

Last week I worked a lot with textures for the first scene, and refining some modelling for example the wall. It’s been pretty straight forward. I did sculpting in mudbox, tried to use displacement maps but normal maps worked even better just in this case (for the stone part of the wall). to make the other objects less “simple/plain” I added simple bumpmaps but I might need to work a little bit more with them. The same goes for the tree roots and the groundplane. And I think that I might need to increase the resolution for some textures and also add some more variation to, for example, the “statues”.



render test 2

i haven’t added the trees and the grass to the scene yet because they’re not done and they doesn’t look that good. I will give you a picture of it next week :) To save some time and work I’m only gonna make one “perfect” tree and then, when adding it to the first scene, I’m just gonna rotate it to make it look like different trees + add slightly different diffuse textures for the tree trunks. I will only need 3 trees in the first scene, so that is why I think this might work.

I think I might need to add some small stones on the groundplane as well. just to make it look more alive. But both the stones and the grass depends on where I will place the trees. I don’t want to create a lot of grass that, in the end, you won’t be able to see because of the trees.

I also did a texture test for the butterfly:


I’m sorry for the crappy picture but the front wings became invisible when rendered. It got something to do with the alpha/shader in maya, which is wierd because I’ve used the exact same methods for the back and front wings. what I’ve done is: added a diffuse with alpha, and added the same diffuse node for the cutout opacity in the shader :)

over and out – Michaela

modelling and some cheating!

I’ve worked some more on the modelling! :) I’m also trying to decide where to put the trees and the wall for the first scene. I want to use the wall so that I could add a matte painting behind it with some simple 2D elements, and maybe some simple 2d cards with alpha for more trees.

I’ve found a lot of good pictures on cgtextures that I will be able to use for both textures and background images. especially one png picture of a branch with appletree flowers. I think I will win some time on adding pictures of branches instead of making all of them with paint effects. cause you won’t see that much of the tree crowns in the first scene. mostly the roots and the tree trunks.

I’ve also been thinking about how I should work with the grass. Should I make everything with paint effects or just a part of it with paint effects and then add some matte paintings that’s further away from the camera position? that’s what I’m trying to decide right now.


I’ve started to work some more on the modelling and so far it’s been pretty simple. I’ve saved more complicated meshes, like stone that needs more details, for sculpting in mudbox. I don’t want to have billions of polygons in my scene so therefore I will try to add displacement maps for the objects that need it. it will probably slow down enough with the paint effects later on and it takes time to work with a slow scene in maya. I want to avoid that.

what I’ve done so far is mostly objects for the first scene, the ground plane, the “temple wall”, 2 different stones that I will put out randomly in the scene (different sizes and rotations), and a statue that I really don’t know what to call? It looks like small houses and are often placed in front of tori gates/around temple areas.


I think I will have to add some more roots and details to the ground plane though.

over and out – Michaela s

Tracking almost done

So recently I’ve been trying to solve the problem with the tracking. and I actually solved it for the first scene by trying to track it in matchmover again! and of course after some more research on the camera we filmed the shots with.  And yes, I did try matchmover before milestone 2 but the result came out in such a wierd way so I decided to try to solve the problem with nuke just because the track looked really good there. (before being exported to maya of course).

So, I tried to solve the problem over and over again in Nuke, I tried to change the scale, the rotationaxis, the tracks I choose for the ground plane et cetera in nuke but it always came out the same way in Maya. I even tried to play a little with the camera settings, changing film back size and the focal length just to be able to see if that were the problem. And I did notice that I’ve used the wrong film back size for the camera. I found some good information about the camera on this page:

I must have written down the wrong film back size when we were filming.

I also did some more research on what exactly film back size means and found this page that explained it pretty good:

When I changed the film back size to the proper one and tried to track it again in nuke and then export it to maya. did you think it worked? of course not. I even tried a plugin I found on for exporting the camera, image plane and trackingpoints from nuke but that didn’t work as well. BUT it worked perfectly in matchmover now when I had the right film back size!

I will try to track the second scene in matchmover as well , and I really hope that it will work.

over and out! – Michaela s

(written the 24/02)