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Tracking lights onto a bridge

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HammerHeadCat

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Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostTue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 am

Hello,

I've been asked to track some lights onto a bridge but I'm not sure the best way to approach it.

This is a drone shot with the camera panning to the right. It's quite a smooth movement.

The lights need to be evenly spaced with perspective in mind, getting smaller as they get further away. There needs to be the same amount of lights between each pillar. I also need the vertical lights on the wires coming down from the lights where one wire meets the other.

Hope that all makes sense : )


Looking forward to seeing some good techniques.


Please see the attached images. I need to get the lighting effect from the still (the one with lights) to the drone footage (the one with out the lights)


Bridge_with_lights.JPG
Bridge_with_lights.JPG (55.49 KiB) Viewed 653 times
Bridge_with_lights.JPG
Bridge_with_lights.JPG (55.49 KiB) Viewed 653 times
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Bridge_without_lights.JPG
Bridge_without_lights.JPG (42.31 KiB) Viewed 653 times
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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 20, 2018 10:00 am

I found a pretty nice way of doing it but it's not ideal.

I've used the paint tool with a polyline stroke for each long cable that connects from pillar to pillar. In the paint tools brush controls I've used the "Image" Brush shape and used the "star_4sides" Brush.

To track to the footage I used a simple tracker with 2 tracking points, one on each pillar. I even got this to work with the pillars that went off the screen.

BUT!!! What drove me crazy and I would really love someone to help me out here...

I could not for the life of me figure out how to animate the beziers on the polyline strokes, or even just the location of the verts on the polyline stroke. I had to animate the center of the polyline stroke and then use the grid warp to deform it to follow the change of perspective.

Please if anyone knows how to animate beziers on a polyline stroke in the paint tool please let me know if this is possible.

You can see my result here if you are interested. To add the long vertical lights I duplicated the main lights and added a long vertical blur.

Looking forward to animating a polyline stroke

Cheers

Lights_result.JPG
Lights_result.JPG (131.99 KiB) Viewed 619 times
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Sander de Regt

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 20, 2018 11:07 am

Is there any chance of sharing the actual shot with us?
Because it seems like you have done a lot of work that could have been done a little more easily, but that depends on the shot.

There are a couple of ways to deal with the change of perspective in Fusion. What version are you using?
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Vladimir LaFortune

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 20, 2018 11:19 am

3D Track the crap out of it! :)

I'm not familiar with Fusions 3D Tracker but Syntheyes or PFTrack would solve this easy (from the screen caps you've presented us)
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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostThu Jun 21, 2018 10:36 am

Thanks for the reply Sander, I was starting to think my questions were too stupid for anyone to bother :lol:

I'd love to share the footage but there is a 2MB limit :?

Basically the camera moves out towards the river and turnes to the right a little. The movement is very subtle but the perspective change is noticeable.

Here is my node tree. I had to make separate splines so that I could control the size and spacing as the get over the other side of the river.

Node_tree.JPG
Node_tree.JPG (553.2 KiB) Viewed 564 times



Here is a close up of the nodes for one of the lights.

Lights_Nodes_Close_Up.JPG
Lights_Nodes_Close_Up.JPG (277.7 KiB) Viewed 564 times




Here is my settings for the Paint polyline stroke. As you will read on this image a kind man from another part of the internet pointed out that to animate a polyline stroke one needs to simply "right click here for shape animation" :oops:

Paint_tool_settings.JPG
Paint_tool_settings.JPG (435.48 KiB) Viewed 564 times




Even though I absolutely nailed this shot...? I'd still LOVE to know how other people would do this with fewer nodes and time spent.


I'm using the latest fusion 9.


Thanks Vlad but don't you think that 3d is overkill for this kind of thing? Wouldn't tying to line up the lights in 3d space be much harder?
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Sander de Regt

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostThu Jun 21, 2018 10:41 am

I'd love to share the footage but there is a 2MB limit :?

This is true, but you can put in on a google drive or dropbox or something and share the link.
That will work as well.
It's just that analyzing what you did by looking at a node graph isn't the most efficient way to do it.
Sander de Regt

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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostThu Jun 21, 2018 11:42 pm

You are a legend Sander, thanks so much for helping out.

Here is a google drive link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

There's a CG building being comped on the right so not too worried about that. Also assume that more post would be done to the lights with twinkling, dof, noise etc.


Obviously I'm quite new to fusion. Well... I've been using it for 2 ish years but only very basic CG comping for ArchViz so not much Vfx. I'm trying to convince my co workers to jump from AE to Fusion but I need to master it first. One step at a time : )

Thanks again Sander, looking forward to hearing your feedback.
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Yuri V. Nemets

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostFri Jun 22, 2018 2:25 pm

Bottom part of Paint tool.
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Yuri V. Nemets

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostFri Jun 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Also I've noticed huge amount of Lens distortion. Try to deal with Undistort, do your comp, then Distort again.
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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostSun Jun 24, 2018 12:50 am

Good call Yuri, I'll do that next time thanks.
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Sander de Regt

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostSun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am

I haven't had time to really dive into it, but I did notice a downside to the approach of animating the actual spline. Because you use images and spacing changing the length of the spline also changes the amount of lights along the spline. So if you look at the version you uploaded you can see that at the start/end of the line lights appear and disappear during the shot. I don't think that's the intended effect is it?
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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 27, 2018 7:23 am

No not at all : )

They can be masked out though. Not too hard to fix that.

Another thing I could not figure out is how can I get a custom image onto these splines? It's nice that there are options for bombs, fish, snow flakes, stars etc... But surely you can add an external image of choice. Am I wrong to assume that?

Let me know if you know how.


Thanks.
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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 27, 2018 7:25 am

Here is the panel where I thought I would be able to add a custom image to scatter along the splines.

Is it there but just hard to find?

Cheers



How can I add a custom image here.JPG
How can I add a custom image here.JPG (62.02 KiB) Viewed 301 times
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Sander de Regt

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 27, 2018 7:30 am

If you press either the tool or clip button you can use custom images.
Sander de Regt

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HammerHeadCat

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Re: Tracking lights onto a bridge

PostWed Jun 27, 2018 11:53 pm

Thanks so much Sander, I've got a couple more questions. Sorry if they are stupid. I did try to figure this out but can't make it work.


1. If I want to add arrows to a spline like this and have the arrows follow the curve of the spline, how can I do that?

2. Also how would I animate the arrows to move along the spline? These settings do not seem to be in the Paint tool setting that I posted above.


Sorry :( ArchViz 3d artist trying to learn motion graphics/vfx.

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