© Mark Platten 2006


camera matching:
modelling & compositing

- 3ds Max
- After Effects

Top: Original footage
Centre: Final composite w/ camera-matched model
Bottom: CG spliced with original footage

The process of camera matching - rendering CG elements through a camera whose movement exactly reproduces the camera moves in a given piece of live footage - allows CG elements to be seamlessly integrated into footage; viewed from the exact same angle as the camera used to film that footage. C4's seductive 2005/6 logo idents are exemplars of the method.

There are two approaches: The first uses a motion control rig to record a live camera's exact position & movements; this data then drives the camera in a 3D application, as used in some earlier work (view)

The application of this proven method is mechanically limited by the scope of the location and size of the motion rig; invariably confined to a studio.

By contrast, the second approach - a software-only solution - can, theoretically, derive camera motion from analysing any given piece of live footage. Here, Boujou was used to analyse and extrapolate a motion solution from aerial footage.

My contributions consisted of extensive modelling of buildings and re-purposing the daytime scene for night-time; giving the windows a suitable randomly illuminated look with MAX's 'Material By Element' modifier.

  I also tackled various processes at the compositing stage: masking out the cg where it ought to be occluded by foreground buildings; matching the CG's quality to the graininess & colour of the live footage; blending in the CG to the surrounding environment; adding lighting effects. A number of different 3D passes of the scene were generated with these processes in mind.

The target product was DVD resolution, but the integrity of the HD resolution material available was preserved until the final mixdown / render by swapping in and out of dummy AE comps.

Daytime and night-time shots were required. The companion daytime scene is here

< original/CG (requires QuickTime 7.1)