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Blender Camera Tracking Tutorial for Mac Beginners

Nov 27, 2020• Proven solutions

Blender Camera tracking is the perfect mix of artistic and technical skill to reproduce the camera path, followed by a real-time camera. It forms an integral part of post-production. While camera tracking is a little confusing in the blender for beginners, a suitable tutorial will make it easy, and today’s article is all about it.

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Part 1: What's Camera Tracking in Blender?

Suppose you want to turn a small duration video recorded on your phone into a 3D real-life video? Else worried that such mere insertion of a 3D model on top of your footage won’t give a realistic touch to the video? You may opt for animating the model frame-wise at such circumstances, where a blender camera tracker comes to your rescue. Using blender 2.8 camera tracking mode, you can effortlessly achieve this.

Blender Camera Tracking is employed to extract the movement from the camera’s footage and generate a digital video. The steps are almost the same for both the versions of blender camera tracking, viz. 2.7, and 2.8. Its commonly used applications can be categorized as follows:

  • Centralizing the footage: You can specify the markers to stabilize the footage.
  • Introduce 3D models: You can insert 3D models into your recorded scene.
  • Add 2D effects: Using blender camera tracking, you can also add 2D models and several other effects to make your video look more lively.

Part 2: How to Apply Camera Tracking in Blender on Mac?

The simple procedure involved in Blender camera tracking has been summarised into six easy steps, as mentioned below:

Step 1: Recording the Base Footage

  • You need to hold the camera in perfect still mode and not shake your hands. This action ensures the video isn’t too blurry.
  • Record a video clip of your room or the required space of duration as small as 10 seconds. Camera resolution should be high, along with the desired brightness.
  • Now transfer the video to your PC.
  • Next, use Video Sequencer to import the video footage and save it in PNG format.
  • While rendering the video, make sure not to compromise on quality.

footage-recording-for-camera-tracking-in-blender-2.8

Step 2: Importing the Image Sequence to the Blender

  • As you get the video in the form of a collection of images, launch a new instance of Blender.
  • In the Movie Clip Editor, select all the images at a time.
  • By now, you should be able to make out how slow the video will play inside the Blender.
  • To fasten it, click on the “Prefetch” button and select the “Set Scene Frames” option to fit the frames specified in the Blender within the total number of video frames provided.

importing-image-sequence-camera-tracking-in-blender-2.8

Step 3: Add Tracking Markers

In this step, you can make a few changes in the Settings:

  • Alter the “Motion Model” from “Loc” to “Affine.”
  • Tick the “Normalize” checkbox.
  • Change the “Correlation” value from 0.75 to 0.9 in the “Tracking Setting Extra.”

Hold the control key and right-click on prominent areas of high contrast like light-colored objects on a dark-colored background.

Place at least eight such markers on the scene. Also, you can scale them up by pressing and holding the “S” key.

add-tracking-markers-camera-tracking-in-blender-2.8

Step 4: Tracking the Footage

Once the markers are ready, press “Alt+ Right” to track the next frame, while to track all the frames at once, press “Ctrl + T”.

Step 5: Solve the Camera Motion

As you are ready with blender 2.8 camera track objects, now start programming and calculate its approximate movement.

  • Navigate the “Solve” tab located on the left section.
  • Tick the “Keyframe” checkbox.
  • In the menu, update “Refine,” from “Nothing” to “Focal Length, Optical Centre, K1, K2.”
  • Select the “Solve Camera Motion” button.
  • Now the Blender Camera Tracker will create a camera trajectory with an “average error” close to 0.5.
  • To keep the average error low, you need to see the error value for all the trackers placed in the footage. To enable it, select “Clip Display” and allow the “Info” box.
  • It will allow you to delete the markers with higher error. Under the “Track” menu, slide the “Weight” slider to a value lower than 0.6.

Step 6: Setting the 3D Scene

  • In the “Scene Setup” menu, select “Setup Tracking Scene.”
  • Under the “Orientation” menu from the “Movie Clip Editor.” you will find several options for setting the axis, origin, floor, and wall.
  • After keeping aside one tracker as the origin, select the others as “X-axis” and “Y-axis.”
  • Select the floor and the wall.
  • Also, remember to set a proper scale for two shortlisted trackers.

align-the-camera-in-solved-motion-tracked-scene-camera-tracking-in-blender-2.8

Part 3: Common Camera Tracking Issues in Blender Camera Tracker

Despite the simple steps, beginners find it difficult and encounter specific issues often in Blender camera tracking. Let’s see how the experts have troubleshot the hurdles:

Problem 1: Sometimes the markers turn red, and tracking stops, especially when the base footage is hard to track.

Solution: Select the markers which stopped to track in the halfway itself and resize them.

In this way, you will create a new frame to follow the footage properly in the end. Keep repeating the above step. You can resize each of the markers more than once. Even after resizing the markers, tracking stops midway. That indicates the footage is blurry. Let the marker be as it is and add a new one.

Problem 2: Setup Tracking Scene not working in Blender 2.8 Camera Tracker

Solution: Disable the old BI and layer stuff to resume the Setup_Tracking_Scene operator work. Later on, you can look into the render layer setup.

Problem 3: Facing problem with camera orientation in motion tracking

Solution: The standard camera solver is not capable of reconstructing the distance to the tracked points. When you mark “solve” as “tripod,” you can no more get a reproduced space in 3D. Now the tracking points are projected spherically around the camera.

Conclusion

After going through the vivid description of each step on how to use Blender guru camera tracking, you should be able to enjoy a seamless experience. Yet if you get stuck, go through the troubleshooting column. Lastly, we will come back soon with more solutions to frequently faced issues on Blender 2.8 camera tracking.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.