Tag Archives: tracking

PixelBender Cubic Lens Distortion for After Effects


If you are doing Matchmove, you probably bumped into Lens work-flow issue, where you have to un-distort the footage in your matchmove software, then track it, and export a new undistorted footage, so your client can compose the 3d rendering on top of it and then distort it back.
I don’t really like this work-flow, since for instance AfterFx do not have Cubic Lens Distortion FX and it would be really hard for the client trying to match the distortion back.

After watching Victor Wolansky’s FXPHD Class on SYN202 (syntheyes) about Lens work-flow, I thought : “hey why not porting the lens distortion algorithm ?”. Pretty easy to do, since I already did it for HLSL & Martins Upitis did port my shader to GLSL !
Thanks to SSonTech for sharing there alogrithm

Pixel Bender Cubic Lens Distortion :

Not much to say, it does what it suppose to do ! You can copy & paste values from Syntheyes and it will match perfectly (or it should at least). See the screenshot below.

  1. Download CubicDistortion.pbk here : http://aescripts.com/ft-cubic-lens-distortion/
  2. Place it in your “Support Files” folder (which is in your AE install folder)
  3. Launch AE
  4. Look for the effect called Cubic Distortion

UPDATE : now with scale factor & chromatic aberration, see the post here

Thanks to Jerzy Drozda Jr (aka Maltaannon) for his great tips about Pixel Bender.

So now, you can create a new comp with your distorted footage > pre-comp it > undistorted it with the shader > track it in syntheyes > export the camera to a 3d package > render the scene > import the render into your pre-comp > desactivate the shader. Should match perfectly 🙂


(yeah I know, PFTrack grid with Syntheyes … not cool ! :p )

Distorted Grid
Syntheyes Cubic Undistortion
AE with Cubic Lens Distortion shader
compare AE & Syntheyes Lens distortion


If you wish

Boston Dynamics – Robots and biomechanics development (skynet ?)

I think that if Skynet would have a name today, it would be called Boston Dynamics. :p


BigDog walking in snow

If you don’t know this company already (famous for its BigDog), they are genius ! Forget about all those crappy stupid robots that says “hi” and do some weird dance ! Those of Boston Dynamics are totally different and really creepy ! The beginning of the end as most people would say. No seriously, there work is awesome and you should check it out.

Before becoming Boston Dynamics, they were “The Leg Laboratory” (leglab). That was between 1980-1995, more than 15 years ago !!


BigDog is probably, as today, the most famous and most advanced robot from Boston Dynamics !
It is a 4 legs mule robot measuring 90 cm long and 76 cm tall and weight 108 Kg. It got a bunch of different sensors also gyroscope and a LIDAR with stereo vision system

BigDog can run at 6 Km and climb hills up to 35° ! all that by carrying  an 154 Kg of stuff. And because it wasn’t enough, it could run for  20 Km without stopping or re-fueling (yes it does use fuel) (UPDATE video March 2010)

The ultimate goal for BigDog is to develop a robot that can go anywhere people and animals can go. The program is funded by the Tactical Technology Office at DARPA.

Some Nice links :


As today, this is there new toy ! It is not a T800 yet, but we are getting close 🙂 (UPDATE video April 2010)

Tracksperanto, your universal tracking translator

tracksperantoI just found out this great online tool for matchmover which let you convert your track file to any other track you want.

This tool is free and under MIT License, it also comes with an API or source code to implement better to your software take a look at it !
via Tracksperanto, your universal tracking translator.

Matchmoving often needs precise, hand-tailored 2D tracks. The promise of automatic 2D tracking is grand, but often fails expectations — mainly because auto-tracking algorithms cannot reliably link tracks of the same point which temporarily goes out of picture or gets obscured. Therefore, for many shots 2D tracking by hand is a better option (it also allows one to speed up the solve by using less tracks and avoid overloading the solver by judicially choosing tracked features). However, the final result of the solve depends of the solving program and it’s always beneficial to try the solve in all the matchmoving software available.

Therefore, we found it convenient to do 2D tracks once (currently in Shake) and then export the resulting 2D tracks to a few 3D solving apps at once. Once within these apps, it’s mostly a 15 minute job to configure the camera and see if the solve comes out well or not. This method tends to yield very good results since you track once and at least one of the many 3D solvers on the market will give a correct computation.

Tracksperanto assists in translating 2D tracks between many formats so that you can move your 2D tracks from one application into all of the others.

Computer Vision : High-Speed Robot Hand Demonstrates Dexterity and Skillful Manipulation | Hizook

Before your say anything or think that this is not interesting check out this part of the video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KxjVlaLBmk#t=158 !!! Somebody said spooky o_O ?


If you want to know more about this research check out :

High-Speed Robot Hand Demonstrates Dexterity and Skillful Manipulation | Hizook.

A closer look at Project Natal on Pixelsumo

Intresting article about Microsoft Project Natal via Pixelsumo .


“Microsoft bought 3DV Systems. I instantly thought they were going to use this camera and their own sdk after seeing the demos, however Eurogamer reports:
“Aaron Greenberg was even more direct. Asked whether Natal was derived from 3DV technology, he told Eurogamer: ‘No, we built this in house.’”

“Kim admitted ‘it’s a combination of partners and our own software’,…’ ”

There are rumors that Microsoft are working with & licensing patents from Prime Sense, another Israel company like 3DV …..

Full Article here : http://www.pixelsumo.com/post/project-natal

Visual Effects: 100 Years of Inspiration

A nice video showing off the following movies  :

  • 1900 – The Enchanted Drawing
  • 1903 – The Great Train Robbery
  • 1923 – The Ten Commandments (Silent)
  • 1927 – Sunrise
  • 1933 – King Kong
  • 1939 – The Wizard of Oz
  • 1940 – The Thief of Bagdad
  • 1954 – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 1956 – Forbidden Planet
  • 1963 – Jason and the Argonauts
  • 1964 – Mary Poppins
  • 1977 – Star Wars
  • 1982 – Tron
  • 1985 – Back to the Future
  • 1988 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  • 1989 – The Abyss
  • 1991 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • 1992 – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
  • 1993 – Jurassic Park
  • 2004 – Spider-Man 2
  • 2005 – King Kong
  • 2006 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  • 2007 – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  • 2007 – The Golden Compass
  • 2008 – The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • 2008 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

RollingShutter Plugin by the Foundry for After FX and Nuke Released !!!

I talked about the Foundry working on solving the rolling shutter issue on a previous post. It seams they were waiting the Siggraph to announce it. At the time I though it was only for Nuke, but the great news is they also port their plugin to After Effect CS3 and CS4.

It seems they fixed the horizontal panning issue, but still not the vertical one, which at this point looks impossible but I’m actually waiting for another paper on stabilization which should show up at siggraph too. Anyway it’s going to help a lot for matchmove !!!

Official RollingShutter by Foundry plugin page

KLT feature detection port to AS3

A few weeks ago I found an old project which is a port of KLT features detection port to Flash AS3 Class (more information about KLT features here)It’s running really slow, and the project seams to be discontinue, but I tried to recompile it with FlashDevelop and FlexSDK based on the previous test I did with Marilena :

This is what I come up with :

using KLT on webcam
using KLT on webcam

Try the Demo Here

What is going to be Blender 2.5 ?

I mean seriously ? Have you check what’s going on lately ? That’s insane out there !! I think that what Blender 2.5 is going to bring is what we usually call the 2.0 version of something ! Ok so like Pablo Vazquez answered me in one of his comments, it’s more going to be like 3.0 ! what I mean is *.5 version is usually for some few changes, right, but this !! this is going to be huge !!! Such a next step, so many official and non-official are working hard at this point to make it even better, stronger, faster, and also more complete.

Beside all the up going dev blender projects we can see on the web those are the one I’m keeping an eyes on and which I think is really really going to bring Blender to the next level :

  1. Libmv is certainly not the most important one (even if I’m checking there website almost everyday) and their dev at this point is running a bit slow. But this project is going to bring a 3d tracking / matchmove / dense reconstruction to blender and so as an opensource tools. I guess this will be really needed for the next Open Movie (not for Durian, but Mango ? ). As a Matchmover, I’m really looking forward on this one.
  2. New GUI is going to be more and more flexible to check out how it’s going to look like, check out Michael Fox‘s Blender 2.5 Video Tour and also the following video by Pablo Vasquez
  3. Blender GSoC 2009 this google summer of code is going to give some huge (and what I think really important) optimization to Blender. For instance the “Integration of OpenGL VBOs and vertex arrays for faster 3D Viewport rendering” which I believe will allow to bring the sculpt tool to a next level.
    Also the “Raytrace Optimization” which you can already find some nice results here.
  4. Jahka Particle (Boids Particle system v2.0). At the time I’m writting this, Janne Karhu re-write a new cache system for the particles, which allow realtime updating while changing setting, that’s just great. He’s also talking about making the particle system Nodal ?! with more rules and much faster. Just Great !!!
  5. Smoke Project by Daniel Genrich. His goal somehow is to integrate a smoke simulation with a fast viewport preview (kind of FumeFx or Houdini FX). This is another crazy project, and I love it.
  6. Volumetric Renderer by farsthary. Actually, I find all his work amazing. He’s already done with the volumetric Renderer (only waiting to be implement in the official build, but he’s also working on several projects as Final Gathering and so many other stuff !
  7. BMesh integration to be honest, this is not the most exciting one to me. Many people wants it only to get they Ngons feature into Blender (which FYI Ngons are really bad, bad, bad), oh well. I also understood that this new re-writting of the mesh system inside blender was necessary for other project to work more effeciently (which makes this project way more interesting !!

Of course, Not all those projects will be implemented into Blender 2.5 (probably not event 3.0) but maybe a few, and I found this really really exciting. I believe that in september will see some new stuff coming on (I hope ^^)