Camera tracking and 3D insertion in Blender

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by Davide Mantovani, Marco Porcaro, Simone Villa


Flash blog entry to briefly show how to use Blender for tracking a video and use it as a base for a 3D object insertion.

3Dball

First things first: it’s better to use a slow shot, possibly a pan or a tripod movement. Be conscious that you’ll need at least 8 recognizable features present from the first to the last frame.

Blender itself has a video editor and you can activate its view by clicking on the corner button as shown in the following screenshot.

blender video editor

Click on open and select your video file.

blender open file

You will be able to see the animation by pressing the buttons alt-a on the keyboard. Remeber to set the first and the last frame in the rendering tab on the right and select keyframe in the track tab on the top left.

blender frames

Now it’s time to start adding our trackers. Pressing the button ctrl and clicking with the left mouse button will do the trick. Pay attention to choose a distinct and as unique as possible pattern.

blender tracker

Press the s key to resize the tracker in order to pick the best pattern.

blender track pattern

Then, position the cursor on the first frame and use the following commands to start the tracking.

blender tracking buttons

It’s very possible to encounter difficulties when tracking some blurry frame: keep calm and be patient.

blender tracker path

When ready, you can set up you scene. If the scene was shooted on a tripod (or it’s enough steady), be sure to check the right option.

  1. Select one centered tracker and click on Set Origin.
  2. Select three trackers placed on the horizontal surface and click on Floor.
  3. Press on Solve Camera Motion to reconstruct the scene. Hopefully you will get an error close to the 1.000; if not, add more trackers or correct the imperfections.
  4. Press on Set as Background to show on the 3D camera the shooting.
  5. Press on Setup Tracking Scene.

blender solve scene

Now, pressing 0 on the numberpad, you’ll see your scene from the camera point of view: adjust the scene, place the objects and animate what’s needed. You can toggle the background by using the checkbox as shown in the next screenshot.

blender 3D track view

That’s all. Remember, making an excellent tracking and 3D insertion is really difficult: if at first you failed, try again.

blender ball track armature

blender object camera track

blender track monkey on the table

blender fish on the table


Take a look to our videos about 3D Tracking:

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One thought on “Camera tracking and 3D insertion in Blender

  1. Drake FK

    When the camera is not on a Tripod and it moves around the subject, you have to use “Keyframe A” and “Keyframe B” to choose the frames where the camera moves, or the else the solving will fail. When the camera moves is also really important to set the Camera Parameters (focal lenght and sensor size)

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