At the moment, I suspect the fly through animation. It may not be in a media container or codec that works well with AE. Please share technical details on the nature of the file.
Then there's always the fact that AE is, shall we say, a work in progress. It doesn't play nicely with every computer on the planet. Many times you get lucky and it works fine. But a LOT of people aren't so lucky.
The flythrough was exported to a PNG sequence, from which I used Photoshop to render into a .MP4 video using the H.264 format.
Oh! I would try importing the PNG sequence, which AE can do. Better looking pictures, too.
AE defaults the frame rate of sequences at 30 fps. If you happen to need 29.97 fps for TV, you can change it easily in the Interpret Footage settings.
The first rule you should follow when Camera Tracking is to only track the frames you are actually going to use in the finished piece. Camera Tracking as a resource hog and long shots can easily cause a crash especially if you are using a CPU intensive format like MP4 (MPEG).
I tried importing as an image sequence and still had the same results. Any other thoughts? Is it possible to track them in separate parts and "merge" the camera somehow? Can you have multiple 3D cameras?
You imported it as an image sequence, but it wouldn't track the image sequence?
You can track the different sections and you will end up with different cameras. The problem is, the two cameras might not be anywhere close to each other in AE's virtual 3d world, but it's worth a shot! If you could overlap the tracking by a couple of seconds, it could be possible to blend between them with a third camera and some expression trickery.
It would attempt to track and crash during the "solving camera" process.
What would be the wisest way of tracking separate portions of a video/clip at a time? Can you specify somehow which frames are tracked? Before I'd trim the entire composition for testing but I feel like that would get tedious.
You trim the layer to the part you want to track. You should always do this anyway. As Rick mentioned, you don't want to track 30 seconds if you're only going to use 5!
I recently had a 25 second shot of an actor walking down the street passing various window fronts. Each window that he passed needed a 3-D element inserted in the window. This was an extremely long shot for me because most of my AE comps are single shots that run seven seconds or less.
After duplicating the footage layer I cut up the shot into seven different pieces using Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + d to split the layers. Some of the new layers needed to have the in point moved back slightly to pick up the corner of the windows. Each layer was then precomposed and camera tracked separately. A camera and a placeholder solid was added to each shot. Each of the pre-comps was exported as a Cinema 4D project and a replacement object was lined up with the placeholder solid in C4 D lite. Each of the new 3-D elements brought back into AE and placed in the correct comp. I added a solid and did a little hand rotoscoping to provide a track matte to make it appear like the actor walked in front of the 3-D objects in the pre-comps. Now each of the pre-comps had a new 3-D element that tracked perfectly with the windows and each element had a hole in it from the Roto work so that it appeared that the actor was walking in front of the new objects. The cameras and C4D layers were trimmed to match the footage then the footage layer was turned off so all that was left in the comp window was the 3-D object I had added.
Back in the main comp I now had seven perfectly matched 3-D elements that sat in the windows and perfectly match the camera movement. A little color grading completed the shot. The whole project took about an hour and a half.
This project would have been impossible to do if I had attempted to camera track the entire shot. It never would have worked, but cutting it up into sections where only the actual frames where the inserted CGI elements would appear made it easy to track each of those sections and complete the shot.
The lesson you should take away from this little story is "don't work on one single frame that you don't have to."
I might have only understood 25% of that. But I appreciate the example! I'd be super interested in seeing the result if you're willing to share, but I understand if not.
What I'm trying to do is add street names to streets as I fly by them. It would have been easier to do it as a single shot but I ended up splitting the scene into three segments that I individually tracked and to which added the street names. I would have liked to have the text overlap a segment in an instance or two but it's not critical.
Perhaps an interesting side note is that I reduced the resolution of the frames by half and it tracked the entire length with no issue. Unfortunately you can't scale anything using the tracker so I wasn't able to scale the added text resolution as I had planned.
It's also a shame I can't sync multiple 3D cameras. (Or at least I've been unable to figure it out)
Oh well, I got it to work well enough. Thanks for all the suggestions. It's a fun program, hopefully I get to use it more often.