4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2017 3:31 PM by Kevin-Monahan

    3D Camera Tracker Not Working


      I'm having a devil of a time getting the 3D Camera Tracker to work consistently in After Effects CC 2017.  Most of the time, it doesn't work.  I have been using it on only one clip. The only way it'll work at all is to put the clip in a new comp. But, again, most of the time it doesn't work.  The camera tracker will create the tracking points and I use the target to choose at least 3 tracking points (though I've toyed with different numbers of tracking points chosen). However, when I right click to create text, most of the time the text simply stays in place instead of moving as if "stuck" to the video. Other times, it works and the text moves as if "stuck" to the video. These mixed results happen with no other settings being changed. That being said, I've also tried changing the 3D Renderer in Composition settings.  I've tried all the options.  It didn't seem to help.  Can anyone shed some light on this subject, please? Why the inconsistent results?

      Thanks in advance,


      AE 2017 cc 2017

      Intel i5

      6 gigs RAM

      video clip is drone footage looking down on a piece of land

        • 1. Re: 3D Camera Tracker Not Working
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          To successfully use AE's camera tracker you must have very little lens distortion in the shot. This is a common problem with wide angle lenses even on professional cameras. The other common problem is that there are too many things that are moving in different directions in the shot. A hand held shot of a bunch of people walking down the sidewalk is extremely difficult to track because there is not enough fixed geometry in the shot to establish and calculate changes in parallax. A shot of a wheat field with the wheat blowing in the wind or a shot if the ocean is impossible to Camera Track because there is nothing but a horizon that is not moving.


          Another really common problem is trying to camera track a shot that is too long or makes some unexpected changes in direction. You should trim your shot to just the frames you need to actually track. For example I recently had a shot of a couple of actors walking down the street talking that ran for about 20 seconds. I had to replace a sign in a window they walked past with a new graphic. The window was inly in the shot for 4 seconds but the sign I needed to replace was only in the shot for about 3 seconds so I trimmed the shot to the just over 3 seconds, ran camera tracker, replaced the sign in my just over 3 second comp, rendered the composite, then cut the composite into the original shot. In the past I have cut one shot up into seven or eight segments and camera tracked each segment separately, then put the shot back together. This is by far the most efficient way to work.


          I hope this helps. It wold really help us point you in the right direction if we could see the shot you are having problems with.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: 3D Camera Tracker Not Working
            thracker11 Level 1

            Thanks for the speedy answer, Rick! 


            *  The video is of a parcel of land near a highway.

            *  I'm trying to use 3D Camera Tracker to insert 3D text of the name of a street on the street, itself

            * The shot is 14 seconds long.  In your experience, is this too long?

            * Really, the only movement in the shot is part of the drone on the left side of the frame and then, toward the end of the clip, some cars on a highway in the distance (to the right of the frame). 

            * There are no unexpected changes of direction.

            * The shot is trimmed to exactly what I need tracked.


            It's not my shot, so I can't load it to YouTube, etc.  I wish uploading a video file from my computer was a possibility on this forum, as it is for pictures. 


            In the meantime, I'll try breaking it into smaller segments to see if it will apply the tracking info to the text.




            • 3. Re: 3D Camera Tracker Not Working
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              For something like this might be better off just using motion tracking. Track position scale and rotation by selecting a couple of relatively large detail areas on the shot that stay in the shot then apply the tracking data to a null and parent your text layer to the null.   You can then make the text layer 3-D so that it looks like it's laying down on the map.


              The camera tractor relies on parallax and a half shot from a drone has very little of that. A lot of drone cameras also have a lot of lens distortion.  I have successfully track a lot of drone footage shot from the right angle and corrected for distortion. I have also had a lot of other drone footage that just didn't work well.

              • 4. Re: 3D Camera Tracker Not Working
                Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee


                Did you try Rick's suggestion? If so, how did that work out? Let us know, or if you need more help.