3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2010 11:16 AM by Mylenium

    Motion tracking text to vehicles

    Spalding H

      Hi All,

      I'm shooting something next weekend where a car drives into a wide shot in a locked off frame. The car comes in on a straight left to right angle. The car needs to be a security car. All it needs to say is security on one of the doors - that's good enough for me. My options are buy a decal, shoot the shot, peel it off (lose $100 in the process). Get a security vehicle (not likely), or motion track text to the side of the vehicle. How can I get the text looking real? I did a bit of a test, no textures or anything. I lowered the opacity a little bit, but it just looked fake. Also what warp tool would you suggest to make the text fit the contour of the vehicle better?


      Thanks in advance.

      P.S I'm probably an intermediate AE user (CS4).

        • 1. Re: Motion tracking text to vehicles
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          If the decision is between spending $100 to do it for real and spending time to try to make it look real in post-production, I'd recommend doing it for real. Your time is worth a lot, too.


          But, if you're going to do this, a couple of things come immediately to mind:

          Blending modes are an important part of blending/compositing a synthetic layer into a scene.

          Make sure that you've got motion blur on for the new layer, and that the motion blur settings match (as close as possible) the motion blur of the moving car.


          A practical way that is halfway between shooting this for real and trying to fake it with a text layer is to get a picture of a real security vehicle door and composite a portion of that real door into the shot. This does away with some of the problems of trying to roughen and texture a text layer so that it looks like real lettering on a door.

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          • 2. Re: Motion tracking text to vehicles
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

            A shooting budget either includes paying for props and sets or it includes paying for post-production hacking. Usually, post is about twice as expensive. There are many ways you can apply text to the side of an automobile that will survive a few takes in good weather. At the big mall here in Boise ID, there's a kiosk doing graphics on sticky vinyl. There are self-adhesive (and non-adhesive) letters at craft stores. Put your props person on the task.



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            • 3. Re: Motion tracking text to vehicles
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              I agree with Todd and David. You can even buy inkjet printable transparent sticker foil, so trying to hack this in post, as David put it, seems like wasting your time and money. I would really only do it this way, if this is merely a fun project and your have all the time in the world to spend days on trying to match it, but even then the aggravation of dealing with floaty tracking and matching things such as swirling dust from the car may frustrate the hell out of you...



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