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HaZ on tracking

Hasraf 'HaZ' Dulull talks us through how he uses tracking, and his advice for beginners.

As a VFX supervisor, there’s nothing HaZ doesn’t know about tracking. Efficiency and speed on set is important to him, and so trying to test the track of your shot whilst you are on set is a useful labour saver in the end.

Tracking can be laborious and before HaZ involves extra complex software like PFTrack or 3D Equalizer he runs an easier 2D track, almost as ‘proof of concept’ checking there’s something there to track. For this he uses Adobe After Effects built in tracker.

As HaZ points out, its also useful to check whether you really need to put markers everywhere anyway, if existing background objects and corners will do the job without them. Thinking ahead, HaZ knows that markers often have to be removed or painted out later on, and that can take time, especially if they are half hidden in someone’s hair!

HaZ has learnt this through experience, and the more tracking you do, the more you get a feel for what you can use that’s already in shot- usually high contrast points with some kind of clear horizontal and vertical properties, like a picture frame or numbers on a clock, although you may be surprised what you can get away with.

For those of you who have used tracking before – we know there are experienced film makers amongst you – what kind of things have you used in the past to track with? If you wish, share with us all in the comments below

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Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers

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