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Old 09-01-2005, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default how to use MAYA LIVE ???

Hello everyone, hope you're all cool,

I have a question. I'm desperately trying to combine 3D objects into video footage, and so naturally I have to track the motion of the camera.

It has come to my attention that Maya has it's own built in plug-in called Maya Live that can do this.

However, I'm finding it pretty difficult getting to grips with it - in other words it is KICKING MY ASS!!!

If anyone can offer any help or expertise, I would be extremely grateful. I'll be honest, I can't even figure out how to open it *cue laughter*!

Maybe someone could post a video tutorial on the subject. I know that I'm not alone and the whole 'camera tracking' agenda is causing people a lot of grief!

Hope to hear from you,
Geo.
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Old 10-01-2005, 04:38 PM   #2
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Hi there le-geo.

I actually use camera tracking in my job, so I'm nearly an expert (well....nearly, lol!!)

I use Maya Live extensively, and it is pretty easy to get to grips with if you are used to the maya interface. To launch it, you need to have Maya Unlimited, then under the plugin manager, load Maya Live. Press F6 on the keyboard to load the maya Live interface. From here you have options to setup your backplates which you will be using to track with, track points, solve the camera and adjust.

There is simply too much about it to put down here. I learned how to use the program competently from reading the documents about it that come with Maya. They basically cover everything that you need to know.

What particular problems are you having??? If you list them, I'll try to give you some tips best as I can.

LisaG :p
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Old 10-01-2005, 06:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Lisa,

I'm not a master at maya yet, most of my knowledge is in modelling/texturing/animating - so there's a whole other universe of maya features that I'm unsure of! Wow, my mind almost buzzes when I think of it!

Thanks for your help. My copy of maya was given to me by someone who upgraded, and unfortunately, WITHOUT manual! So, it's a little tricky.

I'll give it a go, and see how I get on - no doubt at some point I'll get confused and start crying like a baby with a soiled diaper!

I feel very fortunate to have found someone with such great experience in camera tracking, if I have any other problems or questions is it OK if I ask you for advice? It would be such a massive help...

Kind Regards,
Geo.
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Old 11-01-2005, 10:48 AM   #4
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Yes, thats no prob. Any questions, I'll try to answer best as I can.

LisaG
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Old 11-01-2005, 11:25 PM   #5
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Hey Lisa,

I've managed to open up Live, using the F6 method (which is a big step in itself - sigh!).

Unfortunately, another hurdle has presented itself - I cannot open my video footage, well I can open it, but it doesnt play - just the first frame then nothing.

I'm trying to follow the instructions in the Maya Index but it misses out the simple basic info (like how to open live) and goes straight into the hardcore stuff.

Can you give me any help? I know I'm missing some really simple piece of info that will make cringe once I know it!

I'd be grateful for any advice.
Thanks in advance.
Geo.
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Old 12-01-2005, 09:45 AM   #6
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Ok...

Right, for starters you need your video footage to be in a sequence of files that LIVE can read, I usually use a sequence of tiffs at 1024 * 778 resolution (I use a higher res if I need sharper detail).

Under the setup menu, under full res image browse to the directory where your sequence of images are, select the first one and ok. THis will now load your image sequence into LIVE. To the left of the screen, select the box that says 'cache', and increase the cache size so that it covers the number of frames in your sequence. Go back to the setup main menu. You now need to setup your filmback and aspect ratio so that it all works properly. (Sorry if I'm going too fast).

These settings are dependant on what you have filmed your sequence with. At work, I use the following settings, as it is for film size sequences:

Predefined filmbacks: 35mm full aperture
Film aperture: 0.967 * 0.735
DEvice aspect ratio: 1.316

I'm afraid I can't really help you too much with these as I don't know what you have filmed. You could try the above settings. The box next to 'ready to track' will go green when the settings are all done correctly. Your now ready to track, so simply select from the menu on the left 'Track' to change to the tracking menu.

This should set you up nicely.

Any more probs, don't hesitate to ask.

LisaG
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:41 AM   #7
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WOW! Thanks a lot, you are being a massive help.

I'll give it try and see what happens.

Although, it's quite likely I may need your help again

Thanks,
All the best,
Geo.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:36 PM   #8
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Just a little query, can Maya Live not 'use' film formats like AVI, meaning you always have to use image sequences?

Thanks,
Geo.
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Old 13-01-2005, 09:35 AM   #9
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Hi again.

Live only supports the following image file formats:

Alias(.als), Bitmap(.bmp), Cineon(.cin), Explore(.tdi), GIF, JPEG(.jpg), MAYA(.iff), PostScript(.esp), TIFF(.tif, .tiff), Targa(.tga), Wavefront(.rla). Unfortunately no, it doesn't support .avi movie files. You have to have a sequence of images.

You can convert your .avi movie into a tif sequence in something like Adobe Premiere, After Effects or Nothing Real Shake, if you have access to any of these programs.

LisaG :squareeye
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Old 13-01-2005, 01:53 PM   #10
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Thats cool, I think i should convert it to a image sequence no probs.

Cheers,
Geo.
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Old 23-01-2005, 03:06 AM   #11
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Lisa,

thank you for your insightful knowledge on this topic. You've obviously been a great help.

le_geo

While Maya hasn't shipped with any 'manuals' for some time now it does, however, come with a very useful help menu. Try hitting the F1 key once in a while and you'll find loads of useful information in there. Including a whole tutorial on how to use the MAYA LIVE feature.
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Old 23-01-2005, 06:10 PM   #12
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Always happy to share my knowledge, thats what makes this website great.

Ahh yes, of course, the F1 help. I didn't think of that, I assumed that leo had checked that out/couldn't look at it for some reason. Yes, the section on LIVE is very good, it gives a good explanation as to how the solver works too, which is quite interesting.

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Old 23-01-2005, 09:31 PM   #13
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Just as a side note,

The tutorial that is in the Maya Help (F1) was also on Alias' website some time ago on a VHS. They were clearing out the old VHS method so I got a copy of it for 10 bucks.. and it was quite good so I recommend that if you can get a copy

-Emo
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Old 24-01-2005, 08:24 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Emo
Just as a side note,

The tutorial that is in the Maya Help (F1) was also on Alias' website some time ago on a VHS. They were clearing out the old VHS method so I got a copy of it for 10 bucks.. and it was quite good so I recommend that if you can get a copy

-Emo
The same tutorial that he already has for free you suggest he pay money for it?
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Old 24-01-2005, 09:38 PM   #15
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Originally posted by dave_baer
The same tutorial that he already has for free you suggest he pay money for it?
lol yes.. because he may not want to read it... while he can just put it in and watch how they do it...

-Emo
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