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Platige Image Builds Effects for Polish Feature Film

(December 07, 2001)
Warsaw-based, Platige Image, recently completed several shots for Quo Vadis, Polandıs largest feature film project to date, using REALVIZ MatchMover.

Platige Image utilized MatchMover to insert computer-generated elements into live action footage to recreate the spectacle of a full-sized Roman amphitheatre. REALVIZ MatchMover 2 is the way to track 3D camera data and object motion, from videos and film sequences, quickly and accurately.

Jarek Sawko & Piotr SIkora, CGI Supervisors at Platige Image, were approached by Chronos Film, with the brief to digitally create the missing sections of an ancient amphitheatre, which was partially built on the Quo Vadis set, and to fill it with a digital crowd in various lighting and behavior situations. The work was part of a full-length feature film, which appeared in cinemas this autumn. A TV series is also planned.

Jarek Sawko explains how the project came together ³Because of budget restrictions, the real amphitheatre had only been built as high as the first floor. The missing sections were to be completed by computer, and seamlessly composited with the existing structure/scenes. With this in mind, we had to recreate a camera path for the 3D software. We did not use a motion control so we had to track the camera in those shots.²

³While the real set was being built, we positioned several plates for tracking purposes.² continues Sawko ³These were placed at the edges of the connection with the CGI amphitheatre. We also obtained detailed measurements of the existing set and constructed a simple wire model based on these measurements. The model enabled us to build the rest of the amphitheatre and later on in the 3D phase, to precisely allocate our 3D to the background image in the tracked camera viewport.²

³We tracked the scenes with REALVIZ MatchMover. The tracking was quite tricky, as we did not have sufficient tracking points on the floor of the amphitheatre, only on the curved parts of the stadium. An additional problem was that tracking points were entering and leaving the screen, and we had to have a perfect match on the whole line of connection (whilst constantly on screen). On occasion, we actually had to warp a 3D model to fit the 3D tracking data.²

³We have tried other tracking packages, but the only possible one which could perform this task, was REALVIZ MatchMover. MatchMover anticipated the 3D position of our trackers well, and allowed us to correctly position the 3D model. Sometimes when you track small objects into a scene, the resulting camera lens or 3D positions of the track are not that important. If itıs a small object, the small imperfections in the track are not visible. In this case it was different, as we had a huge object to place within the screen. It was visible during the whole shot while the camera was moving from one side of the stadium to the other. We wanted a seamless fit along the whole connection edge. The 3D track should be absolutely perfect in the recreation of the ?realı 3D positions. Otherwise the CGI model would fit in one place, whilst it would ³flow² in the other. REALVIZ MatchMover definitely gave us the good results we were looking for.²

For more information on Platige Image and Quo Vadis go to

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To view video samples of the work completed with REALVIZ MatchMover on Quo Vadis go to:|

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Related Keywords:filmmaking, special effects


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