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tracksperanto

API docs download source

Tracksperanto is a universal 2D-track translator between many apps.

Why Tracksperanto?

Historically, every matchmoving app uses it’s own UI for tracking 2D features. Unfortunately, the UIs of these are all different and not very user-friendly. It happens that an app cannot solve a shot that another one will, but you usually have to redo your 2D tracks in each one of them.

Another problem with today’s matchmoving apps is that they are vastly inefficient when doing 2D tracks. Almost all of them use OpenGL and want to load the whole frame into memory at once. When doing tracks of long shots at high resolutions (like 2K and HD), especially on 32bit platforms, the app usually cannot even cache the whole shot and tracking is very very slow.

Compositing apps, in contrast, are very efficient. Both Shake and Nuke offer very fast trackers because they have tiling image engines and can load only the search area for the tracker into memory and not a pixel more. When you use manual feature selection you can create many tracks quickly even without having fast IO. Flame is also very fast since it has virtually zero IO overhead thanks to it’s fast storage. Compositing apps also allow for precise, local preprocessing of tracking features like boosting contrast, doing expensive (especially temporal) denoise, blurs and so on, while matchmoving apps offer only a single, global preprocessing step (like a LUT or a gamma curve adjustment) which is not adequate for all of the features being tracked.

So it’s very natural to track in a modern compositing app that has selective image loading, and then export one single group of tracks into all of the matchmoving applications at once. Also, you can always escape into the 2D world if no 3D app proves to be adequate. If you need to move from one app to another, you won’t have to retrack.

Another issue with tracks is adjusting to formats. Very few apps allow you to convert your tracks in one step from format to format - like doing an unproportional scale on the tracks, or moving them a few pixels left and right. This comes at a high cost if the footage you are tracking came cropped or in a wrong aspect - the only way to solve the shot will be to retrack it from scratch. Tracksperanto allows you to work around this by applying simple transformations to the tracks.

Usage

The main way to use Tracksperanto is with the the supplied “tracksperanto” binary, like so:

tracksperanto -w 1920 -h 1080 /Films/Blockbuster/Shots/001/script.shk

-w and -h stand for Width and Height and define the size of your comp (different tracking apps use different coordinate systems and we need to know the size of the comp to properly convert these). Some formats contain clear hints on the size of the comp, but most don’t - for formats that do contain them you don’t need to supply anything. You also have additional options like -xs, -ys and –slip - consult the usage info for the tracksperanto binary.

The converted files will be saved in the same directory as the source, if resulting converted files already exist they will be overwritten without warning.

Format support

Import and export support:

Import only:

Export only:

Editing your tracks while converting

Tracksperanto has a number of features to scale, move, slip, distort and rename trackers. Consult the –help option to see what is available.

Development

If you are interested in reusing Tracksperanto’s code or adding modules to the software consult the short developer introduction

Limitations

Information about the search area, reference area and offset is not passed along (outside of scope for the app and different trackers handle these differently, if at all). For some modules no residual will be passed along (3D tracking apps generally do not export residual with backprojected 3D features).

Licensing

Tracksperanto is made avalable under the MIT license that is included in the package.

Guerilla-DI is a project by Julik Tarkhanov and other contributors, 2009.
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