pan/zoom around background pic with elements

Tattoo wrote on 3/27/2010, 10:51 PM
Yes ... I *did* attempt to have the longest subject title ever!

I'm trying a different route to "set the scene" for a video. I've got a background picture of a forest that I've zoomed in on with Pan/Crop. As I pan around the forest, I also want to pan across elements (people) that I've masked out of different pictures (also with forest background). The difficulty comes in exactly matching the pace of the pan across the background with a track motion pan to bring the element (person) in from the side of the screen. As challenging as making a Event Pan & a Track Motion pan match is, Vegas also doesn't seem to provide much support for aligning events that are outside the current scene area. Any tricks that I'm missing?

I tried just zooming/panning exclusively with Parent Track Motion with my forest background on the lower child track & the elements on the upper child track, but that only confirmed previous posts here that zooming with Track Motion looks like complete crap.


P.S. Not meant to incite a Vegas v others thread ... just an observation. --->> [After watching numerous Digital Juice training videos (pretty good way to learn some tricks for beginners!), it looks like After Effects & Apple Motion have significantly better tools for moving stuff on & off the screen. I like how the preview screen will have a "ghost" frame to show the extent of the picture outside the preview if you're zoomed in. Nice. Although Vegas is an awesome editing platform, it doesn't give me much sense of how things are moving if it's not all contained right on the screen.]


Chienworks wrote on 3/28/2010, 3:51 AM
Is it possible for you to paste those masked items into the background image? That way you'd only have one item on the timeline.

Otherwise, make sure smoothness is set to 0 and keyframe interpolation is set to linear. If you don't do this then Vegas' movement interpolation is going to follow different curves depending on how far the events overlap on the timeline. When that happens you're going to be reduced to going frame by frame and adjusting positioning manually, which will end up being the same thing as 0 smoothness and linear anyway.
Tattoo wrote on 3/28/2010, 8:36 AM
I may have to paste via a photo editor like you suggest if there's no magic bullet in Vegas to move events together like Track Motion while retaining the clarity of Pan/Crop. I'm not sure if I can fit all the elements onto the one image, so I may have to create multiple versions of the background/pasted elements & carefully swap them out between moves. Hmmm, gonna have to get smarter on my photo editor ...

Thanks for the help, Kelly. Just talking through this here helps firm the thought up in my mind. I wonder why the Vegas writers made Track Motion so pixel-limited in the first place? If it was a memory limitation concern, I wonder if they'll ever "fix" that now that 64-bit is here? It seems like Vegas has a significant limitation when it comes to moving stuff in 3D space.
Rory Cooper wrote on 3/28/2010, 10:59 PM
You are quite right you have no way of seeing the elements within a 3d parent container I hope they guys will come up with a solution so we can see elements within a container

you need to make all the people and backdrop scene 3d tracks and place them in a parent 3d track then you only move the parent track and everything will pan and zoom in relative space and time

your back drop split up into 3 panels trees in front trees behind middle ground and far background plane blue and blue green gradient
mask the trees


Chienworks wrote on 3/29/2010, 4:42 AM
"It seems like Vegas has a significant limitation when it comes to moving stuff in 3D space."

Well, it is a audio/video editor after all. It's not billed as a 3D composition program. There are lots of wonderful programs out there that do 3D composition, many of them free.
Porpoise1954 wrote on 3/29/2010, 7:26 AM
Like Blender for example (which you can also do standard video editing in but it's in no way intuitive to someone used to Vegas)

EDIT: Forgot the link: LINK
Tattoo wrote on 3/29/2010, 7:50 PM
Rory- I'm on board with what you're suggesting, but from what I've seen, Track Motion/Parent Track Motion look terrible if used to zoom. I forget exactly why. I seem to remember it having to do with the video signal flow (p. 39 of VP8 manual). By the time the image gets to the Track Motion processing the amount of image info is limited (hmmm ... I'm guessing max image size at this point is equal to project size, but not sure), so zooming in on it results in a pixelated "digital zoom" and it looks bad. Hmmm ... I wonder if increasing my project size to HD would improve the Track Motion processing any, or if I'm totally wrong on the science behind this? In any case, Track Motion turns out to be a terrible way to zoom. I've heard it on this forum before ("zoom with Pan/Crop, move with Track Motion) & now I've seen the results myself.

Chien- I'm not asking Vegas to be an awesome 3D compositor like AE (I'm assuming people think AE is good; I've never used it) ... it'd just be nice if Vegas would give us some better handling of images that are either completely off screen or just extend off screen. It'd also be nice if the basic 3D capabilities that do exist didn't degrade our images so much. I imagine image quality is paramount to most folks (especially those getting paid to edit!), and basic 3D handling seems to be a relatively common requirement these days. I've no idea if Premiere/FCP/Avid do any better at this, but as a big fan of Vegas, I was surprised to discover this limitation in Track Motion.

Porpoise- Blender looks cool! Hard to beat free, either. I wonder how many years it would take me to learn that software? It's far more sophisticated than I! Thanks for the link/idea. I bookmarked that for when I have the time for some serious learning. What do *you* use Blender for? Are you a more serious user, or do you mostly use it like I describe using AE below?

So ... what do Vegas folks use for 3D compositing that slightly exceeds VP's capabilities, but doesn't require 3D extrusions/modeling? Is AE the primary tool? And do folks usually just do the required composite within AE & import back into Vegas or use AE exclusively for those videos that require more than Vegas has?
richard-courtney wrote on 3/29/2010, 9:00 PM
Blender does do fantastic things. The 2.5 version is in beta release so
might want to stay with 2.49 until out of beta.

A good book is "Mastering Blender" by Dr. Tony Mullen. ISBN 978-0-470-40741-7
Add in motion tracking and you have a winning toolset.
Rory Cooper wrote on 3/29/2010, 11:14 PM
Tattoo try anim8tor it’s free and good to start out on. Blender is better but takes a while to learn

New project. Build. Primitives select non gon 4 OK draw it out select build convert to mesh select build select fill
Select View. smooth select UV to move image select options materials double click material panel double click select textures in ambient select … box load texture select that texture for ambient and diffuse = ok
Select settings..…save

Do this for all your images

Then select mode select scene select build select add objects

Select view. select all .place images in 3d space then select view camera select camera on timeline and do your walkabout using rotate NSWE controllers
You can do a camera track tilt yaw etc and curve the tracking spline etc like most 3d apps use WER keys on keyboard to manipulate images and tracking

Render and done
You can also make extruded images and other models very easy with this app

But I would still do this project in Vegas because if my project settings are say 1280x720 that all the pixels I have and need. if my images are double that it will be fine
So the zoom will be from the 3d track motion moving forward in space and not an actual zoom which will cause distortion

I will do a small project tonight save with images and send to Stephan you can download and see what I am referring to.

TeetimeNC wrote on 3/30/2010, 3:32 AM
Tattoo, I recently finished a project where I had nine tracks of HD video, each in its own cell of a 3x3 grid. I used parent track motion to pan around the grid and zoom in/out of individual grids. Just at the point where I would finish my zoom into a cell I would transition to a second track copy of that grid's video which would show at full resolution. It was tricky doing the transition so that it looked completely transparent to the user, but I got the knack of it. In the end I was very pleased with the results. Perhaps this can work for you.