I’ve played with Blender for many years. It has always fascinated me. Every year it gets better and better. It is a decent alternative to the expensive plugins and packages for fluid and smoke simulations. After testing out the motion tracking, I have to say I might be laying down my goto PFTrack and picking up Blender for my next project. Once you get the hang of it ( this simple tutorial will guide you through it), it is very easy and intuitive, especially if you are coming from Syntheyes which has a god awful interface (sorry Syntheyes fans).

This shot definitly wasn’t the most challenging I’ve ever had to track but there were some bumping camera movements and it was shot on an iPhone. The camera stabilization in the iPhone makes for wobbling and jello-y videos. It tracked quickly and needed almost no help from me. I really love the speed too. I placed a tracker and hit play, less then a second later (usually) it was done.

Once it was tracked I setup my scene with the nifty “Setup Tracking Scene” button and everything was set up very well. And by that I mean Blender had placed a ground plane in my scene to act as a shadow catcher and composited it on top of my video. It’s a nice touch and since that is always the route you take after tracking footage it saves time.

So if you haven’t checked out Blender, do yourself a favor and download it here: blender.org. Don’t get frustrated with the mouse and keyboard commands, go check out a tutorial from this guy and you will start to love it too!

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