IBC 2011: Pixel Farm's PFTrack

Posted By Russell Dodgson on September 15, 2011 09:32 am | Permalink
One of the coolest things I saw at IBC this year was some of the new technology from The Pixel Farm, makers of PFClean, PFTrack and PFMatchIt.

The new releases of late have made a fairly large shift in the way 3D tracking can be approached. Firstly with the release of PFMatchIt they have introduced a node-based approach to tracking, allowing a much more fluid/iterative approach to the process. They have now incorporated this same paradigm into the fully feature PFTrack which includes geometry tracking, optical flow analysis, depth matte generation and image modeling to name but a few.

The differing price point of these two softwares offers studios a more cost effective workflow with PFMatchIt being the relatively cheaper little brother.

The two features that truly impressed me were the following:

Deformation Object Tracking - This was awesome. PFTrack has always had a really great object tracker, but they have taken this a step further. It now allows the artist to paint soft selections for regions of their global tracking mesh. As well as solving a global object track it then uses the selection areas to then create deformations to the geometry based on the movement of the underlying footage. This led to a surprisingly accurate result when solving the deformation of footage of talking man.

Depth Matte Generation - Another great feature is it's ability to take the camera data along with optical flow information to generate an incredibly dense, per pixel representation of the scene. This works particularly well on organic features. They have now added a feature that allows you to define regions of depth with mattes. This allows a much stronger solve and becomes an incredibly powerful tool for dimensionalisation.

In all the Pixel Farm are definitely pushing the boundaries in the field of match moving.