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Gnomon Workshop Releases Matchmoving DVDs

The Gnomon Workshop provides the answer to all your matchmoving questions, with five new titles from artists Tim Dobbert, who joins the Gnomon Workshop with three new releases, and Stephen McClure, whose two new titles introduce tracking in boujou. Ethan Summers rounds out the releases with a new title showing how he creates landscapes in Vue.

McClure brings another facet of his extensive expertise in commercials, music videos, episodic television and feature films, to his two new matchmoving titles, which teach you everything from the essentials to the advanced techniques you'll need to track a shot using 2d3's boujou.

The Gnomon Workshop welcomes Dobbert, matchmoving supervisor at The Orphanage. Dobbert's three-disk series on camera tracking reveals the techniques and processes you'll need to track a camera into a scene. He covers integrating live-action footage with computer-generated elements, the matchmoving pipeline, placing the camera into the scene and troubleshooting when problems arise. The series takes you from the fundamentals through advanced techniques and problems, such as preparing for a live-action shoot, solving for an object's motion when the camera is in motion, and how to handle lens distortion.

Artist Summers returns to The Gnomon Workshop with a title covering Vue Infinite, a landscape creation tool with a wonderful ability to handle huge scenes with billions of polygons. He covers all aspects of this application, before showing you how to design terrains and use DEM maps in conjunction with Maya.

"These titles offer the 3D artist a comprehensive look at how to track 2d live action plates, one of the more difficult and challenging aspects of visual effects. Throughout the course of his three DVDs, Tim Dobbert, who wrote the only published book on tracking, teaches everything from production setup fundamentals to advanced trouble-shooting techniques," says producer Eric Hanson. "Stephen McClure's titles continue his foundational matchmoving series, showing you how to use boujou before integrating the tracks in Maya. These seasoned instructors provide complimentary approaches to this most fundamental visual effects technique. Next, Ethan Summers' new title is a great resource for CG artists interested in learning Vue Infinite from E-on, and again shows how The Gnomon Workshop provides unique and invaluable content for artists who wish to learn vital techniques and cutting edge software."


In this DVD, Dobbert walks you through the steps involved in a typical production-level matchmove, also known as camera tracking. In order to integrate CG elements with live-action footage, the essential first step is to align the 3D camera with the real-world camera. He demonstrates how matchmoving software uses photogrammetry to reproduce the camera-move and how to get the best results possible. The DVD covers all aspects of the matchmoving pipeline from 2D tracking and calibration, right through to placing the camera in an environment and delivering the final scene. The lecture also emphasizes how to trouble- shoot the tracking solution when things don't go well and how to choose the best workflow for the shot. Dobbert uses a variety of software packages for this lecture, including Maya, boujou, MatchMover and After Effects.


In visual effects work, it is common to have an element in the live-action footage that needs to be tracked. This is often the case when you need to add an effect to an actor's face, attach a CG object to a moving vehicle, or even add lip sync to an animal's performance. In this DVD, Dobbert shows you how to track an object's motion using matchmoving software. You'll learn how to use the solution to drive an object's animation in Maya and how to properly evaluate your results. He'll also show you advanced object tracking techniques such as how to solve for an object's motion when the camera is also in motion, and how to invert the camera's motion with that of the object. He uses a variety of software packages for this lecture including Maya, boujou, MatchMover and After Effects.


In this DVD, Dobbert takes you through the more advanced aspects of matchmoving and camera tracking. He discusses how to use survey data to force a camera solution to fit a pre-built environment and how to use camera tracking for paint work. He also covers blending, enhancing and extending match- moved cameras. He shows you how to prepare for a live-action shoot and how to get the right information once you're on-set. There's also a section on advanced object tracking that shows how to use an object's motion to create a camera move. And finally, he covers the tricky problem of lens distortion and how it affects the visual effects workflow. He uses a variety of software packages for this lecture including Maya, boujou, MatchMover, SynthEyes and After Effects.

Dobbert is matchmove supervisor for The Orphanage in San Francisco. He has more than eight years experience in the industry, including work as a matchmover, animator and technical director. His credits include HELLBOY, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, SIN CITY, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE and SUPERMAN RETURNS, as well as numerous commercial and television projects. He is the author of the first and only book on the subject, MATCHMOVING: THE INVISIBLE ART OF CAMERA TRACKING. He also teaches university classes in Matchmoving and Image-Based Content Creation, and has lectured throughout the world.


In this DVD, McClure introduces the essential techniques for creating working tracks using boujou and Maya. He sets up and tracks a crane shot with in-depth explanations of boujou's toolset that take the user beyond the push-button solutions of boujou's automated tracking system. He demonstrates the elements of boujous workflow in action and then shows how the boujou solutions are set up and evaluated in Maya. After close scrutiny and evaluation, McClure takes you back into boujou and explores how to get more accurate solutions in problem areas with masking, setting up Locators, Target Tracks and multiple automated Feature Tracking passes. Bringing the final boujou solution into Maya and laying it out with proxy geometry, he checks for accuracy so that 3D elements and effects can be integrated into the shot.


In this second DVD, McClure demonstrates advanced techniques for creating working tracks in boujou, setting up those tracks in Maya, creating effects in Maya and compositing in Shake. He takes an in-depth look at boujou's workflow with radially distorted shots and shows how boujou solutions are set up and evaluated in Maya. Taking the final boujou solution into Maya, he lays it out with proxy geometry and checks for accuracy. Finally, he explores the creation of a Maya sprite-based particle smoke system, completing the final integration and compositing in Shake.

With more than 12 years of experience in the field of animation and visual effects, McClure has worked on numerous projects involving the many aspects of CG matchmoving and integration. For eight years he was a lead artist on high-end television commercial work at The Digital Lab, whose clients included Coca Cola, EDS, Sega, Chevrolet, Motorola and Taco Bell. His other credits include music videos, episodic television and feature films such as SPHERE and PRACTICAL MAGIC. He has been teaching at The Gnomon School for more than six years and has also taught at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, as well as at UCLA Extension. He is currently a resident artist and producer at The Gnomon Workshop. McClure received BFAs from Art Center College of Design, and from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.


In this DVD, Summers shares his techniques for e-on's Vue Infinite, an amazing landscape creation tool and general purpose rendering engine capable of handling scenes as large as 50 billion polygons. Starting at an introductory level, he covers all the main windows and functions within Vue. He then discusses more advanced topics including strategies for creating ecosystems, methods for designing realistic terrains, and ultimately how to employ DEM maps through the function editor and in conjunction with Maya. He also covers XStream, e-on's new plug-in for achieving seamless lighting and render integration with Maya and Max.

Summers is a multidisciplinary artist whose interests include CG environments, where he has 16 years experience for clients, including NASA, Mattel, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Hewlett Packard, Disney, Sundance Films, Viacom Interactive, Hasbro, Coca Cola and IBM. Summers also specializes in ecological and biomedical visualization, working for clients such as Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently involved in a large sustainability project with the World Steward Organization. He is also a fine artist working in abstract painting and sculpted art cars.

Since 2000, The Gnomon Workshop ( has provided artists and students with the educational resources they need to succeed as artists in the entertainment industries. Whether they're interested in design, modeling, effects, animation, storytelling or matte painting, these DVDs provide a valuable educational resource for students around the world. The Gnomon Workshop is the sister company of The Gnomon School of Visual Effects, which provides professional caliber visual effects instruction to students and professionals in Los Angeles.