Tracking weapons question

Hey all,

I have a shoot coming up soon where I will need to track some Sci-fi looking guns and composite some glows/plasma shots into the scene with them. Does anyone have tips on what I should be looking for while supervising on-set? I want to make sure I have enough info to track in Mocha, but not sure if I need to add markers, or some type of checkerboard on the guns to help out the track?




Are you tracking them head on or mainly with side or angled shots? If the latter, then you probably won’t need tracking markers, as the gun shape and the hand holding it will probably be enough to get the overall plane movement for the tip.

If you want to be super safe, add some textured markers to the side, especially if your weapons have a lot of high reflectivity and will have lots of shiny highlights that could throw things off. Mocha prefers texture over points, but a few small markers could make up a larger texture.

If you are concerned about front-on shots, this might be harder depending on the movement and the size of the barrels. Even with a tracking marker it might be harder to get a very accurate track on such a small area that has depth (the barrel may have parallax that throws things out).

Personally I would do a quick test run to see if the guns hold up to tracking without markers, especially at high motion blur. It’s a lot less headaches if you don’t have to remove markers in post.

Yeah, I’d definitely not use markers unless I absolutely had to. You really shouldn’t need to.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Though I’m not entirely sure what the director will be needing, I’m going to guess that the shots will be mostly profile, which will definitely make things easier. I’m in favor of no markers as well so I’ll go that rout and request good fill lighting on the guns instead.

Do either of you know what Mocha can handle as far as shutter angle settings/motion blur? I know this is a loaded question, but mainly looking for shutter ranges to stay away from.

Thanks again for the help!

That’s a difficult one to answer at it can vary wildly per shot. Mocha is usually pretty good at handing motion blur up to a point however.