Krystian Morgan's blog featuring motion graphics, short film experiments and feature film.

By Krystian Sep.8.2008
In: Blog, Video

.blok from Krystian Morgan on Vimeo.


This little short was contrived whilst i was teaching myself matchmoving. I think i made every mistake that was possible to make whilst creating this, but at least i have the process dialed into my brain now. The softwares i used to make it are blender(3d) and icarus(3d tracker) you can get both of these applications for free although icarus is for non-commercial work only. Basically you take your shot into icarus and you track a number of areas of your footage, find out your camera’s focal length and location in 3d space, then you take that information acquired by icarus into blender and your camera’s location relative to the objects you filmed are matched and the camera path is already set for you, so then you add your cg elements to the scene and animate them how ever you like. All that’s left then is compositing the original footage with the cg footage in After Effects.

I’m pretty happy with the way that it has turned out, i’d probably like it to be a bit longer in retrospect but more than anything i’m looking forward to using these techniques in other videos along the line (especially if i get good at blender). P.S in the final shot where it goes blurry to focused back and forth, was all accidental, the camera which was in auto focus at this point got stuck into this weird limbo where it couldn’t focus on anything so bobbed back and forth like you see in the clip, i liked what it was doing so kept it in.

Check out some of the screenshots of the softwares at work below.

icarus01 icarus02 blender01 blender02

Hope you liked the video!

  • Beautiful, man. Sinister. I think it’s a great length as it is. Perfect scoring. And wow – I can’t imagine the effort and time it takes to achieve all this.
    You could do screencasts of your process and sell them.

  • very, very cool……wish I had the talent to do such things….very cool

  • Highly impressive and inspiring. Well done on creating the mood Krystian. I’d like to see more of this.

  • Talent!

    So impressed by this. I wouldn’t know where to start! Tis full of wondrous magic. I hope you give us more… 🙂

  • nice. the motion tracking looked good. I will have to try icarus. The tracking I have done in boujou always yields a bit of slipping that needs some manual tweeking to clean up the track. How easy was icaruss to pull that clean track?

    One area of critique I would have is with the 3D lighting. The blok did not sit well within the scene, it needed some texture and a bit more dimension to it. For a quick noodle it turned out great though, keep on playing with your workflow. You’re on to something. Really liked the titles BTW!

  • Thanks for all the great comments!

    @Rupert i think the stress of compressing out-weighs the effort it took to make these, i think they would be the longest screencasts ever, i doubt people would want to watch me bumble around in blender for hours:)

    @Heath thanks mate, if you do end out trying it and get stuck send me an email and i’ll try to help with my limited knowledge on it.

    @David and @Robert thanks guys, i think this is the closest to a Speilberg type scene that i’ll ever get, but i’ll try doing more elaborate ones soon, first i’m gonna take a few weeks off to write music and draw/paint.

    @Adam, I’m surprised that boujou slips, i was under the impression from uni that was the best-industry standard 3d tracker, icarus has a few bugs, i’m always sure to save every few minutes in it as it can be prone to crash at times. I did try a few different textures but i always ended up preferring them simply coloured grey, i did however add some grain and a shadow in after effects to help it fit a bit better, i think it turned out well for my very first matchmove, i think my next attempt will be much better though, especially if i learn blender a bit better. I’m happy with the titles too, might rip myself off for a title sequence in a future uni project 🙂

  • Well in fairness to boujou, I didn’t learn it too well. I’m sure its capable of better results in more proficient hands. Also its sensitive to how good the source footage is. Mine was not great, lit poorly and very shaky. I will try it again, this is an interesting use of it.

    For the 3D surfacing, I recommend this book:
    Its really good and shows how to mix shader channels to make subtle and realistic variations to your tex maps. For example, in C4D I love to use a Fresnel shader in the reflaction channel to get really nice specularity on the edges. Really makes the object pop off screen. Using a still from the video as a very subtle environment mat too could help it sit in the scene a bit better too.

    Just some thoughts as you experiment further. Thanks for the inspiration.