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Import iPhone Tracking Data into Motion with CamTrackAR

Shoot on your iPhone with CamTrackAR and then build a 3D scene in Motion automatically.

It's not an attention-grabbing headline, but this is big news for Apple Pro App users. We hinted back in January of this year that having media and the tracking data from CamTrackAR would open up many different creative possibilities for those who use the Apple Pro Apps.

iOS Tracking to Final Cut Pro -Who Has the Missing Link?

Well, we are very pleased to say that FXHome has now issued an update to CamTrackAR that supports Apple's Motion!

So what does it do and how does it work? The main point here is that to get items into a pre-shot scene normally requires tracking with an editing or VFX app, with or without a third-party plugin.

Footage shot with CamTrackAR completley bypasses this step by generating a Motion project (Er, hang on is this the first instance of a Motion project being made on an iPhone?) that consists of a 3D scene with a camera and the original footage.

Any extra layers such as text or a 3D object will then get placed in the 3D scene and move as if they were there when the footage was shot.

The example below took about two minutes to build, including shooting the scene, transferring the files by AirDrop, opening the Motion project and adding the 3D text. It is that quick!

 

The slight twitches in the video are due to me forgetting to turn off the autofocus, but a pretty good track nevertheless in seconds. In the screengrab below, you can see the keyframes that have been set automatically by the CamTrackAR Motion project export. 

camtrackar apple motion tracking

 

This won't work on footage that hasn't been shot on CamTrackAR and your phone needs to qualify, certainly an iPhone X works, but you might get better tracks with a LiDAR phone.

The new version of CamTrackAR is free to download on the Apple App Store. This version allows you to shoot, export the tracking data as a Motion project and render out a watermark-free result in Motion.

The fully featured version is available for $4.99 per month or $29.99 for a permanent license. That gives users access to 3D model import, broadcast-quality chroma key (green screening), and multiple positional points in the app, as well as tracking data export in .jsx (After Effects), .fbx (Autodesk), .json, and .csv formats.

Now, a couple of points here. First is it doesn't look like there is a demo video yet for using CamTrackAR and Motion. It is super simple to work out though and this earlier demo video gives you examples of what can be achieved. 

 

Secondly, at the the moment, CamTrackAR only supports 30 and 60 frames a second, so unfortunately that makes it less than optimal for us in Europe.

Lastly, the Motion project that it created from an iPhone 10 was 1920 x1440 - so you'll have to do a bit of reformatting of the project to get it into 16:9. We tried to shoot in 9:16, but that completely confused Motion because as the camera is keyframed, you can't just rotate everything.

But... To put it simply, CamTrackAR is amazing and works so quickly to produce good results. We recommend you check it out, especially as the Motion integration is free.

Will this be the new toy of creators? Will we see YouTubers appearing in 3D scenes? The tools are out there...

 

 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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Ben Balser's Avatar
Ben Balser replied the topic: #116131 06 Sep 2021 16:32
OK, so where is the Motion tutorial so we can understand how to use it there? I see tutorials for pretty much every app they support but Motion.  But it does seem like a fun little app.  Looking forward to 4K support.
peteramwiggins's Avatar
peteramwiggins replied the topic: #116142 06 Sep 2021 17:57
Ben. There isn't a motion tutorial yet, but it is so easy, you almost don't need one
Ben Balser's Avatar
Ben Balser replied the topic: #116146 06 Sep 2021 22:52
OK, tried it out, and it seems, by trial and error, you don't do much of anything, but open the motion project file and import a 3D object or create 3D text. But man, a one sentence instruction, someone could have just mentioned that in passing. Well, there it is, this is fun so far. Will be pushing it during the week as I have time between cleaning up tasks. Ida sucked.  But this is very cool.