cmiVFX Logo

Motion Control 3D Camera

Learn how to use Motion Control camera data, from entry level skills to more advanced data extraction. If your in VFX, you really need to know as much about Motion Control as possible. Without it, 3D cameras, Matchmoving and Clean Plate Generation becomes difficult.

Length: 3 Hours 35 Minutes 26 Seconds

Price: $59.95


1309890902 01
1309890902 06
1309890902 04
1309890902 03
1309890902 02

In this video, we will study Motion Control Device camera setup and Flair files structure. We will import camera's movements data from special devices such as a motion control camera into our 3d package, with all of its parameters, and we will export 3D camera back to the same device after modifying the motion path or even creating totally different camera movement. Then, we will create a camera Flair importer and exporter, from and to motion capture device, and we will learn more about 3D cameras properties and how to extract some of its hidden attributes.

Chapter Descriptions

Importing And Exporting Motion Control Flair Cameras And Scene Setup

A Motion Control Device is a big robotic device which can hold a camera on its end arm. With it we can get its camera path, keys, parameters, and even more from the flair data file from the computer which controls that device. We can input a 3D camera's animation or path into the same computer as a flair file to get the previous designed camera's movement inside the 3D application. Importing the camera is half the battle, while the real process of bringing this camera into 3D world needs more detailed labor.This requires good on set measurements and very good camera setups inside 3D applications such as Maya in our particular case. Fortunately, the principles are all the same between the other major 3d animation packages.

Introduction Of The Motion Control Device

In this section of the video we will show some photos of this device, then we will talk in details about the conditions and the location measurements which must be taken in consideration to get the best end result which is the 3D camera itself. Then we will jump to Maya to explore our 3D camera and the similarity between the two.

Building A Motion Control Camera Data Importer

We`ll look inside the Flair Data file to see its structure then we will explain some of Mel basics involved with this process. After, we will build a custom Flair file importer, followed by preparing the 3D Scene to accommodate the new data.

Importing Mossey Beer Commercial Camera Inside Maya

In this chapter, we will prepare the scene and change some 3d camera settings to match it to the real world camera. Then we will build the table surface to see the match process working and we will also import the camera into Maya using our importer.

Extracting Roll Value From Camera

Here we will go deep inside global and local axis information to extract the hidden roll parameter of any camera. We wanted to demonstrate the process of extracting some transformation for the camera, so we can say that we are really controlling this camera, and that we know at any given time all of its parameters. We use some simple illustrations to explain it works for the camera in the 3d application.

Building A Motion Control Camera Data Exporter

Now we will build an exporter to export our 3D camera back to the motion control device and to explain some conditions to get that 3D camera moving the same in real world. This is often used after a previsualization shot has been created for a director.  This data can then be entered into the Motion Control device to sync up some of the already created 3D Animation that could end up in the final shot.  This is a relatively newer way to work, but has been taking over as the official standard for larger film projects as well as television spots.

Wheat Field Project Example

This example will be focused on showcasing more relations between the 3D Camera and the Motion Control Device so that the viewers of this video understand all the nuances in a tightly orchestrated, time budgeted project.

Importing Flair In Autodesk Matchmover

Flair data can help the matchmoving application to get more missing data for the camera. We will explore the import motion control panel inside Matchmover, then we will  explain every single parameter to see the similarity between our Flair Data importer and the matchmoving program's importer.

Frame, Boundaries And Genlock

We will talk about frame sampling, shutter movement and the synchronization between different cameras and motion control data recording device.

Project Contents

We included all of the live footage required to get this course done the perfect way.

About The Author

Hashem Alshaer is a 34 years old Palestinian VFX supervisor. He studied mathematics and physics in college, then graduated from an electronics engineering university. With more than 10 years of experience in visual effects, he is currently teaching 3D visual effects at Arab European University's Visual Communication department. (If you are located in that area, and are looking for live training, please email us at Hashem started as character specialist, then as technical director, and since 2006 has become a visual effects supervisor. He loves painting and sculpting but developing smart robots is his main passion. Currently, he is working at ArtWare corp as a vfx supervisor primarily for commercials and film effects.  Recently he began work on the company's first feature film.


Motion Control Rig, Flair Data, Autodesk, Maya, Mel, Data Translator, Animation, 3D Camera Data


Video-on-demand streaming is available through the website to subscribers. In addition, video files are available for download for those who directly purchase individual titles from their cart.

About Hashem Alshaer

Hashem Alshaer

Hashem Alshaer is a 14 year veteran and CG/ VFX Supervisor and Technical director. He studied mathematics and physics in college, then graduated from an electronics engineering university. He started his career as a 3D character specialist, then as FX and Tracking TD. Following that, as a lead technical director migrating finally to CG/ VFX Supervisor. He is teaching visual effects tools at several universities, fine art departments, and virtual engineering field to augment his schedule. His collection of work spans over many films and tv commercials and is working at 3Quarter FZ LLC, as a VFX supervisor and consultant along with other activities in virtual engineering fields.