Get Better Results from the DaVinci Resolve Motion Tracker

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

The DaVinci Resolve motion tracker is fast and simple to use. Let’s explore how to get the most out of this already amazing tool.

The DaVinci Resolve motion tracker’s efficiency always seems to impress clients, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Let’s take a look at how to best utilize this fantastic feature.

Resolve’s lovely tracker at work. The tool automatically picks points within a vignette to analyze.

DaVinci Resolve Motion Tracker: Step 0 - Tracking

Track the Best Object

There are a few basic scenarios where you may want to use tracking. You’ll either have a moving camera, a moving subject, or both. Most of the time, it makes sense to place a power window on the moving object in question and track it. However, sometimes the object is stationary and you just want to compensate for the movement of the camera. In these scenarios, the best object to track may actually not be the talent, but an inanimate object that remains in the frame during the shot.After tracking for camera motion, you can reposition the power window onto the subject.

Let’s assume this was a particularly shaky shot. The interviewee may not be the best place to start, since she’ll be moving around during the shot. The black circles are some inanimate areas that would likely yield a good track.

DaVinci Resolve Motion Tracker: Step 1 - Interview Trackpoints

Track Without Softness

When creating a tracking node, I’ve gotten better results by setting the softness to its minimum. If you’ve performed a correction on the node already, inform the client of the lack of softening which will make the correction stand out temporarily while you perform the track.

A vignette with zero softness, while optimal for tracking, immediately gives away the effect. Notify your client so they know you’re about to perform a track.

DaVinci Resolve Motion Tracker: Step 2 - Window, no softness

Only Track Relevant Data

Don’t create more tracking data than you need. Is the subject moving from left to right? Is there a camera zoom or pan you want to stay with? Before you initiate tracking, consider what elements should be tracked. By default, Resolve will track the pan, zoom, tilt, and rotation parameters inside the power window. That doesn’t mean you need all four for every shot. In fact, tracking data you don’t need can cause the track to get confused and produce inferior outcomes.

Read the full article on PremiumBeat’s blog.

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