• Price: 5325

  • Company: 2d3

  • Pros: Fast automatic tracking with excellent solution integrity. It’s simple to use, too.

  • Cons: It’s very expensive, and it’s dongled – so be careful not to lose the key.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Boujou has always been an expensive package. At $10,000 it’s probably the costliest matchmoving solution available. For that kind of payout, you’d expect it to deliver something special. It doesn’t disappoint – the software will save you a huge amount of time, and spare you from the ravages of matchmoving boredom.

Some 2D-to-3D packages require you to manually place 2D markers on certain points in an image and then track them in 2D before finally extracting the 3D scene information. This process can be both time-consuming and tedious, and requires that you have a least a few goes before discovering what and where the best tracking points in the footage are.

Along with a handful of matchmoving applications, Boujou is a totally automatic matchmoving solution. Once footage is loaded you can tell the program to analyze each frame and choose the 2D tracking points itself. There’s no need for human input at all.

There are two main benefits of this automatic process. Firstly, the software is able to input a much larger number of tracking points than you would be able to reasonably do manually. This helps to reduce errors in the solution since the data is averaged over a greater number of tracking points. Secondly, the program can automatically add new points to track as they enter the frame. This is very difficult to do manually.

The mask

 border=0 />Moving objects in the scene can throw out the auto-tracking solution by contaminating the static scene data. Since Boujou doesn’t use any kind of artificial intelligence to select tracking points, it’s just as likely to select a moving object as the static background scene. Small movements can be dealt with by the software, so swaying trees don’t seem to cause too much of a problem.
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However, an object traversing the scene, such as a vehicle, person, or animal, can present too much of a problem. Boujou handles this complication simply – to prevent these objects from being tracked you can draw a mask to isolate them from the background.
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The masks are simple polygonal shapes that you draw over the footage. They can be animated, both in translation and in shape. The masks are auto-keyframed as you make changes to them, so it’s a relatively straight-forward process to matte out a particular object from the tracking process. Multiple masks can be added and animated independently, so it doesn’t matter if objects cross each other in the footage. Boujou also allows you to import image-based masks so you can create custom mattes from the footage using whatever motion graphics application you like.
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Once objects are masked out, you can tell Boujou to track the scene, which it does quickly. The speed will depend on the number of tracked points, length of the sequence, and the degree of camera movement. If there is a big jump between frames then tracking can take longer. Generally, Boujou suffers less from losing track of points than other matchmoving applications, and the integrity of the solutions seems to be high.
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Some sequences will prove too difficult, in which case you can manually intervene and place custom markers, or inset survey data to constrain the solution. Of course, entering the camera focal length helps.
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