news • 27 October 2023

Why Is Matchmoving So Important in VFX?

Profile picture of Carlos Poon

Written by Carlos Poon

3D VFX Tutor

This blog post by 3D VFX Tutor Carlos Poon provides a handy introduction to matchmoving. Matchmoving allows us to place 3D objects into a 2D sequence and lock them in place, even when the camera moves. 

So how does this happen? The process of matchmoving recreates the original camera path (position) and the direction the camera is pointing (rotation). 

What else does matchmoving enable?  

It recreates 3D points from our footage, so that you can reconstruct a 3D scene. This allows you to more accurately place our CG assets (props, vehicles, buildings or characters) within a reconstructed 3D scene. 

To start matchmoving you have to accurately track patterns/markers in our footage. The more accurately you can do this, the better the data for the software algorithms to solve your matchmove will be. Once you have enough points spread through the shot, you can solve your camera and 3D points. You can also solve the focal length of the camera, which is important so that your 3D renders can look like they were shot with the same lens as our original footage. 

Let's look at the matchmoving process in 3DEqualizer and Maya in the following video: Introduction to Matchmoving for Visual Effects.