Collaborative Unit: Stationary Engine

Before Tracking something on Nuke, we must remember that the first thing we are supposed to do is analyze our shot and put all the correct parameters of the scene into the Camera Tracker node.

Before doing the calculation we must jump to the node’s settings. We must check the Preview Features box (the areas that nuke’s gonna track). Then we change the count of trackers, which normally has a standard of 150, but it’s better to change it to 500 and increase or decrease the number depending on the plate. Moreover is nice to organize the trackers by checking the Refine feature location box.

After we fill in all the settings and camera information, finally we are ready to load the calculation by tapping track.

Once we get this, we solve the tracking. Once this is done, we will get a number. if the number happens to appear =0 or >3, your tracking is well done.

Then we can evaluate the scene into the auto-track dialog box.

I copied and pasted the Camera Tracker node leaving it aside to compare the old tracker with the new one.

Anyway, in the dialog box, we must delete the unsolved nodes (yellow tracks) and reject the red ones, to finally refine the tracks at the end.

Then we must adjust also the minimum length and stop ourselves when we see red points appearing among the green ones.

Then finally you create the 3D scene in nuke: the camera tracker cloud, scene, and 3D camera.

Then I tried to define the origin by right-clicking the selection of point you used from the scene, selecting the ground plane, and setting the points on the right X, Y, or Z-axis.

After having finally tracked the scene, I started modeling my machine. From a cylinder, I extruded some of its faces, divided it in half thanks to the insert edge tool (multiple edges in 1), and cut its other half, so that it would be easier for me to create a symmetric wheel.

I selected the cylinder faces, extruded and deleted them.

Then I used the Mirror option to rebuild the other half.

The same process was applied also to create this object.

Afterward, I decided to create a bolt. So basically I created a cylinder, opened the Create Set Editor dialog box, and created a set editor based on the shape I have. Then I tried to build a screw from this shape, but that happened to be quite difficult since I forgot to add edges on the mesh’s face in the first place. So I created a sphere, cut it in half, and placed it straight to the bolt’s center.


I forgot about taking screenshots of the chain-link shape, however, I used a disk shape that was duplicated, combined and bridged. In the end, the shape was extruded, duplicated, mirrored, and connected with a cylinder.

*It is important to remember that before creating a MASH animation, you must place all the objects you need, on the right axis*

When everything was finally nice placed and well modeled, I opened MASH. In its Attribute Editor, I selected the Curve Mash and dragged – using the mouse middle click – the curve, I previously created, in the scene.

Then I adjusted the MASH’s parameters to match the curve’s shape.

That’s the final result.

Here is how I made my pipes.

I decided to build my pipes differently from what our teacher has shown us.

So instead of using a non-linear bend tool, I created two primitive cylinders: one would become my pipe, the other would be my guide.

You cannot properly see how I achieved the shape from the reference photo, but first of all, I placed these two objects properly by snapping my guide cylinder’s middle edge right next to the pipe’s lowest vertex. Like in the reference pic.

Then I selected all my pipe’s faces and the guide’s middle edge and its opposite by using the multi selection tool. Finally, I used the right mouse click and selected the wedge tool to create a perfect curl.

The same method was applied to design the shape that surrounds my pipe. This time though, I modeled a primitive cube instead of a cylinder.

Then I started modeling the upper part of my machine.

So I started from a cylinder, extruded its face couple of times, cut it in half and finally mirrored it.

Then I duplicate and scaled a screw I already did previously and Duplicated it using the duplicate special tool.

I divided 360 by the number of rays the cylinder’s face had and got this result.

Still using the Wedge tool, I also created this design placed on top of the machine.

Then I created this shape and deleted its history before mirroring it.

Finally, after having built the design I fancied, I started animating the mesh.

First thing first, the easiest animation was the wheel.

Into animation mode on Maya, I selected the wheel I wanted to make as parent and the i selected the other ones. Then I went to rigging, I opened the Orient constraint dialog box and set the keyframes for the animation.

Later I opened my Graph editor to see the animation curve, and put it on loop.

For this part I used the Parent Constraint Dialog box.

Then i used the node editor to animate the two gear.

As well as on C4D, I dragged the two gears into the Node editor Dialog box, the I put the correct name for each shape and set the right rotating animation to the smaller gear. Then I tapped a Multiply Divide node and connected properly the inputs and outputs to the bigger gear.

If correctly done, the result should be the one on the video reference.

Last Animation was basically including a detail of the chain animation, so I opened my Shape editor, selected the curve, created a new target and built an animation by translating the curve’s vertexes.

Here I put the animation in loop by using the Graph Editor.

At first I used Substance Painter to create the texture. However, it happen to become a massive mistake.

Apparently, after I exported the camera track from nuke to composite the scene on Maya, the texture was not matching at all the scene.

I did not take any screenshot when I did the UV’s and created several new materials on Maya. Although, Nick showed me how to create easily many UV’s since I did not attended the lecture about it during the first term.

However, after I cut and unfolded each shape of my machine, I was finally happy with all of it and decided to import the track from Nuke to maya.

Then I created a Reference file into Maya and connected the machine to my new scene.

Here I tried doing some drafts with the lighting.

When I realized this shape was not rendered in the preview, I decided to build it again. So instead of using that awful mesh, I created a Disk shape, cut it in half, duplicated, combined and bridged each edge.

Then I extruded it twice, once to create the model and once to create its inside.

Finally I mirrored the shape and refined it with the insert edge loop tool.

The same happened also to the gears. Due to not being realistic as it should have been, I modified the smaller gear as I could using its vertexes. The bigger tho was completely to be redone.

So I created a new gear with more teeth, modified and adjusted its shape till it looked more realistic than before.

Then I needed to repeat the animation procedure in the node editor.

After I finally put the light in the right way, I went to my Render settings, checked the AOVs, hidden the image sequence from the camera and applied the right parameters to composite properly the scene on Nuke.


On nuke I added modified the machine’s grade to make in match better the plate

Afterward, I did the tracking.

I tracked each point one by one and then I added a Roto node to contain the area I want to remove from the video.

To make the roto follow the tracking you must remember to open both the Transform dialog box of the roto and the tracker. Then, using your middle-click button, you drag and drop the tracker (translation x and center x) key frames into the roto’s.

Then I painted each area to remove the track points and applied the same drag and drop method to the rotopaint node.

At the end I lost the file in which I removed the track points and because of the time, I uploaded this render.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *