- 3D camera tracking along with green screen keying is the bread and butter of movie special effects nowadays.
- These allow for the filming of scenes that would otherwise be impossible, too dangerous, or too expensive if done for real.
- One great program for handling 3D camera tracking is Adobe After Effects, and we will be looking over it and several other alternative programs that can help you pull off this post-production wonder.
- For more great guides on the topic, take a look at our Video page.
We live in a time when everything from Hollywood blockbusters to common commercials makes use of 3D elements, so certain special effects have become quite common and mandatory to pull off.
One good example is 3D camera tracking, and if you want to use this special effect in your videos, then you need to know which software can pull it off the fastest, easiest, and in the best manner possible.
To that extent, we will be looking over several software tools that have proven their efficiency when it comes to 3D camera tracking.
The entries were selected base don their toolset, how easy they are to use, how much do they cost, and other important criteria.
What is the best software for 3D camera tracking?
This program is part of the Adobe Suite, and it is one of the best that you can buy on the market today. It has tones of features that include titles, transitions, and multiple-layer 3D embedding and tracking.
More so, any of you that are familiar with any of the other Adobe products, such as Photoshop or Illustrator are will quickly get accustomed to the look and feel of After Effects.
You can get it as part of the general subscription of the Adobe services, or you can subscribe to it separately.
Here are some of Adobe After Effects’ main features:
- Full compatibility with other Adobe products
- The Internet is full of useful guides for After Effects
- Professional-level toolset
- Can easily handle tasks such as 3D camera tracking
- Features plug-in support
While After effects mainly focuses on post-processing and the addition of special effects to already existing videos, Adobe Premiere Pro deals mainly with creating and edit videos from the bottom up.
As such, a complete video editor’s digital library would usually consist of both programs, used in a sequence.
However, despite the differences between the two, Adobe Premiere Pro is also perfectly capable of handly certain special effects, of which we can also mention 3D camera tracking.
The program does a solid job at it, albeit the steps you need to take are a bit more complicated since this wasn’t the focus and intended design of the program.
Here are some of Adobe Premiere Pro’s main features:
- Full compatibility with other Adobe products
- Works well with Adobe After Effects
- 360 VR and 4K support
- 3D camera tracking is possible
- The price tag
One of the main features of this program is stabilizing 360-degree shots and adding any 3D animation that you may want in your live-action videos.
More so, you can also manage green screen effects using this tool, making it a great overall package when it comes to videos featuring special effects and fictitious settings.
Here are some of SynthEyes’s main features:
- Has geometric hierarchy tracking
- Features 360 VR stabilization
- Comes in various license types
- Compatible with Python
- Supports stereo 360VR
Adding 3D effects to a regular 2D video may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re a beginner. However, that is no longer the case, since video editing software now also caters to non-professionals as well.
One great example is 3DEqualizer, a video editing tool that focuses on simplicity above all else.
Their 3D motion tracking is some of the best on the market, and it is mainly aimed at studios and those who want to be sure that they get top-end effects.
The program has been around for some time already, but it is continuously updated, allowing it to stay competitive even 2 decades after it first appeared.
Here are some of 3DEqualizer’s main features:
- Deep Python Integration
- High-speed optimization
- Lens distortion
- Unique solvers
- One of the best 3D tracking algorithms on the market
Affordability is another aspect that you should consider when buying any type of software. As such, this last entry is here not necessarily because it is cheap, but because it offers an incredible number of tools given the low price.
Another highlight of this tool is that is is also perfectly equipped to put your computer effects directly into your high-speed, real-life footage.
It does it with incredible accuracy and seamless integration using frame-by-frame exploration and a fully functional graph editor.
The program is constantly updated to stay competitive, and if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative, go ahead and try Boujou. In fact, you can even take advantage of their free trial before making a purchase.
Here are some of Boujou’s main features:
- Comes with a free trial
- Extremely affordable
- Can insert 3D effects into videos in real-time
- Frequently updated
- Offers seamless integration of VFX
Movies nowadays can no longer survive with at least a few 3D special effects, and implementing them has become easier and easier.
However, the end goal is to make a movie that looks believable, so a good software tool that will handle this aspect is a must.
That being said, feel free to look over our top 5 picks, and make sure you find the one that suits you best.
FAQ: Learn more about 3D camera tracking
- What is 3D camera tracking?
Camera Tracking is a process that involves taking a post that has been filmed with a real live camera and tracking the way it moves so that you can add 3D effects in post-production.
- Which is the best software for 3D camera tracking VFX?
Adobe After Effects is the best consumer-grade video editor on the market. It also works best when you pair it with Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Can 3D camera tracking be done in real-time?
Yes, the latest technological breakthroughs allow for real-time 3D camera tracking VFX, such as Augmented Reality videos and games.