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Active Member
MotoRider420
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-13-2011

AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

536 Views, 10 Replies
01-13-2011 10:34 AM
I have been trying to create a video for a school contest, and MatchMover (a program included with Maya), is supposed to be able to import AVI files.

When I go to "Load A Sequence" into MatchMover, it does not allow me to select an AVI file. If I go to "all types", and then select the file, it reports an error. The documentation for MatchMover states that an AVI file is included in the import options.

I have contacted Autodesk's tech support, but they have been ignoring my question. I have also noticed that others who have asked this question have been ignored.

If there is no way to import an AVI file, does anyone know of a good, FREE program that will convert my video file to a sequence of images?

This is very urgent, as the contest deadline is at the end of the month.

Thanks in advance for any useful help!
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Distinguished Contributor
weshowe
Posts: 476
Registered: ‎07-01-2010

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-13-2011 05:49 PM in reply to: MotoRider420
Cheap is Quicktime Pro.

Free might include downloading the After Effects 30-day trial.

<* Wes *>
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Active Member
MotoRider420
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-13-2011

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-13-2011 06:01 PM in reply to: weshowe
Thanks! Do you happen to know why MatchMover is so... useless? Or do the movie studios use other programs for that function?
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Distinguished Contributor
weshowe
Posts: 476
Registered: ‎07-01-2010

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 09:46 AM in reply to: MotoRider420
I never really use Matchmover. However, I am of the impression that it was designed to replicate camera movement and rotation to allow you to place newly created objects in the proper locations in existing scenes/sequences. Composite (which you should also have installed) will allow you to render a new scene/video with your original and new scenes layered together.

However, neither of these works with .avi files, instead they work with image sequences. For serious work, that is undoubtedly the best way overall, because you can replace individual frames or subsets of your production without rendering the entire production (something that can take hours to do). That said, not every production is so large or complex as to require high-power techniques. A short YouTube video, even in HD, can be done with less precision and effort that a 4K commercial destined for the Superbowl.

After Effects is a more general video production tool, and works with .avi (and other video formats) as well as image sequences. It also does motion tracking (although you will not get the better Mocha type with the trial version). It also excels at adding effects and transitions. For example, it is much easier to blow up a model if you splice together a render of your model, an explosion of a simple model and a render of bits and pieces flying and falling than to try to make a single scene of all that in Maya in one render.

Quicktime Pro (add-on for the free Quicktime) can work with image sequences, and is a lot cheaper than After Effects, if all you need is to convert video to and from image sequences. There are lots of other free tools, easy to find with Google, but I have no experience with using them.

<* Wes *>
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Active Member
MotoRider420
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-13-2011

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 10:05 AM in reply to: weshowe
Thank you so much for all your help! You are probably gomna laugh, but, does After Effects work well with Windows 7? 64-bit... I just put together an i7 unit with a GTX570 card, it blasts out 720p scenes in Maya!
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Distinguished Mentor
samab
Posts: 6,640
Registered: ‎11-08-2006

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 11:16 AM in reply to: MotoRider420
Matchmover does not support AVIs, even if the docs have not been updated to say so. So in short you must use a sequence, which as mentioned is the expected worflow in a pro pipeline for more reasons than I can be bothered to repeat again.
Do you happen to know why MatchMover is so… useless?

I'm not so sure it is useless, those who know it well don't think so. But they seem few and far between. So I think that it's actually most of the users that are useless and just don't know how to use it. Or to be fair, there seems to be very little learning resources for the software, and therefore a huge knowlege vacuum, which is a real shame as it has potential to be a very useful and powerful application, if you know what you are doing.
Or do the movie studios use other programs for that function?

There are other out there, Boujou, Syntheyes and more, there is even a free one called Voodoo camera tracker. Google them to find out more.
After Effects is a more general video production tool, and works with .avi (and other video formats) as well as image sequences. It also does motion tracking (although you will not get the better Mocha type with the trial version).

AE is a compositor, and although most compositors have some form of motion tracking, you need to bear in mind there are differnt types of motion tracking, for different uses.
Programs like Matchmover, Boujou etc... are true 3D trackers. The main purpose of which is for helping the intergratinon of live action and CGI by replicating the movement of the camera in 3D space. This process will generally involve a few programs. The matchmoving or tracking software. Then the camera tracking data is exported to the 3D animation software (Maya, Max or similar) where the CGI stuff is created and rendered. Then the rendered CGI and the original live action is brought together in a compositor (such as AE, Toxic, Fusion, Nuke etc...).
My point being, the tracking you get in a compositor is not the same thing, you don't get 3D camera data from it. MM can also do motion capture, but that's another subject.
BTW, there is a section for MM questions here.
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Distinguished Mentor
samab
Posts: 6,640
Registered: ‎11-08-2006

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 11:32 AM in reply to: samab
I should just point you to these tutorials to help get you started.
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Active Member
MotoRider420
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-13-2011

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 12:18 PM in reply to: samab
So, in short,... no it doesn't support AVIs. Thanks. I already know what MM is and i am very decent at using it and Maya to create CG, i was just unaware that movie studios work with image sequences to save time on rendering, as the other person stated before you, in a much kinder manner, might I add.
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Distinguished Contributor
weshowe
Posts: 476
Registered: ‎07-01-2010

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 05:21 PM in reply to: MotoRider420
does After Effects work well with Windows 7? 64-bit


So far as I understand, the current version of After Effects (CS5) is only available for 64-bit systems. That is what I have here (Windows 7 Pro 64-bit), and it works nicely. Not that I would be the most demanding user, nor have I tried to test it thoroughly, but I haven't had any problems with it.

I would never go back to a 32-bit system now, I am spoiled.

<* Wes *>
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Active Member
MotoRider420
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-13-2011

Re: AVI Video File Import Not Working In MatchMover

01-14-2011 05:33 PM in reply to: weshowe
Lol yeah. 64 bit rules!!!!!
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