Matchmoving is the replication of the real set, camera and camera move within the computer for later use by animators and technical directors. Each shot in which 3D computer graphics are to be added begins with a matchmove.
Often this includes manipulating both 2d and 3d elements, while maintaining accurate camera perspective. In some cases a sequence might be entirely Computer Generated with no live action background elements.
The Layout Team acts as a central hub for all shot preparation to ensure continuity and camera accuracy in CG Elements including tracking, solving and editing realistic motion-captured facial performances, with a particular focus on re-targeting to a character.
- Converts background plates to various formats to use with specific software to create digital motion files that match the plate photography. This includes animating any live action character or relative object in the scene.
- Generate 2D Compositing elements, while maintaining the accuracy of camera perspective.
- Model the set geometry used to create the Matchmove and environment for Animators and Technical Directors.
- Light, render and composite files with the background to judge the move.
- Originate entirely CG camera animation.
- Work with the CG Supervisor and Project Manager when applicable to estimate project schedules in terms of Matchmove staffing needs and makes recommendations in the adjustments to the schedules as necessary.
- Assisting with the solving and editing of facial motion capture data as and when required.
- Work closely with the Facial Supervisor to ensure actors performances are honoured and successfully retargeted onto a character. This involves a mix of traditional match move, observation and subjective refinement requiring a good eye for detail.
- Under the direction of the project Supervisors, the Matchmover will setup the technical and aesthetic approaches of the matchmove work for a shot, sequence, or even an entire aspect of a show.
- Based on project size, and the nature of the work, the Matchmover may be asked to perform Lead Matchmove duties including, providing leadership, guidance and direction to the Matchmove team.
- Maintain an expert level of knowledge about current developments in Matchmove tools for computer graphics, especially in areas that relate to the film industry.
Education / Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience as an artist, animator, or camera operator.
Required Skills / Competencies
- Ability to reproduce exact camera moves within a computer environment.
- Understanding of photography and the effects of different lenses on perspectives.
- Good written and oral communication skills including strong interpersonal skills.
- Sharp eyes for motion, timing and expression a big plus for facial related work.
- Understanding of retargeting techniques and transferring motion from one character to another.
Preferred Skills / Competencies
- Experience in gathering information on location for Matchmove is a plus.
Required Technical Skills / Competencies
- Advanced knowledge of UNIX, Softimage, Maya and/or XSI.
- Must have a willingness to learn new tools, proven ability to be detail-oriented and to work efficiently within a production environment.
- Excellent problem solving skills including the ability to work under tight deadlines.
- Exposure to Motion Capture – particularly facial work, a big plus.
- Ability to catch, analyse and identify technical issues.