Rolling shutter effects are commonly found with video cameras employing CMOS image sensors, which record every frame line-by-line from top to bottom of the image, rather than as a single snapshot of a point in time.
As parts of the image are recorded at different times, moving objects can become distorted and appear skewed. Problems can also arise with flashing or strobing lights. Aside from not looking great, 3D tracking during VFX post production can become a very difficult task as the tracking points themselves are unstable.
The Foundry's RollingShutter plug-in tackles skew and perceived ‘wobble' problems from the VFX artist's perspective. The plug-in will often vastly improve the look of distorted footage, by either minimising or eradicating image distortions.
Unlike solutions tied to camera stabilisation, that stretch the image as a whole, the RollingShutter plug-in compensates for local skewing and distortion in the scene, by correcting each object individually. This approach even allows the digital artist to correct objects moving in different directions in locked-off shots. RollingShutter is therefore particularly good at enabling software camera trackers to work effectively on a wide range of problematic footage.
"The CMOS camera is becoming an increasingly important and popular tool in filmmaking," said Tom Cowland, plug-in product manager at The Foundry. "Our new RollingShutter product will provide a helping hand to artists working with affected footage during post production. The demonstration of our initial idea, developed by The Foundry's chief scientist Simon Robinson, received a lot of attention at NAB 2009, and encouraged by this feedback we have been working hard to productise it in a timely fashion."
Victor Wolansky, FX PHD professor commented, "As one of the beta testers for The Foundry's RollingShutter, I have been very impressed with its assistance in making skewed footage trackable. So much so that I've decided to teach it as part of my FX PHD camera tracking curriculum."
RollingShutter is available for After Effects CS3 & CS4 and Nuke 5.1 or later for $500/£300 (nodelocked).
SPECIAL AUGUST PROMOTION
Buy one get one free! Buy a license of RollingShutter in August and The Foundry will provide a second copy absolutely free. RollingShutter can work on both After Effects and Nuke systems or workstation and laptop at the same time.
A video demonstration of RollingShutter, plus examples showing how its approach differs, can be found at http://www.youtube.com/TheFoundryChannel. Additional product detail and demo licenses can be found at http://www.thefoundry.co.uk.