This post is by Jose Antunes from ProVideo Coalition
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Built for a variety of content creators, the new iOS app CamTrackAR makes it possible to 3D track iPhone footager free in real-time for previs and iPhone filmmaking.
FXhome, creators of free video editing and VFX software HitFilm Express, have made their mobile app debut with a new 3D tracking tool. CamTrackAR will, the company believes, change the process of filmmaking forever, offering an easy solution for professionals needing quick pre-visualization and any video creator wanting to speed up their post-production workflow.
The iOS app, which is the first-of-its-kind and is currently supported on iPhone SE and 6S onwards (as
as iPads on iOS 13.2 and later), takes advantage of Apple’s AR technology (augmented reality) to simultaneously record footage and flawless camera tracking data in real-time on your iPhone. Users can then import this into their post-production software of choice to instantly apply VFX and 3D elements in 3D space.
CamTrackAr is easy to use and offers a clean interface. It features just one simple screen with clean and clear buttons, designed to ensure the details of your shot aren’t obscured as you film. All you need to do is set your floor plane with the app’s green tracking grid and add in anchor points with the press of a finger. Then press record and CamTrackAR does all the hard work for you.
No Android version available
FXhome believes this is a game-changing tool for video creators, a must-have for every YouTuber and creator, as CamTrackAR ensures that lower thirds, composited 3D models, and anything requiring a camera-track stays locked in place. The app is also a good pre-visualization tool for professionals as it allows to test the viability of VFX shots immediately. Accurate tracking makes CamTrackAR perfect for any cinematographer or director wanting to preview shots on set, simply by using an iPhone.
Android users don’t need to apply, at least not for now. In fact, as FXhome explains, “the reason that this app can only be used on an iPhone currently is down to the AR camera data we are able to pull from Apple’s hardware technology. We had to start somewhere and ARKit is amazingly good, and we’re going to talk to Google about the best way forward for Android – so stay tuned!”
Android does have its own AR tools, which can be found at the Google’s ARCore library, so in theory it is possible. ARCore is Google’s platform for building augmented reality experiences. Using different APIs, ARCore enables your phone to sense its environment, understand the world and interact with information. Some of the APIs are available across Android and iOS to enable shared AR experiences.
CamTrackAR, a tool built for filmmakers
Still, don’t hold your breath, as the CamTrackAR app depends on Apple’s ARKit, which as FXhome notes is “amazingly good”. This means that, as someone commented on FXhome’s YouTube, it is impossible to simply port the app from iOS to Android. To make things worst, Android is a common name for an OS that is tweaked in a variety of ways by different smartphone manufacturers, meaning its performance is not consistent, as those who regularly use imaging apps across different smartphone brands know.
CamTrackAR was built for filmmakers, VFX artists, content creators, and music video producers to carry-out previs using their iPhone, so they can save time and effort in post-production instead of losing valuable time waiting for 3D camera trackers to process their footage frame-by-frame. The tool also provides a unique opportunity for the new generation of iPhone filmmakers to step up their productions with some of the more advanced post-production techniques made available with 3D tracked footage.
The app is currently free to use, and exports pre-tracked footage for use in free programs HitFilm Express or Blender (as well as FXhome’s professional post-production software HitFilm Pro). Users will have to pay a small premium to add more than one anchor point for tracking and to export to other programs such as After Effects ($4.99 per month subscription, or $29.99 lifetime).
FXhome’s CamTrackAR app is now available to download on the App Store. Download and give it a try!