The Dark Room

The Dark Room is a postvisualiser engine for Cinema4D. I designed it to help with visualising live action composites of film and character animation.

The idea stemmed from the need to find a better way to preview motion capture animation on top of camera images. While there are ways to circumvent this (such as adding background plates to your 3D scene, or rendering out hardware versions of your animation and compositing them in another application), I found them to be a little 'hacky', or cumbersome, and I felt a better solution could be made.

One solution was to build an application inside my 3D studio program that could handle the raw camera files and composite the animation on top of them. This is by no means the easiest solution, but it does come with additional possibilities and benefits.

And this is how The Dark Room first came to light. A simple 2D composite program that took the 3D viewport draw of the animation and put it over the film camera images. As time has progressed, the project is evolving with new tools and functionality. But it's general purpose is still based on it's original premise.

You can find a history of posts on this project and read up on it's current state of development, in the links below.

Project post history:

New graphical user interface system (latest)
Lens calibration interface
Tackling lens calibration
Improved video file reading
The importance of testing program logic
Importing image sequences
Tracking a checkered feature
Additional corner tracking added
Tracking drift fixes
Tracking drift issues
Longer feature tracked video
First feature tracked video
Tracking engine connected with an interface
Far out brussel sprout
Future proofing interface structure
Further viewport engine updates
Pose estimation engine update
Checkerboard detection - part 2
Checkerboard detection - part 1
Camera pose estimation solution
Frustum frame space squeeze
Overcoming small engine issues
Finally, we're there!
It's almost there
New engine coming along
Removing an external library from code
Tracking algorithm started
Reading cinema camera images
Projecting a new engine
The Dark Room Beginnings