Matchmoving for Microstation

SynthEyes is a software that pulls 3D coordinate and positional information from a series of 2D images (a video clip). Using a combination of trigonometry and computer-vision techniques, it is possible to infer a virtual camera location that corresponds to the position of the camera used to record a video clip. This position can then be remapped to a series of “position tracks” within the scene to give you coordinates upon which to composite your virtual building model. The output from SynthEyes can then be imported into Bentley Microstation (the second part of this tutorial) where you can setup the lighting and rendering parameters to animate the scene. Begin the matchmoving process in SynthEyes.

12-1-2008-9-00-30-amOpen up shot in SynthEyes. File -> Open. SynthEyes accepts common video formats and should read all the video “meta-data” from your video if it was generated digitally. The frame-rate, interlacing, image and pixel aspect ratios should be correct. If your clip was generated with an older analog camera, you may need to track down all this information from the video capture program you used to import the clip.

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SketchUp to Microstation (via OBJ)

12-4-2008-4-03-53-pmSKP -> OBJ -> DGN

NOTE: This workflow used SketchUp 6 and Bentley Architecture XM.  Subsequent versions of either application may have better (or worse) performance using native SKP (h/t to SF).

There may be situations during the design process where importing SketchUp models into Microstation is necessary. For example, you may want to search Google’s 3D Warehouse for context buildings that you can reference into your Bentley Architecture model for a context rendering of the site. The best way to go from SketchUp to Microstation is through .OBJ. OBJ is the Lightwave file format and seems to be very material/texture friendly. Microstation has no trouble digesting the SketchUp assigned materials and importing them if the correct settings are applied. Follow the directions below to get (most, if not all) of the correct textures and scale.

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