SST_1809 – Camera Match

CameraMatch

CameraMatch is a huge timesaver. First, CameraMatch saves the time that it would take you to model the existing surroundings. Second, CameraMatch saves you the time it would take to match your current view to a photograph.

Many people think that they should only use CameraMatch for large projects. I believe this is wrong. CameraMatch is ideal for large projects, but it is also very helpful on small projects. It really does not take very long to set up a CameraMatch project, but showing your client the design and its context is so much better than just showing the model. CameraMatch can be used for exterior projects, architectural projects, urban design projects, landscape projects, and interior design projects.

Table of Contents

Introduction

CameraMatch is more than just a single tool, it is a presentation concept.  While there might be several tools to use, the main function of CameraMatch is a presentation tool.

CameraMatch combines a photograph with a Vectorworks model. An important part of this is that you only need to model the parts of the design that are changing. CameraMatch removes the need to model the existing scene, which can save you hours or even days of work. My experience is that your first project will pay for CameraMatch through these time savings.

The most important part when using CameraMatch is the original photograph. The photo must have some horizontal and vertical reference lines. These lines are used to calculate the camera position, elevation, and lens. Without a good range of lines, it will be difficult for CameraMatch to synchronize the model with the image.

Beginner Concepts

Control Lines

CameraMatch uses mathematics to calculate the correct camera position and perspective. To do this, it needs to have six reference lines. There has to be a combination of vertical lines, as well as left and right vanishing lines.

IMG_0577

The trick is to look for parallel lines.

You need to know the measurement of at least one line, so when you go to the site, make sure your photo includes the six control lines and at least one measurement.

IMG_0575

Typically, the red lines should be converging toward the right, the green ones toward the left, and the blue ones represent the two verticals.

IMG_0575_ref

The further away from each other the control lines are, the better the results. If the lines are too close, CameraMatch finds it difficult to calculate the perspective. When the lines are far apart, they are less likely to be almost parallel. It is when any pair of lines is almost parallel that you will have problems.

Let’s look at some examples. In each case, I will show the original photo and the control lines that could be used.

  • Domestic project.

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  • Possible control lines.

IMG_0538_lines

  • Commercial project.

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  • Possible control lines.

IMG_0541

  • Commercial Project

IMG_0575

  • Possible control lines.

IMG_0575_lines

When you take your photograph, watch out for lens distortion. Lens distortion (or barrel distortion) does have an effect on CameraMatch.  This kind of distortion is the “fish eye” effect that most lenses have, in which straight lines are not straight in the photo. This distortion can cause the location of vanishing points to be incorrect. In addition, Vectorworks cannot render images with this distortion, so you’ll never get a near perfect match unless you correct the photo image first. The CameraMatch manual has some more information on this and some inexpensive applications to correct the distortion.

There is some great protected information here that is only available to paying subscribers. You must be an active paying subscriber to see it, but you can  Subscribe here.

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