This is a quick animation I did some time ago to test our tracking software. Put simply, tracking allows us to identify the path a camera followed while recording, the lens used, and other characteristics. This information is then used to create a virtual camera in our 3D scene with the same parameters. Then, we can render an animation of something that does not exist, and match it into a real-world setting. You have seen this done hundreds of times, but may not have known it. This is how Gollum in Lord of the Rings , King Kong, and the recent HP and Levi’s commercials were made to name just a few.
This test is poor quality, but that was by design. Rather than using a pro-level HD video camera, I used an inexpensive digital camera that shoots mediocre video. I figured if I can get a good track on a jerky 320×240 at 15fps, I can get a great match on smooth HD. After tracking the camera move, I dropped in a building from a past job, planted some trees, and added some moving cars.
Certainly not a product quality I would deliver, but proof that we can make very convincing matches with proper footage.