Angle of View and Houdini Focal Length
You can obtain a good fit between the Houdini camera and a real world camera by matching a measured lens’s horizontal angle of view, and deriving a Houdini focal length value that reproduces it with the default aperture 41.4214.
This ignores pin-cushion and barrel distortion which must be set using shots of grids and render tests. You should measure the horizontal angle of view with respect to the camera’s TV safe transmitted reticule aperture.
Scanned Film Images
For scanned film images, you can simply divide the pixel width of the scanned image by the pixels/mm for the scanner, and plug this number into the aperture channel. Then set the focal length to the live action focal length.
There are some basic mathematics we can use to relate a real world camera to Houdini cameras. On the following page are some useful formulas.
|fovx||field of view in X||-|
|fovy||field of view in Y||-|
|apx||aperture in X||41.4214|
|apy||aperture in Y||-|
|resx||pixel resolution in X||320|
|resy||pixel resolution in Y||243|
|asp||pixel aspect (width/height)||1|
Three key relationships:
fovx = 2 * atn( (apx/2) / focal ) tan(fovy/2) = (apy/2) / focal apx/apy = (resx * asp) / resy
Useful equations derived from the above:
apy = (resy*apx) / (resx*asp) fovy = 2*atan( (apy/2) / focal )
Solving for the above given Houdini defaults:
fovx = 2*atan( ( apx / 2 ) / focal ) = 2*atan( ( cam1/aperture / 2 ) / cam1/focal ) = 2*atan( ( 41.4214 / 2 ) / 50 ) = 45˚ apy = (resy * apx) / (resx * asp) = (243 * 41.4214) / (320 * 1) = 31.454376 fovy = 2*atan( (apy/2) / focal ) = 2*atan( (31.454376 / 2) / 50 ) = 34.9213˚
fovx is not dependent on resx, resy, or aspect, but fovy is.
You can verify this for yourself by attaching a unit-spaced grid to the camera at the focal length distance and the number of units in the X direction will be exactly equal to the aperture. The number of grid units in the y direction ( apy) will be dependent on resx, resy and aspect.