Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Preparing the footage for tracking

From: VFX Techniques: Tracking Objects onto a Face

Video: Preparing the footage for tracking

We've created additional makeup to cover up those tracking marks. Now we're ready to start Motion Tracking, and we're not going to track in After Effects, although we could. I am going to use something that's more appropriate for this style of tracking, which is mocha. mocha is a separate program which you can get to by going through an After Effects menu. Before we go there though, I want to prepare the footage. I don't want to use what we have here, in fact, let me play this back. Using the version where the tracking marks are covered will defeat the purpose, so I'm going to create a new image sequence that's been adjusted to maximize the potential quality.

Preparing the footage for tracking

We've created additional makeup to cover up those tracking marks. Now we're ready to start Motion Tracking, and we're not going to track in After Effects, although we could. I am going to use something that's more appropriate for this style of tracking, which is mocha. mocha is a separate program which you can get to by going through an After Effects menu. Before we go there though, I want to prepare the footage. I don't want to use what we have here, in fact, let me play this back. Using the version where the tracking marks are covered will defeat the purpose, so I'm going to create a new image sequence that's been adjusted to maximize the potential quality.

I'm going to make a new composition for this and call this PrepFootage. This needs to be the same Resolution, Frame Rate, and Duration, so 300 Frame Duration. I'm going to pull the original footage, the Spy image sequence, down into this new composition. I could try to track this as is, but I'd rather try to increase the contrast to make the dots more visible and to allow the tracker to be more successful.

The other thing I can do is get rid of some of the noise. It's fairly noisy here from the video. If I reduce the noise, the tracker will be less confused by what it finds in the footage. Let's start with that. I'm going to apply Effect > Noise & Grain > Remove Grain. This effect has a preview box just like Match Grain. I'm going to move this over, so I can see it better on the face. Now you can adjust the degree to which it removes the grain and some other fine tuning.

It's actually good as is, though, so the only thing I'm going to do here is change the viewing mode from Preview to Final Output. Now it will remove the grain everywhere, or at least reduce it. Next, I'll address the overall Contrast and Brightness. I'm also going to adjust the Saturation, make it much more saturated than normal. In fact, that's where I'll start, Effect > Color Correction > Hue Saturation. I'm going to make the Master Saturation extra high, 40. It's going to turn very red, but that will help distinguish the tracking marks from her skin tone.

Now this actually helps as contrast too, because increasing the saturation increases the contrast between different color channels. And ultimately, it will have more contrast than, say, the blue channel. I can also go ahead and brighten everything. I want to make sure these are very easily seen. So I'm going to grab a Curves Tool > Color Correction > Curves, and just bow up the center a bit. Now that it's adjusted and I have more contrast overall, I can render this out. I want to render an image sequence.

So with this composition selected, I want to go to Composition > Add to Render Queue. I need to change the Output Module and the Output To. On the Output Module, I'm going to click the word Lossless and pick a new format. I don't want to render a movie in this case. I don't want to render an AVI or a QuickTime. That may lead to compression, which will interfere with the tracking. I'd rather do an image sequence. I'm going to pick PNG Sequence. Then click OK. Next, I'll pick a place to write this out to.

Now, I have a folder that has this already rendered out. I'm just going to write over the top of it. 'm going to change the name to PrepTrack, and leave the brackets and the pound signs. Again, the pound signs determine the number of numeric placeholders, for instance, .000. or .299. This is ready to go, now I'll click Save. Once these two things are set, Output Module and Output To, I can click the Render button and let it render.

Depending on the speed of your machine, this may take several minutes. But when the render is done, that yellow bar will disappear and you'll hear a chime. So this render is now finished. I'm going to bring it back in. I'm going to back to the Project tab, go to File > Import > File, and bring this back in. There we go. There is a new rendered-out image sequence.

I'm going to go back to PrepFootage and pull this new sequence down on top. I'm going to turn off Spy. I don't really need it now. At this point, I can switch over to mocha. If you're using CS6, there is a menu item to take your current layer and to bring it into mocha automatically. So with this PrepTrack layer selected, I'm going to go to Animation > Track in mocha AE. When it opens, it's going to set up anew project with that layer that you had selected.

So my PrepTrack pre-render is listed right here in Import Clip. That also lists the Duration and the Frame Rate. I'm going to click OK now. Now if there's any kind of pre- existing mocha data, it's going to ask if you want to overwrite it. Now since we're starting out, that's perfectly fine. I'm going to maximize the window. So now we're now in mocha. So we're ready to apply the tracking data. In preparation for motion tracking, we adjusted the color and the contrast of our original footage, and then you used the built-in menu to bring it over to the mocha side.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for VFX Techniques: Tracking Objects onto a Face
VFX Techniques: Tracking Objects onto a Face

30 video lessons · 5936 viewers

Lee Lanier
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed VFX Techniques: Tracking Objects onto a Face.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.