Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying
Illustration by John Hersey

The Tracker panel


From:

After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: The Tracker panel

Before we get started tracking and stabilizing shots, first we need to discuss how the Tracker Panel has changed from version to version. A lot of these changes have been triggered by the addition of the Warp Stabilizer in CS5.5 but there are other reasons this has evolved as well. In After Effects CS5 and earlier, it was pretty simple. After you open up the Tracker Panel, you selected the clip you either want to track or stabilize and you had two buttons: Track Motion or Stabilize Motion.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 9m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 38s
    2. The Tracker panel
      4m 24s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 13m 25s
    1. Warp Stabilizer basics
      5m 59s
    2. Warp Stabilizer advanced parameters
      7m 26s
  3. 30m 6s
    1. Setting up a stabilization
      2m 57s
    2. Track points explained
      5m 48s
    3. Performing a track
      5m 11s
    4. Applying a stabilization
      2m 42s
    5. Cleaning up the results of a stabilization
      3m 0s
    6. Performing a motion track
      5m 57s
    7. Applying the results
      4m 31s
  4. 13m 48s
    1. The Radio Waves effect
      4m 16s
    2. Tracking the mountain
      5m 31s
    3. Compositing the effect
      4m 1s
  5. 24m 28s
    1. Perspective tracking overview
      2m 40s
    2. Tracking to a corner pin
      7m 1s
    3. Improving the composite
      5m 39s
    4. Tracking with mocha-AE
      9m 8s
  6. 31m 49s
    1. Tracking in 3D (new in CS6)
      4m 31s
    2. Creating 3D objects (new in CS6)
      5m 12s
    3. Hanging a poster (new in CS6)
      8m 8s
    4. Adding text (new in CS6)
      5m 33s
    5. Using shadow catchers (new in CS6)
      8m 25s
  7. 16m 46s
    1. Tracking dots
      5m 43s
    2. Dealing with obscuration
      5m 12s
    3. Cleaning up the stabilization
      5m 51s
  8. 12m 40s
    1. Basic keying
      7m 20s
    2. Refining the key
      5m 20s
  9. 13m 32s
    1. Quizzler challenges
      3m 35s
    2. Quizzler #1 solution: Stabilization plus masking
      2m 58s
    3. Quizzler #2 solution: Stabilization plus tracking
      2m 50s
    4. Quizzler #3 solution: Copying a camera's motion
      4m 9s
  10. 12m 28s
    1. Tracking for multiple effect points
      4m 44s
    2. Converting to ray-traced 3D (new in CS6)
      7m 44s
  11. 23m 59s
    1. Legacy tracker advice
      8m 14s
    2. Tracking interlaced sources
      5m 59s
    3. Using garbage masks for keying
      4m 51s
    4. Using the Rolling Shutter Repair feature (new in CS6)
      4m 55s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying
3h 22m Intermediate Nov 23, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Explore how to use the motion tracker and stabilizer built into After Effects and shows how to handle a variety of shots. Author Chris Meyer leads a quick tour of the third-party software mocha and demonstrates the workflow for The Foundry's KEYLIGHT, both bundled with After Effects. The course also covers tracking a greenscreen shot with a handheld camera and replacing its background.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Understanding motion stabilization and keying
  • Performing a track
  • Applying tracking to effects
  • Keying with KEYLIGHT
  • Replacing images
  • Improving the composite
  • Garbage masking
  • Dealing with interlaced footage
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

The Tracker panel

Before we get started tracking and stabilizing shots, first we need to discuss how the Tracker Panel has changed from version to version. A lot of these changes have been triggered by the addition of the Warp Stabilizer in CS5.5 but there are other reasons this has evolved as well. In After Effects CS5 and earlier, it was pretty simple. After you open up the Tracker Panel, you selected the clip you either want to track or stabilize and you had two buttons: Track Motion or Stabilize Motion.

Both of these use what is now referred to as the Legacy Point Tracker in After Effects. It's a tracker that has been in there for years and what it does is look for a specific point in your footage to follow from frame-to-frame. If you want to do something known as a Perspective Track, for example tracking the four corners of this rectangle that is this screen, you had two choices: You could select the footage, and again use the Legacy Tracker, setting the track type to Perspective, or you could launch a separate application that exists in the same folders of After Effects called Mocha.

It uses a different technology than Points. It looks at the entire plane of the surface to track, and in many cases it's better. As of After Effects CS5.5, things started changing. If you wanted to use the Legacy Tracker, you would select your footage and Track Motion. However, if you wanted to stabilize your footage using the Legacy Point Tracker, you no longer use the Stabilize Motion button. Instead, you click Track Motion and change the Track type to Stabilize.

If on the other hand, as of After Effects CS5.5, you want to use the brand-new Warp Stabilizer. You select your footage then click the Stabilize Motion button and this would bring up the new Warp Stabilizer instead of the old Legacy Point Tracker. Finally, if you want to do a Perspective Corner Pin Track, this is just like it was in After Effects CS5 and earlier. Select your footage, and to do a Point Track, you use Track Motion. To use the Plain or Motion Tracker Mocha, it's a separate application in the folder next to After Effects.

All this changed again as of After Effects CS6. In CS6 the Tracker window actually got more clear as to what it was doing, personally because it's handling more functions. If you want to use the legacy point- based tracker, you select your footage and you click either Track Motion or Stabilize Motion. Very clear. If you want to use the newer Warp Stabilizer, introduced in After Effects CS5.5, select your footage and click on the button Warp Stabilizer not Stabilize Motion, which is what you used in 5.5.

Now a new feature in After Effects CS6 is the brand-new 3D Camera Tracker which can follow the movement of the camera that shot the scene. To use that, you select your footage and select Track Camera, not Track Motion. Finally, if you wish to perform a Corner Pin Track on a rectangular surface, you select the footage as always. If you want to use the Legacy Point Tracker, again Track Motion, set the Track type to something like Perspective Corner Pin or. I'm going to undo here, if you want to use Mocha, which is again a better solution in many cases, select your footage and take advantage of a brand-new Menu item called Animation>Track in mocha AE.

You will no longer see a separate Mocha application next to After Effects; this is the only way to open Mocha from inside the After Effects CS6. Most of the training in this course was performed in After Effects CS5.5 except for the features that are unique to CS6, namely the 3D Camera Tracker. But I'll be putting captions along the bottom explaining how the different versions have changed in the ways that you launch your preferred Tracker or Stabilizer.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying.


Expand all | Collapse all
Please wait...
Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2012. What changed?
A: We added new chapters on the Warp Stabilizer and the exciting new 3D Camera Tracker, and new movies on the Tracker panel, converting to ray-traced 3D, and rolling shutter repair, all new features introduced in After Effects CS6. In addition, there are new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6 and a companion movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files.
Share a link to this course
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.
Upgrade now


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.

Upgrade now

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 After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying.

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
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



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.

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