Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Planner tracking using mocha AE, part of After Effects Guru: Integrating Type into Video.
- In order to track the perspective of the sand area we can attach our title to the video by using mocha AE. By doing that we'll be able to analyze the surface of the sand and its perspective, and the result will be an accurate corner pin data that we can simply copy and paste between both softwares. As I mentioned in order to track this out we are going to use the built-in version of mocha AE which ships with After Effects. Now, believe me that I've tried other methods of tracking this here inside After Effects, and also trying to solve the camera using the 3D Track Camera option inside After Effects.
None of them yield the desired result. Here I'm just offering you what I think will be the best choice. But each footage is different, and you should also examine a couple of solutions. Most people feel more comfortable not leaving After Effects, but I promise you that what we are about to do inside mocha is very fast and not painful at all. I'm going to walk you through the steps. We actually need to track the video footage because the data that we're going to collect is going to be applied to the title, meaning that the title at the end should stick to this sand area over here that we are seeing in the video.
I'm going to select the clip itself, and then the only way that you can launch mocha is go into the Animation menu and ask After Effects to track it inside mocha AE. This will launch mocha AE from After Effects and it will switch you to the interface of mocha. Now, if this is the first time that you open the software you might need to register it or also ask what to see in the beginning, meaning to define the preferences.
Also decide if you want to see the opening splash screen or not. I of course dismissed it in this case but if you see something else when you are following me and, of course, this will only happen if this is the first time you are launching the software then just go ahead. Read through these menus and basically approve them. Now you should reach to this point when it will ask you where to save that new project. By default it will save it near the source file itself. Anyhow, let's click OK over here and this will load the same clip with the same in and out of the same range that you've decided inside After Effects.
In our case it will take the whole frame. Now I'm just going to scroll. I need to find the best place to start tracking. I'm going to choose the x-spline tool and I'm going to create this shape. One click over here. One over there. Maybe somewhere over here. And then over here. If you want to close the shape, right click on it and mocha will close it for you. Now, I'm just going to stretch these pins, and those pins doesn't have to respect the perspective of the shot.
You just need to define an area with enough details. What I'm trying to achieve here is an area which is not going to be abstracted by the car. In this case I may want to take this point and just move it a little bit down. Same is true for the upper one. I just don't want the car to distract the tracker. This is what I'm checking here. If you are working with more complicated shot well then, of course, you can drag your cursor and create keyframes for this shape before even starting the truck.
But I think that we are okay over here so I'm just going to go back to this green frame which is the frame that I used to in order to draw this shape. First let's track forward. Click on this right triangle and let mocha think about it. It shouldn't be too complicated because there is not a lot of movement from this point onward. Now, let's take our cursor, bring it back to this point, and then let's track backwards. Most chances if you defined an area with enough details is that mocha will do an excellent job.
You do need to watch it. You do need to make sure that nothing is going to jump or disappear. But as expected mocha will probably deliver a very accurate result. We are going to speed up the recording, so you don't have to sit here and watch mocha do its thing. Once it's finished you can drag along to check the result. Now we'll need to actually define the corner pins. Press on this little s-planar surface and then just take those four corners and try to imagine how the title will look.
Now you need to actually put it where you want the title to appear. Now in this case I do want the title to appear at least partly under the wheels of this jeep. I'm going to take this and just drag it maybe over here and then I'm going to compensate something like this in order to make sure that when I'm exporting this data some of the text will be underneath the wheels. In order to illustrate their results a little bit more clearer you can insert a clip.
You can either render a freeze frame of your logo or use the built-in mocha logo by selecting it from here. Now it's getting a little bit crowded and difficult to see because all of the overlays. I'm just going to turn them off momentarily and then go to the beginning and just play the result to try and judge if this looks good or should we fix it. To my eyes it looks very well. It sticks to the floor, and the perspective of the logo looks quite believable.
I'm just going to stop the playback. Then I need to export the tracking data. Now in this case just note that our motion was large motion and we didn't analyze the perspective. But if you do have cases where the perspective in the shot is changing usually when you are trying to track computer screens or bus signage, you can't turn it on. But in this case it is not required. Now we are ready to export the tracking data and see how it performs inside After Effects.
We actually finished with mocha not before we are going to click on the Export Tracking Data. Then make sure to select the middle option, the After Effects Corner Pin with support for motion blur. I'm going to Copy to Clipboard and then I'm going to switch back to After Effects. Now I need to make sure that when I'm pasting this information my cursor will be at the beginning of this composition. This is a very important step. Then select the text and go to the Edit menu and just choose Paste.
Now it looks like something went completely wrong. Although we saw a great result when we used it inside mocha the tracking information didn't translate well. I'll show you how to fix it in the next movie.
- Analyzing your shot and making mood, story, and type decisions
- Working with lights, shadows, and 3D animation
- Rotoscoping, distorting, and displacing text
- Creating a motion graphics teaser using parenting and shoot-out animations
- Integrating 3D text into live video
- Working with ray-traced type
- Create advanced per-character 3D text animations