Once you have analyzed your footage and crated a title that best fits your video, you can now begin to track surfaces using Mocha AE inside of Adobe After Effects. How do you track surfaces with Mocha AE? In this movie, author Eran Stern will demonstrate how to use planner tracking in Mocha AE so you have tracking data for your title.
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- [Voiceover] So we're going to track this shot using mocha AE, and this is a planar tracking software which is bundled with every copy of After Effects. To get started and launch mocha, we need to select the clip in the timeline, in my case this base guitar clip, then go to the Animation menu and choose Tracking mocha AE. This will launch mocha and switch you to the software, and you'll be promoted to create a new project, which is going to be named after the name of the clip that you are choosing from the After Effects timeline and it will also save a copy of this project near the media files.
Now of course you can change both the name and location if you so desired to, but I'm going to leave the default as is, and I'm just going to click okay. Here we can see the shot in the mocha interface and I just want to remind you that we have a rock focus, meaning that there's a lot of blurriness in this shot, and mocha should be able to overcome these problems, but we do need to make sure that when we are starting to track, we're not going to track elements which are not related to the plane that we need to, so in other words, we don't want to track anything from this guy's t-shirt or his fingers, or of course the guitar.
The plane that we are after is this neck of the guitar. And in order to find the best frame, due to the fact that he's moving his fingers, just going to go maybe over here to frame number 140, where I think that those fingers are not going to move anymore. So this is going to be our anchor point for the tracker. Meaning that we need to define the plane that we want to track. I'm going to start by selecting this pin with the X icon, which will allow you to create X-Spline, and let's just click over here and then another click over here, and I want to take as much as I can from this guitar so over here, and over there.
And now if you want to close this shape just right-click on the mouse and this will close it. Now of course we can fiddle with it a little bit just to make sure that we are taking everything that we want. Just make sure to not go outside of the boundaries of this plane, and since it is a little bit out of focus, maybe more safe if we're going to stick inside this area. Now we need to track few frames forward, and then all the rest backwards.
So I'm going to start by clicking on this track forward button, and as you can see, although some of the pixels are out of the frame, mocha did a very accurate job. Now I'm going to move my playhead to this keyframe and I'm going to track the other way around. Now, note that I'm not defining perspective here, because we don't really have a change in perspective. This is just the same plane moving mostly up and down, so I think that we can get away with it even without tracking the perspective.
I'm also going to leave the default as is, meaning that in the pre-processing I'm just going to analyze 20% of the pixels which are going to be used. So, in other words, I'm not changing anything from the default settings. Now let's track backward and, in this case I'm just going to fast forward the recording because I don't want you to sit here and watch this. It's a little bit boring, and I also know that mocha can do a very decent job even if in some cases, we can see that part of the fingers are actually coming into the tracking area.
It is not supposed to confuse mocha and by the time it will finish, we should have a decent tracking plane in order to work with. Okay, so after a few moments the tracking has been finished and we can actually scrub the timeline over here to see the result, and it looks like it is holding quite nicely. Now in order to check how well it performs, we need to click on this little s which will show you the surface planar, and this is what we need to export to After Effects.
So I'm going to take those four corners and I'm going to place them where I want the title to be when I'm exporting this from mocha to After Effects. So let's just begin by placing this at the edges of this grid on the guitar neck, so something like this, and in order to check how well it holds, I'm also going to show the planar grid. This will show you a pink perspective grid that should be matched or lined up with the lines of the guitar neck that we are seeing over here.
And if this is not the case, you can actually continue to modify it until you feel that it really works well. And in this case, I think that we actually got it to work quite nicely. Now I do want to make sure that it is going to work so I'm just going to turn off both the planar grid and this surface, and I'm going to go over here where it says Insert Clip, and from this pull-down menu I'm going to choose the mocha logo.
This is of course not the final piece, this is just a reference frame, but we can play this clip and see how well it works, and I think that it is holding quite nicely. So I'm just going to let it play from beginning to end and then back because the default behavior inside mocha is this ping pong behavior. Now we need another title. We need a second one over here I guess. And since both title are actually using the same plane, we don't need to repeat the same tracking.
We actually need to just move this surface to a different place, and then export each one separately and copy the data into the After Effects document. But first let's prepare the second title. So I'm going to go to the layer controls and I'm going to name this guy front because it is closer to us, and since the second title is going to use the same tracking information, I'm going to right click on this layer and I'm going to duplicate another version. Let's double click on this layer and rename it, so it will be easier to manage.
And I'm also going to change the color so it will be more easy to identify. I'm also going to turn off the eye for the front, make sure the back layer is selected, and I want to work on the surface, so click on the s icon over here, and just drag those four corners to where you think the layer should be. Now this guy is a little bit more trickier to manage. So once again just place it where you think it should be.
It doesn't need to be super accurate, let's start with this position, and then make sure to click on this planar grid, and this will allow you to actually match it more nicely to the shot so just going to pull up this guy, and as before, I'm trying to match this grid to what I'm seeing over here. So this looks kind of nice, let's make sure that it is holding throughout the shot so let's make it for example over here, and if there's a need of course you can always modify the shape over here, so I might as well just drag it like so, and I think that it is matching quite nicely, we may want to change the upper right corner to something like this.
And once again I'm going to scroll it through time and I think that we have what we need. So if I'm just going to turn off the grid and the planar, of course you can switch off all the overlays just to show the reference mocha logo, and then of course you can play forward here inside mocha, just to verify that everything is holding down nicely, and I think it does, so in this point, this is all we need to do. And this is how you track a challenging shot and then adjust the track of the surfaces to create a second one in order to attach it to the same plane.
All thanks to the impressive capabilities of the bundled version of mocha AE.
Along the way, Eran demos a handful of advanced techniques, from tracking, rotoscoping, and particles to distortion and camera effects. After watching this course, you'll be able to create impressive promos, trailers, and openers that will stand out from the rest.
- Dandelion type: exploding text into dozens of seeds
- Time remapping
- Tracking text
- Rotoscoping with Roto Brush
- Floating type: creating a liquid text simulation
- Designing with shape layers
- Creating water effects with caustics
- Perspective type: attaching type to moving guitar neck
- Planner tracking with mocha AE
- Pasting tracing data
- Matching focus
- Hot spot type: adding motion graphics to a runner's steps
- Camera tracking
- Adding titles
- Creating a pulse effect