Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video Why so many tracking options?, part of After Effects Compositing 06: Tracking and Stabilization.
- VFX is often a process of making your own solutions, and in this course, I'll help you get started doing just that with the various tracking tools found in After Effects, each of which has its own strengths, weaknesses, and custom hacks that can be used to get the most out of it. After Effects has had a tracking tool for a long time, but the current version of the software has, by my count, five individual trackers. There's the original Point Tracker, it's just called Motion Tracker. The more recently added Mask Tracker, that appears in the same tracker panel when you select a mask instead of a layer.
There are the automated Camera Tracker and Warp Stabilizer VFX, each of which is accessed by right clicking and selecting them on a layer, and appear as an effect in the effect controls. Both of these work automatically in that they will start by tracking and analyzing your scene, before there's anything you can adjust. mocha AE is a third party Planar Tracking system that is included with After Effects, but it's technically separate software.
It's similar in functionality to the fully featured mocha from Imagineer Systems. The only one of these trackers we don't cover thoroughly in this course is Mask Tracker, which was actually covered in a separate course on rotoscoping. I often find a need to go beyond what Mask Tracker can do in order to accomplish Attract Mask in a visual effects setting, and so the first portion of the course is focused on using the more adaptable Motion Tracker, and then applying the results of that to a mask or masks. I'm going to review the legitimate ways these tools are used, but we'll also move along to everything you can do when the normal approach doesn't give you what you need, which seems to happen all the time in VFX.
Rather than giving up when the initial result doesn't automatically solve your tracking problem, you'll know specific methods you can use to ensure you've selected the right tool for the job, and done everything you can to succeed with a track.
Here, Mark Christiansen shows how to use the five different After Effects trackers, customizing them to work best in the situations that motion graphics artists encounter most often. He covers the fundamentals, as well as opportunities to think outside the box, especially when an automated approach won't work.
- Why point track?
- Recognizing trackable points
- Offsetting a tracker
- Applying the track to a matte
- Using nulls and third-party scripts to create track mattes
- Tracking and stabilizing objects and planes
- Automated tracking
- Applying 3D tracks