Join Steve Grisetti for an in-depth discussion in this video Planar tracking with mocha HitFilm, part of HitFilm 3 Pro Essential Training.
- One of the most advanced features in HitFilm is its ability to do something called Camera Solving or Planar Tracking. Planar tracking means interpreting three-dimensional space in a video as if it were actually true three-dimensional space. And then you can add three-dimensional objects, or virtual objects to that space, and they will interact with the space as if they are a part of that space. Let me show you. It'll become more clear as we work with the program. The heavy lifting for this particular feature is done with a program called Mocha.
Mocha is a professional program designed by Imagineer Systems. It is given away as a plugin with HitFilm 3 Pro. If we select New, Solve with mocha HitFilm, we go into the mocha workspace. By the way, if you want to know all about mocha, be sure to check out Ben Brownlee's excellent course here at lynda.com. Click on New Project over here on the left to start a new project and choose a clip. I have found in this case my MOV works better than my MP4s, so we'll bring it in.
The program will interpret the specs of the clip and it will name its project based on the name of your clip. So, if I have used the clip before, it's going to ask you do you want to overwrite it, and you say yeah. Now, we need a couple of planes to track on in here. And we've got a number of planes. We've got a wall over here on the left, a wall on the right, we've got a door, we've got a floor. I'm going to use three planes, but I need to have three planes that I can access completely. Now, you can see I have my actor passing over my right-hand plane, so I can't really use anything before he goes past, so I'm going to set my playhead here, and then click this button to set the start point for my work right here.
And then I'm going to zoom in on my timeline so that only the area I'm working on, I can see. Well, I want to track the floor, so my floor, because the camera tilts up, becomes less visible as we get to the end of the clip. I'm going to actually start designating the area that I want to track at the end of this particular clip. I'm going to select the Pen tool up here. You can also select the Bezier tool. And select a good area of the floor, as much as you can. We want an area that won't be, by the way, interrupted by an actor passing in front of it.
This is pretty good. And then the program can sometimes do this automatically. I have found better success if I help it interpret the plane, so I'm going to select this Show Planar Surface tool, and I'm going to line up the corners of it with the perspective of the floor. And if I do this right, when I turn on this plane, it should be right parallel to the floor, and it actually is pretty good. There it is, right on the nose.
And I'm going to name that layer by double clicking on the floor. Once I've done that, I can come down here to the track tab, and I can tell the program to track on that plane. Right now, it defaults to 50% pixels used. I'm going to set that up to 90%. You get a much better result without much extra work for the computer. I'm also going to select the option for perspective also. And because I'm at the end of the timeline, I'm going to track backwards.
Here goes my track. And it does it rather quickly, going frame by frame, making sure that plane stays in place there on my video. Very nice. Now, when we create our second plane, we need to actually not just turn off the layer, but actually click off the configuration layer completely. Click on that little cog, so that we don't get interpretation of the next layer mixed up with this layer.
I'm also going to turn off my Planar Surface tool, and my Planar Surface, because I want to concentrate on these barrels over here. Once again, I select my Pen tool, and want to cover as much in area as I can here with these barrels. This is going to be my selection area. Once again, turn on my Surface tool. And I'm going to do my best to line up its corners with a perspective there, so that when I turn on my plane, the plane is lined up with the barrels.
And it could use a little adjustment here at the top. Be careful, a little adjustment goes a long way with this tool. That's pretty good, that's in alignment with it. More or less, probably enough for our purposes. And then I start tracking now. Since I'm at the beginning of the timeline, I'm going to track forward. By the way, before I do, I want to come down here. For some reason we defaulted to 30% pixels used. I want to turn that into 90. I get much better results with 90. I'm going to select perspective again.
Here we go, let's track. And once again, I'm kind of quality control checking it as we go through here, to make sure that plane stays in position. And this looks pretty good. Looks like it's staying in position perfectly. So now I'm going to name this second layer Left Wall. And once again I'm going to turn it off and deactivate it. And then I'm going to turn off my plane, and my Planar tool, and come over here, move the playhhead back to the beginning of my timeline again, and I'm going to come over here to my other wall, which is actually these barrels here.
And I'm going to use my Pen tool to select these barrels. And once again, I'm going to use my Planar tool to kind of line up with a perspective that these barrels represent, and see how my plane looks there. And it a little bit off, we'll nudge that just a bit. And that's pretty good. Now, I'm going to track through that. Once again, I want to make sure that the minimum percentage of pixels used is at least 90, and select Perspective also, and then I start tracking through.
Looking pretty good, everything is staying locked into position, and my planes look pretty accurate. I'm going to name this plane my Right Wall. And then I'm going to turn on all of my planes and select them all by holding down the shift key and take all of that information over here to Camera Solve. Camera Solve will interpret that information and then it will generate 3D information that we can export over to HitFilm. I'm going to try it with an automatic setting.
Quite often, automatic settings I get kind of a kickback, but let's see if this works. Click on Solve, and you can see it gave me a 41% solve quality with the automatic setting. I'm going to try it again, but I'm going to select Large Parallax Change and see if that gives us better results. It's interpreting all that information. And hello 97% accuracy, that's pretty darn good. We can work with that. Let's export the camera data to HitFilm. Now when we export it, it's going to produce a HitFilm composite, which we can import into our project.
We'll select Save, and I'm going to call this My Warehouse Solve and click Save. It's asking me to overwrite because I have one that already exists. I say, "Yeah, overwrite it." And now we're all set to go over to HitFilm, import this information in, and then use it to create a three-dimensional effect that resides within the virtual three-dimensional space of this video.
In this course Steve Grisetti shares the three ways HitFilm 3 Pro can be used: as a video editor, as a tool for adding 2D video effects to your movie, and as a compositing tool for creating amazing 3D and planar-tracking effects. Along the way, you'll look at how to draw from the program's exciting library of preset effects (including motion tracking and particle simulation), as well as how to build effects and animations from scratch. You'll use HitFilm to add muzzle blasts, rocket fire, phaser beams, and other explosive action effects to your movies. Steve also shows how to work with 3D models and incorporate them into videos—including simulating real-world depth and perspective with the free mocha HitFilm plugin.
- Adding and customizing 3D effects
- Keyframing animated effects
- Adding effects instantly with presets and Quick 3D
- Extruding and animating text
- Chroma keying
- Tracking and stabilizing video
- Animating 3D models
- Creating a space scene with advanced effects
- Planar tracking with mocha HitFilm
- Outputting and sharing your movie