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Mocha or Basic Tracker?

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Ray LeeMocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 19, 2011 at 4:44:44 pm

Hey guys! So I've been playing around with a bit of tracking in After Effects and i've got some pretty nice results and some terrible ones too. What I'm trying to achieve is something like this video from Marcus Eckert.

I tried AE's Tracker first and managed to get this but there was a lot of manual tweaking that had to be done to the individual child objects.

I've tried Mocha but it seems like it works by placing footage in Surfaces that have to be tracked to planes.

I'm just trying to get my objects to float above a flat surface (like say, a table). I've tried tracking a table by the edges, aligning the Surface to it, exporting to AE, and then parenting the Surface to a 3D object which had previously been rotated to match the perspective in the footage but obviously that didn't work.

Did that make any sense? This is driving me crazy!


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Brian CharlesRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 19, 2011 at 6:17:27 pm

I'm sure you'll get suggestions and tips involving Null objects and planar trackers — however what you need to record the translation of the 3D space is a camera tracker like the Foundry's.

http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/cameratracker/



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ben g ungurenRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 19, 2011 at 6:51:37 pm

I agree with Brian -- you need a 3D tracker. There are a number of good ones out there. The Foundry's tracker integrates directly with AE, which is a nice bonus.

A somewhat limited but effective (and relatively inexpensive) piece of software is pixelfarm's "pf hoe" (http://www.pfhoe.com). Pixelfarm also makes a much more robust tracker, pf track. I have used Syntheyes (http://ssontech.com/) with excellent results on some complex scenes.

The basic process if you're using one of these other pieces of software is to (1) track the footage (find elements in the scene, track them for the duration of the shot), (2) "solve" the shot, which creates an animated 3D camera and a cloud of static 3D points that match/overlay the movement of the 2D trackers, (3) place markers, bits of geometry, etc, so you can know where the "floor" "walls" and other elements in your scene are located, and finally (4) export the 3D camera and null objects to AE, frequently as a .jsx script.

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 19, 2011 at 8:26:37 pm

For camera moves that are similar to what you have in your example you can "fake it" using Mocha. Here's a good example:
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/magic_tracking/

However I would recommend Camera Tracker from the Foundry as well for a good 3d track.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 2:57:41 am

Mocha should do fine with what you want to do. A Matchmove using 3D Tracking will allow for more options although it's not necessary in this case.

Your workflow seems funky. If you have tracked with perspective in Mocha, you would then export Corner Pin data from Mocha into AE. This way, your perspective is also matched and you do not need to eyeball a 3D layer to match the perspective.

It sounds like you've exported only the Transform data from Mocha and not the Corner Pin data.

To obtain the parallax that you want, instead of having your text stick onto the tracked object, you can offset its position (either X, Y or Z or a combo).

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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Ray LeeRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 5:28:07 am

Wow, thanks for the quick response guys!

Yea, I knew it had to be possible since I'd already tracked with perspective, and I did export the data as corner pin. Let's say I track the surface of the wooden block in the second video and export the corner pin data with a Surface. Can't I just position a pre-comp perpendicular to that Surface? But Imma keep trying just in case it's some minor thing I'm missing. Thanks loads for the help!

Btw guys, the CameraTracker thing looks really good but I don't think I can shell out that kind of money for something I won't be using that much.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 10:36:35 am

[Ray Lee] "Can't I just position a pre-comp perpendicular to that Surface?"

You could but due to the different perspective (hence movement) between the original tracked surface and the perpendicular surface, you're going to experience drifting.

Just track the perspective of the surface and corner pin it. Then apply a 3D transform rotation that suits your needs. As long as the rendering order starts with the Corner Pin followed by the transform, you should be fine with this workflow.

Lastly, for your exact scenario, it's best to track the side of the block facing the camera. You may want to place one or more markers on the said side as the bottom part of the block is not visible. The markers do not necessarily have to reach the edge of the side. As long as the marker(s) are within the same plane, you should be fine.

Then use the Clone tool to remove the marker(s). I like advertisements from print magazines as they usually contain white spaces with other graphics/text (strong contrast) that act as good textures for Mocha to track. Just ensure that the markers are laid firmly on the surface and that they allow themselves to be removed via cloning without too much hassles - the smaller they are while still being able to serve their tracking needs is crucial.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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Ray LeeRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 6:05:18 pm

Okay, I've been testing this Mocha out for the day and one major issue I've noticed is I can't make anything a child of the Null object containing the tracked data. I've tried the only two options available to me (transform/corner pin).

The transform data doesn't seem to synch the Null to the footage at all after I paste the data on it. I've checked the footage size, frame rate, everything but I can't get this to work.

The corner pin data works as it should with a Surface but I can't seem to parent anything to the Null containing this data. The Null is all that's synching to the footage and everything else ignores the parenting.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 7:37:41 pm

Dude, you're tripping over yourself with each post. It now seems obvious that you don't know what Parenting does. I suggest that you read the manual on the topic and then tackle a couple of the COW tutorials.

Then go through the COW's Mocha tutorials as well as those on the Imagineer site.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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Ray LeeRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 7:51:11 pm

Uhh, no disrespect or anything but if I didn't know what Parenting does, I wouldn't even have been able to do the test video.

I've gone through tutorials and it seems like my version of Mocha's missing some things. Might be a version thing.

Anyway, thanks for all the help. I'll keep looking around for possible solutions.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 21, 2011 at 3:26:26 am

[Ray Lee] " if I didn't know what Parenting does, I wouldn't even have been able to do the test video"

You did decently well with the test video but you were also way off the mark.

If you really know what Parenting does, then how is it that you're still wondering why things don't work when you applied Mocha's Corner Pin data onto a Null and then Parented a child layer to the said Null!

Parenthetically, you are parentally challenged. ;-)

You were given assistance much earlier for which you didn't adhere to. All you did was to go on your wild goose chase and making ridiculous mistakes in the process. You were then asked to read up some, so that you at least have some grasp of relevant basics and yet you're back here barking and getting yourself further away from the solution.

In all my years at the COW, and I've been here since Day 01, I've not met anyone such as you. If you want assistance, then at least follow on it. Otherwise, you're just wasting Webspace.

Maybe you're excited with what you're doing. Calm down and read the instructions and advice provided.

Good Luck!
RoRK've

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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Ray LeeRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 21, 2011 at 4:58:11 am

While I appreciate the suggestion on camera tracking, I thought I'd figure out how to do this in AE and Mocha only.

Yea, I am excited about motion tracking for the first time, but also a little frustrated. There have been tutorials in which the person could be seen applying the corner pin data to a Null and simply parenting an object to the Null. Simple. But when I do the exact same thing, no dice. I can't understand why that worked for them since the data only adds a Corner Pin effect to the Null without any xyz changes.

I've gone through the mocha guide and quite a few tutorials and haven't been able to address this weird problem so I guess I'll just have to keep looking.


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ben g ungurenRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 20, 2011 at 7:30:11 pm

[Ray Lee] "I don't think I can shell out that kind of money for something I won't be using that much."

The Voodoo tracker is available for non-commercial projects: http://www.digilab.uni-hannover.de/download.html

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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Brian CharlesRe: Mocha or Basic Tracker?
by on Aug 21, 2011 at 12:56:07 am

Even the Foundry's Camera Tracker has a free 15 day trial...



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