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Tracking Manually

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Dustin Newman
Tracking Manually
on Oct 23, 2011 at 8:09:48 pm

Hey guys I'm trying to learn how to track manually and I'm not too sure how to achieve this. I just learned auto tracking and it's not really doing the job. Sorry for the newbish question! Thanks guys! :)

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Tracking Manually
on Oct 24, 2011 at 8:47:58 am

It would be probably good to start here:
Then you can try these tutorials:

Mocha is a great planar tracking tool that comes with AE.
Here's a good resource:

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Tracking Manually
on Oct 24, 2011 at 10:54:03 pm

Hi Dustin -

A large part of any project which involves "automatic" tracking, is manual tracking. I've done many complex projects, using both Combustion and After Effects, and I'd have to say that I've never ever had a perfect track happen in which I didn't do manual cleanup, or even do a section entirely by hand, when there weren't enough clear targets to get a track.

If you're lucky, and you choose the perfect points for your track, and have the best squeeky clean footage, you're still going to end up with probably 30 to 60 percent of the project being cleanup via manual tracking.

So I would suggest following Ted's links, and also saving yourself at least part of the headache by using the automatic tracking features. The two go hand in hand on any tracking project.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Tracking Manually
on Oct 25, 2011 at 1:51:04 pm

@Dustin - a manual track is required if and only if an auto or assisted track isn't possible or cannot provide the required data. And with Mocha products, there is a strong case to use the Adjust Track module for less-than-perfect tracks.

I suggest that you upload your video, here, so that we can have a better idea of your issues. Of course, do include relevant information such as what it is that you want to do with the acquired tracked data as well as the point/region that you are tracking.

@Joe - I'm surprised that you have had less than acceptable results with tracking. Perhaps you will want to post past or future challenging tracking jobs here for us to have a look at. Not everything is possible but it's been my experience that sharing issues here and looking at the actual problems and possible solutions goes a long way in helping folks sort out their issues.


Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer

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