I'm trying to composite a distant space shuttle rocket launching into the sky over some footage that is handheld and intentionally shaky.
I have a space shuttle render with a transparent background in it's own layer, and the footage as the background layer. I want to take the object and keyframe it so that it starts off low and obviously shoots upwards into the sky, but I also want to have that object tracked with the handheld footage so that it stays in the right spot/path relative to the movement in the footage.
I tried motion tracking a far off mountain in the original footage and applying the rocket object render as the target, but obviously that replaces the keyframes I used to make the rocket move from the ground to the sky and then the rocket just stays in one spot over the point where I motion tracked.
Any help would be appreciated! I'm guessing I need to utilize a null layer or something?
Your guess is correct! you need to make the target of the track a null layer. You then parent your rocket footage to the null layer and then animate your rocket moving up in Y space using position keyframes. With the rocket parented that change in position will stay relative to the null.