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Can't achieve a simple mask tracking

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Alex KhosidCan't achieve a simple mask tracking
by on Jan 9, 2016 at 9:49:29 pm

Hi everybody,

I'm struggling here with a very simple task (at least I thought so).

I have a 12 seconds shot of a car entering the frame. All I need is to darken the car windows (so we don't see that there are people moving inside).

I saw many tutorials, duplicated the video and used the Pen Tool on the top video layer in order to draw a simple mask around each window. Then selected the masks, hit the right mouse button and selected "Track Mask" but the tracking was very poor and after something like 10 frames it "lost" the window, got out of place and became a total mass.

Here is how it looks after I spent A LOT of time doing it frame-by-frame and it still does not look good enough for me (you can see the mask moving a little bit all the time).

I would really appreciate if someone can tell me how to make it work and what am I doing wrong.

If by any chance someone here wants to play with it and try and make it work, you are really welcome. Here is the original shot (DNxHD 120, 1920X1080, 25fps):

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Dave LaRondeRe: Can't achieve a simple mask tracking
by on Jan 9, 2016 at 11:43:08 pm

If you are not using Mocha to do this, you should.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Fredrik ÅkerlundRe: Can't achieve a simple mask tracking
by on Jan 10, 2016 at 12:12:38 am

There are a couple of issues besides the tracking that will make it work a little better. First of all, a window always have some reflections and just putting a black mask with hard edges on the window will make the window very unnatural. I would suggest just a touch of opacity and a touch of feathering to blend the mask better with the picture.

The second issue is that the pure black of the mask doesn´t exist in the footage. Black is more of a dark brown, so a tint effect where you reroute black to something black in the footage (pick the tires for example) will make the mask fit a bit better.

I gave your clip a try and here´s my project file from AE CC2015:

Since I´m not pro enough to use Mocha I tracked the car and parented the mask to the null. Then I keyframed the masks when they where drifting to far. It´s not perfect but a start. Then I feathered the masks and added just a tad opacity to make it look natural, but not so that you think about people in the car. Lastly I added the tint effect to make the black match your footage. Now, I don´t really know what you´re going for in the clip (maybe you need the windows to be pitch black) but hopefully you´ll get some ideas at least. Hope it helps.

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Alex KhosidRe: Can't achieve a simple mask tracking
by on Feb 23, 2016 at 11:23:45 am

Thank both of you, I understand that Mocha is the best way to go with this and I'm going to learn it.

Fredrik, what you did is just AWESOME, this is EXACTLY what I meant and need. Thanks alot again.

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