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Apply tracking mask path to an object

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Kar Bon
Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 9, 2016 at 1:28:33 pm

Hello !

I am trying to make a towel following a blade on AE.

The blade movement comes from a 3D render software animation (I have applied an automatic tracking mask on it, works well), and the towel is an Illustrator file.

For the moment I had to manually define position and rotation for the towel for several keyframes, but it's hard to get it follow exactly the blade's movement.

Is there a way to copy the blade's position and rotation keyframes and apply it to the towel ? I have tried Ctrl+C / Ctrl + V, but it either doesn't work or make AE crash.

Thanks a lot in advance.


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Chris Evans
Re: Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 9, 2016 at 4:35:06 pm

It's difficult to understand what you're describing without images or video. By automatic tracking mask, I assume you mean the roto brush. There is no way to copy that and apply it to position. If you're blade is footage, you could track it with the tracker panel in AE and use that to apply position, rotation, and even scale to your towel (or a null that the towel is parented to would probably be better).


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Kar Bon
Re: Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 10, 2016 at 8:44:36 am

"If you're blade is footage, you could track it with the tracker panel in AE and use that to apply position, rotation, and even scale to your towel (or a null that the towel is parented to would probably be better)."

How would I do that please ?

PS: I couldn't edit the post I made just before to add this question, and the quote button doesn't work.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 9, 2016 at 5:00:16 pm

It would probably benefit you to follow some of the tutorials here: https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/tracking-stabilizing-motion-cs5...

The easiest thing would be to get the 3d date out of your 3d app. What app was it rendered from? Some of them (like C4D) can actually export date like cameras, lights, and object positions directly to AE.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Kar Bon
Re: Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 10, 2016 at 8:38:08 am

Thank you Chris and Michael for your answers.

Sorry my message wasn't that clear (I use AE in French and I couldn't find back the translation table that I once found for AE terms).

Here's a picture describing more or less what I want to do :

When the blade moves, the green path automatically delimitates its edges (the render software is Keyshot btw).

The towel is actually made of 2 parts, one of the part is behind the blade (hence the mask on the blade), the other one is in front of it.

What I would like to do is that both towel parts follow exactly the same movement as the blade by using the automatically defined mask path for the blade (not by manually defining positions for the towel on the timeline). Is it possible ?

Which part of the link you sent me would be most useful Michael ?

(Sorry if this second message looks like the first one, but I want my request to be clear enough).


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Chris Evans
Re: Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 10, 2016 at 3:23:16 pm

Thanks for the picture, it helps a lot. Unfortunately, I know of no way to transfer the position of the mask to the position of a layer. I really think your best option is to track the blade with the tracker in AE or Mocha. There are tutorials on that online. In the link Michael posted, the "Motion Tracking Workflow" is the section you should look at. Video Copilot has a good tutorial as well, even though it's old here: http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/tutorials/05.Motiontracking/

You could use Mocha for AE, I don't have any good tutorials to link, but I know there's a lot, just google it.

If any of those have trouble tracking, you could duplicate your mask and make it into a circle (maybe just decrease the mask expansion to give good, sharp edges to track in a small area) and track it that way.


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Kar Bon
Re: Apply tracking mask path to an object
on Feb 11, 2016 at 12:31:46 pm

Thanks for your answer.

Actually the blade is already well tracked when it moves (with AE).

I was hoping that some tool would allow to transfer the position of the moving mask (blade) to the layer (towel), but I'll keep the layer movement manual then !


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