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Motion Tracking Help

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Sei Hyuga
Motion Tracking Help
on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:18:12 am

Hi, Im sort of new to After Effects, I grasp everything ive learned about it so far EXCEPT for motion tracking. Every time i try to track something, it tracks for the first few frames and then goes off and doesnt come remotely close to what im trying to track. Is this the video quality, or do i need to do something else to it? Help much appreciated. Im using a Panasonic HDD camera

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david bogie
Re: Motion Tracking Help
on Dec 27, 2009 at 6:52:05 pm

Your best bet is probably to just use Google and see what "AE Motion Tracking" and some variations brings you. There are tutorials available on many AE forums including here on the cow. The problem is that there are many subtle things that can go wrong with the process. Any of them will mess things up but, the good news is that most of them are simple user errors and you learn not to do them.

Be sure to check the online help for Motion Tracking, too. Todd's extensive community help should take you to several online resources.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Motion Tracking Help
on Dec 28, 2009 at 2:20:28 pm

Panasonic HDD cameras record video with MPEG2 compression. I believe this is the root of your problem.
As Dave LaRonde would say:
Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

So, use Adobe Media Encoder or your favorite video editing app to output the footage in a different format. Quicktime (using the PNG codec) is pretty popular and at high quality it's essentially lossless.

- 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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