Archive for the ‘Mocha’ Category

Using Mocha to Stabilize/Lock onto an Object

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Can use Mocha either stand-alone and export result as an image-sequence, or in combination with AE in order to export as a movie-file.

Some points:

  • Go to Track tab
  • Put In/Out points over the useful bits (e.g. not overexposed bits).
  • Put playhead in middle of duration, note Frame-Number, then track both forwards and backwards from this point.
  • Go to Stabilize tab.
  • There is a Stabilize button to preview what it will look like.
    • Must select a Layer (tracked-region) first
      • (in principle, could have more than one tracked region).
    • Remember to disable this button before attempting to track again.

If exporting for Registax, then it is sensible to use TIFF format, but it must be with no alpha (otherwise Registax 5 gets its colors weird).

If using Registax (5) then:

  • Align=None
  • Drizzle=25%
  • Limit
    • (just in order to get to the next stage0
  • Stack
  • Wavelet
    • Default (not Gaussian), Linear (not Dyadic), most sliders near full.
  • Do All
  • Save Image
    • Save as a TIFF, so can manipulate levels in Gimp etc)


Mocha & AE for Tracking & Stabilising

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

In fact there is an excellent-looking series of tutorials at

Mocha – Planar Tracker for Rotoscope and General Use

Thursday, September 20th, 2012


  • Mocha is (originally/primarily?) a rotoscoping program with a tightly integrated planar tracker (to simplify the rotoscoping).
  • Regardless of the program’s origin, it is useful more generally as a planar tracker.  That is, the tracking of reference points/shapes across planes (or almost-planes, such as cheeks).
  • The tracking data can be exported to a wide variety of programs such as Nuke, After Effects, Combustion and many more for corner pinning, stabilizing, and match move


3D Worlds in After Effects

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I want to put someone inside a virtual world (based on their own paintings), ultimately to be rendered out as a Stereographic 3D movie, but with development in progressive stages/generations, initially based on readily available standard tools and techniques, later proceeding to specialist 3D modelling apps etc.  How to proceed?  Some possibilities that come to mind are:

  • Initial development using only “Planar 3D” as in After Effects
    • I believe this is possible to some extent, using native features of AE.
    • In my earlier post on Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 – Orientation, I noted the existence of Mocha LE, a tracker, included inMocha 2.6, the awesome roto program with a tightly integrated planar tracker.
      • {The planar tracker is (primarily?) ..used as a “roto assist” to speed up the roto process…
        ..and also the tracking data can be exported to a wide variety of programs such as Nuke, After Effects, Combustion and many more for corner pinning, stabilizing, and match move that suite.
  • Subsequent development using “Full 3D” as in Blender etc.  Some relevant previous entries in this blog are:

So I did a web-search: Google: [after effects 3d]

World / Object Creation:

    •  Real (green screened) rap artist and audients, where the rap artist appears on a virtual a giant stage surrounded by replicated audients.
    • Explains the conceptualization, storyboarding, and high-level aspects (no screenshots) of designing a world capable of representation in After Effects, along with building and testing experiences.
    • How to make a truck out of a single flat surface with cut-out sections and folds.  Like you would make one out of a single sheet of cardboard (like a cornflake packet).
    • Links to tutorial and support-files.
    • Similar to the truck, flat sheet (“texture”, obtained from an actual photo, realigned and stretched to remove perspective effect in photo) folded into a 3D building object.
    • Video tutorial and project files are provided.
    • { has both free stuff (tutorials etc.) and pay-stuff.  Well-worth a check-out.}


  • DaVinci Resolve Lite – free
    • Re: After Effects Tracking (by Todd Kopriva, Adobe Tech. Support, on Jul 10, 2011)
      • If you have After Effect CS5, you have mocha—and it’s often the easiest and best way to do tracking for the purpose of compositing.
    • Q: “Mocha, or Camera Tracker?” (by andrew donaldson on Sep 8, 2011)
      • {Mocha (LE) comes with CS5.5, Camera Tracker is a third-party add-on}
      • I need to create something similar to this:
      • …. would liked to use similar techniques, especially with the web pages tracking the buildings in city shots.
      • I have tried to use mocha to track the side of a building, but its not proving ideal. Obviously the motion tracker inside AE won’t give me the depth/perspective.
      • So what’s the best way to do this?  … Is Syntheyes/Camera tracker the way forward?
    • A1: (by ben g unguren on Sep 8, 2011 )
      • The general rule of thumb is that Mocha works great if your graphics are ATTACHED to an EXISTING surface (like a logo on the side of a building, or changing the words on a sign). If you’re trying to add something in 3D space (like graphics that “hover” around the building, and seem to actually be there), then you need a 3D solution.
      • Mocha and AE’s internal trackers give you 2D solutions. Mocha’s solutions are a bit more sophisticated, producing corner-point information that mimics 3D, but [this is key] it doesn’t produce a 3D camera.
      • Syntheyes and similar apps will give you an animated 3D camera as well as target points that simulate the world you’re tracking (target points for the ground, buildings, etc — whatever you’ve managed to track and can get a 3D “solution” for). This is A LOT more information than what Mocha or AE’s internal tracking can get you.
      • One other point: when the camera is only panning and tilting (not actually changing it’s own position) then a 2D solution can (sort of) mimick a 3D camera solution. So if all you’re doing is panning and tilting, then you could track that in Mocha, then use that data to animate objects (that are given perspective, for instance). You would be able to achieve a lot of the graphics in the video you linked to using that technique, as they’re using a lot of static cameras.
    • A2: (by Tudor “Ted” Jelescu on Sep 8, 2011):
      • I agree with Ben.
      • In most of the shots from your example Mocha can be used. I suspect that some of those shots where not really video files, but still images cleverly transformed in a 2.5d comp where camera moves can be animated in AE – so no tracker there.
      • Here’s a good tutorial for what Mocha can do:


Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 – Orientation

Saturday, January 28th, 2012


  • What should and does it consist of?
    • Including anything non-obvious e.g. “tucked away”, “additional Downloads”, “obscure” etc.
  • ???

Answers (as far as I can tell…):

  •  _Support & Communities
    • Looks at first sight like any application’s Help dialog, but on deeper inspection is also connected web-wise and answers to questions are not restricted to Adobe products.
  • After Effects
    • In contrast to Premiere, which is for conventional light-touch editing, this is for heavier effects and compositing etc.
      • …AE is a “2.5d” application. The worldspace is 3d, but any imagery you have (discounting 3rd party applications such as Invigorator and such) is “flat”.
        • (As opposed to 3D Modelling apps such as 3dsMax, Blender)
  • After Effects Render Engine
    • Render farm: Network rendering with watch folders and render engines.
    • Previously, it was possible to install render engines on as many machines as wished, but not so under CS5.5, where a separate serial number must be obtained for each machine.  For small guys like me that makes it pretty useless.   It seems likely that a more flexible option will exist in future versions.
  • Audition
    • Audio editor, derived (many years ago) from CoolEdit.
  • Bridge
    • A combination of media file manager, media manager, metadata editor, also does some kinds of media processing.
    • Can be run standalone or from within apps e.g. Premiere: [File > Browse in Bridge…]
  • Color Finesse
    • A multi-host (including Premiere & AE) plugin that goes above and beyond typical NLE color correction.
    • On my system it only appears to be available under AE.
  • Device Central
    • Simulates media appearance etc. on a range of devices such as cellphones.
  • DigiEffects FreeForm
    • Manipulate a flat object into almost any shape using displacement maps and meshes in 3D space.
    • Examples: flowing cloth, animated loose filmstrips, rippling fluids, terrain flyovers, welded metal, morphs, reveals.
  • Encore
    • DVD authoring.  Menus can be created in Photoshop (using special layering techniques).
  • Extension Manager
    • Manage extensions (broadly like plugins) associated with various Adobe programs.
  • ExtendScript Toolkit:
    • Adobe workflow command-script editor
    • An IDE (along the lines of Visual Studio) for scripts in Adobe Bridge, itself serving to automate workflows involving multiple Adobe applications.
  • Flash Professional
    • A multimedia authoring program to create content for Flash-enabled platforms/devices.
  • Flash Catalyst
    • A designers’ tool for creating the user interface for Rich Internet Applications.  Primary function of being a GUI composer for Adobe Flex components.
    • Can import Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, or Flash XML Graphics (FXG) files.
  • Help
    • A help resource not only with local help-documentation but also capable of searching beyond, even beyond Adobe, to find solutions.
  • Illustrator
    • Vector graphics editor e.g. useful for typesetting and logo graphics design. It is the companion product of Photoshop.
  • KeyLight
    • An advanced chroma-keyer, tackling reflections, semi-transparent areas and hair.
  • Media Encoder
    • Encodes audio and video media content.
  • Mocha
    • <<Stand-alone tracking and roto tool to help solve problematic shots challenging the built in tools of After Effects and Final Cut by bringing advanced planar tracking and matte creation tools>>
      • Planar tracking
        • Track a plane(-ish) surface in 3D space e.g. as it translates, rotates, perspective changes.
          • Typically more robust and capable than points-tracking.
          • Great for moving subject or tracking camera.
          • Overkill when the only (relative) motion is due to camera pan/tilt.
    • e.g. select an area then it uses any detail there including texture to get a fix, and follows changes in translation, rotation, perspective etc.
  • OnLocation
    • Direct to disk recorder / logger also acting as monitor with waveform monitor and vectorscope.  And no doubt much else.
  • PhotoShop
    • Such a big noun that it became a verb…
  • Premiere Pro
    • Primary editing app, with emphasis on productive cutting and smooth playback etc., minimising the need to render, leaving heavy effects and compositing etc. to AE.
  • Story
    • A collaborative script development tool/service. There is an application for working alone on an offline version and a web-based service where you can sync up with an online version.
  • Ultra
    • Vector-keyer (simple-to-use effective chroma-keying) that was once a standalone app by Serious Magic, now available as a plugin within Premiere (but not AE).  I get the impression it is regarded (or at least branded) as simple to use but ultimately less sophisticated/capable than KeyLight (???).
    • Serious Magic used to highlight its capabilities regarding reflections, semi-transparent areas and hair…
  • Utilities
    • ExtendScript
      • An integrated development environment (IDE) for the creation and debugging of JavaScript code for Adobe Bridge, to facilitate workflow-enhancing automation of tasks between elements of Creative Suite.
    • PixelBlender
      • A simplifying basis for implementing image processing algorithms (filters or effects) in a hardware-independent manner, taking advantage of parallel processing / GPU etc.
      • Downside to commercial developers is that code using it may be more visible / understandable.


Friday, January 7th, 2011

Great video tutorials giving both overview and details of this track/matte/rotoscoping (roto) product (pronounced “Mow-Kah”), at  Example:

    • Learn mocha: Chapter 2. mocha workflow.  Steve Wright covers the basic mocha track and roto workflow for new users.
    • <<<
    • Imagineer’s Planar Tracker doesn’t employ point trackers, but tracks an object’s translation, rotation and scaling data based on the movement of the user defined plane.
    • When you work with the mocha tools, you will need to look for planes in the clip. More specifically, you will need to look for planes that coincide with movements you want to track.
    • The Planar Tracker respects layer priority similar to a camera: Objects in the distance should be lowest in the layer stacking order. Objects closest to the camera should be stacked higher in layers.
    • While the most common planes are flat surfaces, objects in distance or with little parallax form patterns that can be considered successful planes to track as well.  Our customers have been know to get rock solid tracking from unthinkable objects such as faces and spheres.
    • >>>
    • Great demo of what it can and can’t do, when it’s “overkill” and workarounds (usually in-plane markers or casual objects) for problem-shots.
      • Is “overkill” when subject is fixed and relative motion is only due to camera pan/tilt.