>Planar Tracking for After Effects

>There’s a lot of things you can do with After Effects’ pixel-based tracker, but they require good footage and a willingness to experiment and tweak the tracks to get usable results.

The biggest drawback is that if any of the points become distorted (by motion blur, grain or perspective shift) or move off screen, you must resort to keyframing every frame. Enter the planar tracking technique, such as in Mocha.

Here’s the reasons you want to use a planar tracker:
Mocha video tutorial by Imagineer Systems
Mocha AE video tutorial by Aharon Rabinowitz

The Mocha AE costs around $300, which is drastically cheaper than the full version of Mocha which goes for a cool $2.800. However, please note that it is a stand-alone app and not a plugin, and that it only does tracking and that the rotoscoping features from the “full” Mocha are disabled. Why the same name if the features aren’t the same? You tell me…

You can fake something similar in After Effects if you are willing to put in a bit more effort, but you’ll still not get away from AE’s pixel-based tracker and it’s quirks.

Oh, there’s a great course on how to use these tracking tools over at fxphd.

- Jonas

9 Responses to >Planar Tracking for After Effects

  1. Michele Yamazaki

    >Thanks for the link, Jonas. We’ve had a lot of questions on Mocha AE and we’ve talked to a couple of the Imagineer guys and we’ve decided to host a forum at Toolfarm moderated by Imagineer staff. When someone posts a question, they will be emailed with the question and as soon as they can. If you have questions for them, please check out our Imagineer Systems forum.

  2. Nicklas

    >Thnx Jonas. I will tell GC to by the soft next week!!!

  3. danny princz

    >hey jonas

    while the simplycg thing is neat, it is only faking what mocha does. the key is the planar tracker, and you cannot just attached a plane to a tracker in ae and get the same kind of tracking. and that demo is more about motor and rotosplines…

  4. Jonas Hummelstrand


    So true, I’m embarrassed I didn’t spot the difference, I just skimmed the tutorial. I’ve updated the post to reflect that.

  5. Hreinn Beck

    >Hey Jonas,

    Just wondering if you’ll let us in on the secrets behind the Swedish elections and Flash (http://generalspecialist.com/2006/09/15-minutes-to-air-real-time-broadcast.asp)


  6. Jonas Hummelstrand

    >Argh, I’ve been meaning to for a long time. I’ll try to finish that story, I promise!

  7. Billy

    >It is called Mocha because we have the intention of it being the Mocha for After Effects, While roto is not there yet, give it a little time.


  8. Jonas Hummelstrand


    Sounds like a good plan, but considering the price and that the AE version doesn’t have all the tools of the regular Mocha, it’s important to point out the difference.

    Drop me a line if you need more beta testers! :)

  9. Philip

    >I have been looking for the clip mentioned in the AE tutorial and cannot find it anywhere. Can anyone link me to it? Thanks.