Top 6 Mocha Problems in Adobe After Effects [Track Data Mistakes]
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Top 6 Mocha Problems in Adobe After Effects [Track Data Mistakes]

January 14, 2020

Hello my name is Ben Brownlee from BorisFX. What do you do when your Mocha data is not
working in After Effects? Some users think that once they have created
perfect planar tracking in the Mocha AE interface,
we’re all good to go. Here are 6 common mistakes users can make
when using Mocha AE and how we avoid these basic pitfalls. Number 1 Not creating the track data. This is by far the most common step
new users miss. Before you can use any of that tracking information, Mocha AE has to know which track
you’re interested in. So hit the “Create Track” button first. In some older versions of the Mocha plug-in
you will have to hit the Process Cog next to the layer name, even if you only have one
layer. In newer versions it is already active and
you can just hit the OK button. If you have more than one layer created, as
in this example, you’ll want to make sure that the process cog is on the one you want
to use. Either by clicking on the cog itself, or simply
on the layer name. Check that the data is loaded by scrubbing
the timeline, and the values will update. Your tracked Mocha surface will be represented
by these animated Nulls. Number 2. Applying the tracking data to the wrong layer. In older versions of Mocha AE, we copied and
pasted data, now we can create track data and apply to layers without jumping back and
forth between applications. Before selecting the “Apply Track” button
you need to tell the Mocha plug-in where to put the data. By default it won’t be connected to any layer. So hitting the Apply button won’t do anything. If your track is designed to match the movement
of an element within the shot, for example a screen replacement, the target layer should
be the element you want to insert. If you’re doing stabilization, you just
have to invert the track data, then choose the video layer itself. Like so. We tracked the back wall, and now we are stabilized
around that wall. Job done. Mistake number 3. Using the wrong type of track data. There are many different ways you can use
the same tracking data, but basically it breaks down to two main areas. Transform data or corner pin data. Transform data will apply a single point of
position data plus rotation and scale, as shown in the data here. If you don’t want some of this, for example,
you only need the position data, don’t be afraid to turn off and reset the other properties
before you apply the track. Corner pin data is most commonly used for
screen or logo inserts, and applies four points of data to the target clip. Generally, most users use the Corner Pin that
supports motion blur option. When you choose this option, you will get
an animated corner pin effect PLUS extra transformation keyframes
to drive the motion blur. For more details on different AE tracking
data options, please check out this video linked in the description Mistake number 4. Forgetting to adjust the Surface. In the Mocha AE interface, the temptation
is to judge the quality of the track by looking at the shape you drew. If this is steady, then surely the tracking
must be steady too? This isn’t the way to do it. You want the Surface, which is the actual
representation of our track data. Turn on the Surface Tool by clicking on this
blue button here, or here in the Essentials workspace. And this is the data you’ll see when you create
track data back in After Effects. If you’re doing an insert then you want
to reposition these corner points to the corners of the area that you’re filling. If you’re more interested in the transform
data, then you just have to make sure that this center point is positioned in the right
place. The other corner points don’t matter to
you. Learn more about the Surface in this video
also linked in the description below. Number 5. Tracking drift caused by mis-matched resolution
sizes. Now you have the perfect Surface set up, why
doesn’t it look right when I apply the tracking data to my insert graphic? This happens a lot when you’re starting out. And it’s because in After Effects your insert’s
resolution has to match the resolution of the video you tracked. My video is 1920×1080 pixels as is my comp. As you can see here, my insert is not. To get the tracking data to line up properly,
we have to force the insert to match 1920×1080. And it’s easy to do this with a technique
called precomposing or pre-comping for short. I right-click on my insert, go down to pre-compose,
and a new window pops up. We’re going to choose the second option, Move
all attributes into the new composition. I’ll also check the bottom option to open
the new composition. This comp is automatically the same size as
our master composition. The insert looks quite small in here. So let’s fit it to fill the whole screen. Right click on the clip, Transform, Fit to
Comp. And that stretches it up to fill the entire
frame. Now it looks pretty weird but that is normal. We pop back into the main comp, apply our
corner pin data once more, and everything fits. Perfect. Mistake number 6. More tracking drift caused by
mismatched resolution sizes. There is an extra wrinkle if the main comp
isn’t the same size as the tracked video. In this example we have a UHD source scaled
down into an HD composition. The basic steps are the same as the previous
example. Right-click on the insert, Precompose and
Move all attributes into the new composition. Open the precomp. And if we check the Composition settings,
this comp is the same size as our master comp. We need to match this resolution to the main
footage we tracked instead. In our example the footage is UHD, so let’s
make the precomp that size too. Now we do the fit to comp. Back to the main comp and apply the corner
pin data. This looks better but it’s still off. That’s because we now need to match the
transform we have done on our tracked clip. See that the Scaling is set to 50% on our
tracked footage, fitting it into the HD composition? Well, let’s do the same thing with our insert
layer. Scale to 50%. It all fits. It’s worth noting that this workflow will
not work if you choose Corner Pin (Supports Motion Blur) because that puts scaling keyframes
down too. So you will have to choose another option. The Mocha plugin will automatically configure
itself to the size of the footage you give it. So if we had precomposed our original clip
before tracking it in Mocha, then Mocha would have recognized it as an HD clip, and we would
simply have to follow the rules from Mistake #5. But however you do it, the tracked video and
the insert must be the same size to match the tracked movement. These are the most common finger trouble issues
you might encounter when applying tracking data in the Mocha AE or Mocha Pro plug-in
inside After Effects. The important thing to remember is that you
can’t break anything. The worst case scenario is that you have to
delete any applied data and go through this checklist: Have I created my tracking data in the plug-in? Have I applied it to the right layer? Is it the right type of tracking data? Is my Surface set correctly in the Mocha interface? Are my tracked footage and insert clips the
same resolution? And finally… Am I sure my tracked footage and insert clips
are the same resolution? Answer these and you’ve fixed the most common
problems people face with applying tracking data from the Mocha AE plug-in effect. And you’re ready to move on with your shot. My name is Ben Brownlee. If you’ve noticed any other mistakes that
aren’t included in this list or things that you struggle with in
Mocha AE then leave a comment below. If you liked this video and you want to see
more like it, then hit the Like button and subscribe to the Boris FX YouTube channel. If you have some ideas about more tutorials
you’d like to see in the future, then also hit me up with a comment. And don’t forget to visit to stay
up to date with all the latest news and training for all the Boris FX products.


  • Reply Vorpal Edge Productions August 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    It took me a while to realize my insert clip had to be the same resolution as my tracked clip. This video is definitely a must have and is greatly appreciated. I would love to see some in-depth tutorials on using the mesh warp for things like adding tattoos, scars, ect.

  • Reply beMOTION.dESIGN August 13, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Ben Brownlee is a master!

  • Reply MonsterMeal ASMR August 13, 2019 at 9:16 am

    I want to make a video like AronAnimals.

    Please tell me how.

    Currently I am using Mocha Pro.

    You can judge the trace and my level in my video.

  • Reply Jacob Nasim August 13, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Great! Nailed it. So helpful.

  • Reply Erik Rosenbluh August 13, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Can you apply any of this when using Mocha inside of Avid or Premiere?

  • Reply pavelusha August 13, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    For the problem #5 years ago I made a preset for AE. It adds a couple expressions to the insert layer and fixes the mismatch problem. No need to precompose layers 🙂 you could download it here:

  • Reply Karl Pouillot August 30, 2019 at 9:28 am

    It was a excellent idea to create this video. Very useful! However, i've still have a big problem with Mocha in Ae. When you apply the tracking to a layer, nothing happens. I used to work with Mocha but this the first time I see that. Yet, the tracking is done. I have my animated nulls on my footage but it's impossible to apply my tracking data. It's a bug or Im' getting crazy ? Please any help ?

  • Reply R. Eric Bowers October 11, 2019 at 2:04 am

    This was incredibly helpful. Thank you!

  • Reply Eric Liss November 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Can you guys make a tutorial for removing tracking dots on a face?

  • Reply Leopoldo Bolanos November 18, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Hello ben, I have this weird problem, even when following your checklist. I made a nice tracking in mocha and looks great, but when I apply the tracking data to the clip, the corner points are some 20 pixels off the place the show inside mocha. I tried everything but can´t make them coincide. what can I make to fix this ?

  • Reply Eddie Moreno November 29, 2019 at 4:24 am


  • Reply Fame Little December 12, 2019 at 1:22 am

    We need more what not to do videos like this.

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