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Using Mocha for Tracking and Clean Up in After Effects

By Joey Korenman
After EffectsPhotoshop

Improve your Mocha tracking and clean up by using this clever After Effects workflow.

Motion Tracking is one of the most common tasks an After Effects artist will tackle. But, it's easy to start off on the wrong foot, leaving you to fight with the software. Would you like to know how the pros get clean and flexible tracks for replacing objects in a scene? Of course you do.
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Industry legend and VFX for Motion instructor Mark Christiansen lays out his tracking workflow which uses Mocha planar tracking, Photoshop, and some After Effects magic.
This is just a taste of the professional workflows taught in our VFX for Motion course. If you find yourself better off after this tutorial, just remember there's a lot more where that came from, so make sure to check out our courses page! Onwards!

Mocha Tracking and Clean Up Tutorial

​​Download the Footage & Project Files

Want to use the stop sign footage used in the tutorial to practice? Get the same clip that Mark is using in the Mocha tracking tutorial plus his finished After Effects project! Just click the big shiny download button below!

Download the free project file and assets from this video!

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​​What are you going to learn in this tutorial?

This tutorial is fairly short, but jam-packed. Mark covers the full workflow he uses to create a clean-plate and to composite a graphic onto a tracked piece of footage. You will learn:

How to do Basic planar tracking in Mocha AE

You might be familiar with point-tracking in After Effects, but planar tracking is far more powerful and usually easier.

Which settings to use for proper motion tracking

Mocha AE is a very deep tool, and it helps to know which settings to focus on for the best results.
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How to apply the Scale Surface to Frame feature

This is the secret sauce. You may never go back to doing standard corner-pin tracks.

Photoshop tips for removing things from a frame

You don't need to know every tool in Photoshop, only these two. Clean plates will be a breeze.
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Reapplying a clean plate to your shot

Now you've got a clean plate. What do you do with it? We'll tell you.

Tracking in a graphic to your footage

The entire point of this tutorial is to composite a graphic onto some footage of a sign. We finally get there in step #6.

Compositing tricks to sell the realism of your final shot

As a compositor, you need to learn a few tricks that will help sell the believability of your work.
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Dive Deeper into Visual Effects

This is just a small taste of the wonderful and complex world of visual effects. If you're ready to take a course geared towards VFX, make sure to check out VFX for Motion.
Some of the coolest work in the industry blurs the line between Motion Design and Visual Effects. This class will teach you to move between both worlds, using advanced compositing techniques to add another dimension to your work.
VFX for Motion will teach you the art and science of compositing as it applies to Motion Design. Prepare to add keying, roto, tracking, matchmoving and more to your creative toolkit.