Get the Most Out of Mocha Within Adobe After Effects
This is the BorisFX Mocha course for beginners, which goes far beyond the basics.
If you are working with Adobe After Effects CC2019 or have the Mocha Pro plug-in for After Effects, you have access to an extremely powerful tool. We use Mocha as a plug-in effect to create a number of common visual effects and fixes for problem footage. The aim of this course is to improve your skills in both Mocha and After Effects.
Do It Right . Track Once. Use Often
The exercises start easily, analyzing shots to get the best motion tracking data. The next phase of the course looks at how we use this data with the plug-in version of Mocha. We work with matchmoving and creating callouts, screen inserts, stabilization and rotoscoping to create masks.
The final part of the course focuses on a real-world example that uses all of our newly learned skills and adds some more advanced elements to it.
Paced to Maximize Fast Learning
The course is structured so that ideas and techniques develop throughout the training. This deepens the learning and is more effective than a simple tour around the interface and features. This is not just button pushing. It is about building concepts and connections between the two pieces of software.
This course is provided as an Instant Download only. Almost seven hours of training, complete with footage and extras for you to follow along with. All exercises are also fully captioned (a suitable player eg. VLC is required to view with subtitles). Download size approx. 4.34GB.
01 Starting the First Track (09:03)
A gentle introduction to Mocha in After Effects. This exercise leads you through the expectations for this course. We then see how to apply Mocha to our clips. Finally we take a brief look at the Mocha interface and the Essentials workspace.
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02a Translation, Scale & Rotation (10:26)
After creating our first shapes, we look at the different ways of tracking our object. We start by looking at how Mocha tracks objects. We explore what happens when we don’t use the appropriate track type to match the object’s movement.
02b Skew vs. Perspective (12:59)
We complete the look at the track motion options with Skew and Perspective. The difference between these two track types can seem difficult to understand. This exercise easily shows the track quality difference. First we use an example clip to see the issue and then use our newly found knowledge with a real-life video.
03 What shape should I track? (23:21)
The most important lesson here is to forget how point trackers work. The planar tracker is extremely powerful. Learning what to track is the first step to mastering Mocha. We start with analyzing the shot and seeing which areas would be good to track. We also discuss what would not be suitable as a tracking area and other problems our footage may have.
04 How do I use my corner pin data? (14:26)
Now we have the tracking data we have to use it. In this exercise we look at two different ways of applying corner pin data to our film. We take a first look at the importance of the Surface in placing our insert where we need it. We apply track data first to an object that matches the composition size. Then we do the same thing but with a non-matching insert clip.
05a How do I use my transform data (27:01)
This exercise focuses on creating translation, scale and rotation data. We look at a new clip and see how to track multiple objects simultaneously. Back in After Effects we see how easy it is to apply transform data; before we simplify and choose which tracked elements we actually need to keep to do the job. There is some work with expressions to make some intricate effects very simple.
05b Linking more things to transform data (25:06)
We look at the advantages having Mocha as a plug-in gives us, as we tackle a quick cover-up shot. This focuses on creating and linking four pieces of useful data with a single track, which we then use to drive different effects. This is also the first look at the masks to exclude the effect from parts of the original clip.
06 How do I check if my track is correct? (19:56)
In this new shot we see several tactics for checking on the quality of our track. This includes methods to check what the tracking data is doing “beneath” the shape data. We also look at what we can do to improve a bad track and how important our tracking shape is. The concept of “the last good frame” appears for the first time in this course. But it is definitely not the last time.
07 How do I offset my track data? (19:18)
Creating an offset to tracked data is vital for many jobs. In this shot we look at a simple sky replacement using both transform data and corner pin data. Creating the initial tracks is easy. Using the track data throws up some interesting challenges, which we face using After Effects’ built-in tools. This is an interesting exercise to build up confidence in Mocha and After Effects.
08 How do I make masks in Mocha (26:01)
Masking and rotoscoping are vital skills to learn. Mocha offers several tools to make rotoscoping much faster than After Effects’ built-in options. We start from basics, looking at the different spline types available. These splines are better suited for some jobs than others. After creating our first shape, we track it. This offers another series of challenges to look at.
09 What’s the most efficient way ti mask complex objects? (25:14)
The complexity of our rotoscoping starts to build up now as we attempt to create a mask shape on an organic shape; in this case, a bird. We learn techniques about how to approach a trickier track. We also look at how these masks work back in After Effects, and some potential problems we may face.
10 How do I create a simple stabilization in Mocha (13:16)
This is the first in a series of exercises based around stabilizing our image. We start gently with a simple stabilization with a slightly shaky camera. Even this simple shot provides a number of different ways to track it, each with different results. Finally we explore how to apply this data and why we may choose one technique over another.
11 Why do my tripod shots look strange when stabilized? (08:13)
Automatic stabilizer effects are good. When they work. We see how to get a consistently good track with Mocha on a clip where automatic stabilization fails. We start with the failing clip and analyse why it’s failing. The Mocha track extends the fundamentals we learned in a previous exercise. We then compare and contrast the Mocha stabilization with the automatic one.
12 Can I smooth my stabilization? (20:39)
Often we will want to create smooth stabilizations rather than completely locked ones. In this exercise we look at three different ways of achieving this. Our starting point is to create great tracking data to base our stabilizations on. We follow this by creating our fully stabilized shot. Then we look at doing an efficient manual smooth and seeing tactics to stop this movement looking strange and mechanical. Finally we use a trick to make automatic smoothing fast, and customizable.
13 What else can I do with stabilization data? (25:18)
This is a more advanced exercise, which looks at re-timing and stabilizing a camera movement. The track, itself is not too problematic if we use the correct method. The secret to this exercise relies on 100% rock steady tracking and that’s what we get. Back in After Effects we stabilize out the large camera movement with unusual results. To finish the shot, we re-time the movement and use a built-in After Effects filter in an unusual way to fill in lost pixels.
14 How to track objects offscreen (13:53)
Long camera movements can be annoying to track. Instead of spending time chasing your tail, we use a new tracking technique to save both time and energy. Having created our track data, we see the most efficient way to use it with multiple objects.
15 What should I put on my screen for tracking? (09:41)
It’s now time to put your new skills to the test. We look at a screen replace again, but this is not anything like the screen replacements we have done previously. This is a tough, real-world project. We start by looking at this task from a different angle; instead of going directly into the job, we discuss what would make this shot easier or more difficult to track at the recording stage. To illustrate this, we also look at some other types of screen replacement shots and why these work as well as they do. This discussion sets us up for the next few exercises.
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16a What can I do when my shapes won’t track? (23:30)
This is the first attempt at tracking our phone shot. We look at the common techniques that we have used before in the course. The only difference in the
result is how big a failure they are. Then we look at a different method of tracking that looks much more promising. This lesson ends with a track that is on its way to being great.
16b When and why should I use AdjustTrack? (22:17)
Exercise 16b continues directly from the previous one. We have a track that is as good as it can be through normal tracking. Now we have to make it
perfect with the AdjustTrack. This exercise focuses on the advantages and disadvantages that the AdjustTrack module gives us. When we are finished, the tracking layer works really well. This allows us to move on to the next stage.
17 How do I speed up my roto work? (22:33)
Now we have great tracking data we use it to create fast rotosplines for the phone and the screen. This draws on rotoscoping skills we learned earlier in the course and extends on this by seeing how we can reuse work we’ve already done. By the end of this exercise we will have everything we need to finish this shot back in After Effects.
18a Why should I recycle my tracking data? (20:39)
Back in After Effects, the job in this exercise is to assemble our Mocha data in to the finished shot. The first job is to do the screen insert. The phone’s curved screen makes this more complicated than before. After failing to pull a convincing key, it is time for Mocha to rescue us again. Adding glare back our screen is important to keep it looking realistic. This is a good excuse to look at how we use a combination of After Effects filters and Mocha data to achieve this. Finally we isolate our phone and clean up the last hanging threads.
18b Actually putting it together (13:37)
The final stage of this shot see us stabilizing and destabilizing the phone into a more artful movement. We then finish up everything with finishing touches.
Then we celebrate a job well done.
99 Outro and next steps (00:39)
Parting is such sweet sorrow. We keep it short with details about where to send questions and comments.
Here’s what you get:
- Footage and project files to work along with and refer to.
- Full versions of all tutorials in pin-sharp 1080P H264.
- Subtitle captions provided for all exercises (a suitable player eg.VLC needed to use .srt files).
- Email support if you have a question about the course.
- Instant Download includes a single download file version (approx 4.34GB) or a multi-part option for less stable connections.
The course is paced so even if you have never touched BorisFX Mocha before, you will be able to tackle more complex projects by the end.
- 01 Starting the First Track (09:03)
- 02a Translation, Scale & Rotation (10:26)
- 02b Skew vs. Perspective (12:59)
- 03 What shape should I track? (23:21)
- 04 How do I use my corner pin data? (14:26)
- 05a How do I use my transform data (13:34)
- 05a Part 2 Using transform data and expressions (13:27)
- 05b Linking more things to transform data (25:06)
- 06 How do I check if my track is correct? (19:56)
- 07 How do I offset my track data? (19:18)
- 08 How do I make masks in Mocha (26:01)
- 09 What’s the most efficient way ti mask complex objects? (25:14)
- 10 How do I create a simple stabilization in Mocha (13:16)
- 11 Why do my tripod shots look strange when stabilized? (08:13)
- 12 Can I smooth my stabilization? (20:39)
- 13 What else can I do with stabilization data? (25:18)
- 14 How to track objects offscreen (13:53)
- 15 What should I put on my screen for tracking? (09:41)
- 16a What can I do when my shapes won’t track? (23:30)
- 16b When and why should I use AdjustTrack? (22:17)
- 17 How do I speed up my roto work? (22:33)
- 18a Why should I recycle my tracking data? (20:39)
- 18b Actually putting it together (13:37)
- 99 Outro and next steps (00:39)
Total Runtime : 06:47:22
ABOUT THE TRAINER
Ben Brownlee has worked in production and post-production since 1999. In that time he has worked on a wide variety of film, television and commercial projects. As a trainer, he has worked with leading broadcasters and post-houses across the globe, providing bespoke training courses and courseware development. He has also developed courses for renowned training providers such as Lynda.com and fxphd.com.