In my discussion of tracking, I first covered how tracking has developed over the years. Last time I talked about planar tracking and the new features of Mocha Pro 2019. I also promised that I’d talk about a particular version of Mocha that I think is great for editors.
But first, a few words about getting up to speed with tracking. Even with the simplified interface of Mocha Pro 2019, some editors feel intimidated tracking a shot. They might make an attempt and then lose confidence when things go wrong. Luckily, Boris FX’s Mocha TV has over a hundred videos about using Mocha. Mary Poplin, one of the Mocha Pro experts at Boris FX, is great at showing you how to use the various modules in Mocha.
In addition, hundreds of videos on YouTube, some from Boris FX and some from users, are useful for learning how to deal with challenging tracking situations. They can also stimulate ideas on how to approach future projects.
Now, on to that particular version of Mocha I alluded to.
As an editor, my philosophy is to keep my sequences flexible. By that I mean I don’t like to commit to any cut until I have to deliver.
For example, I try to avoid nesting if I can. Transforming a series (or layers) of clips into a single clip removes some of the flexibility of changing shots or timing. Sure, I can double click on a nest to take me to the nested sequence of clips, but that puts me into a new sequence without the associated audio or other video layers.
Likewise, I’m not a fan of using dynamic linking to convert a series of clips into a single Adobe After Effects clip. That’s not to say I won’t nest or dynamic link, I just try to avoid both when I can. When I can’t avoid them, I always keep a copy of the converted clips on another layer (or layers) in the sequence.
Mocha Pro 2019 has a way of keeping things flexible. Although you can buy the stand-alone application for Mocha Pro 2019, if you buy the plug-in version for Adobe instead, it will work with Premiere Pro.
Let’s say you want to insert a screen on a phone with Premiere Pro. You simply apply the Mocha Pro effect to the phone clip and place the fill on another layer. Then, once in the Mocha interface, you tell Mocha that the insert is from a layer in Premiere. After tracking the phone screen, you go back into the Effects tab and select the layer you want to insert.
Since the shots still exist as clips on the timeline, you have the flexibility to adjust the timing of the fill shot or even to replace it completely. You can do all of that without relinking shots or opening up a separate application and exporting.
For me, that flexibility moves tracking from a special effect to another integrated tool within my editing toolbox. And that keeps the edit process moving forward, instead of pausing for an effect.