8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 31, 2016 6:50 AM by CEJLLC

    How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?

    ACT.onn Level 1

      Hello All

       

      Is there a way to open a previously created Mocha AE project from AE? I am working on a shot that needed tracking and each time I stopped and then came back to the project, I had to open AE, open the AE project, click the clip in the composition, click animation, click track in Mocha AE and then cancel Mocha asking to start a new project and then click file, recent files and choose the appropriate Mocha project.

       

      This works but is really dumb.

       

      I also understand this is the bundled version and that Imagineer really wants me to buy the full version. If I get enough projects to justify it, I will. Currently the bundled version is fine. Just need a shot that AE couldn't handle stabilized.

       

      What would be even better is if AE saw the Mocha program as an effect. Click a clip and then apply Mocha AE Tracking from the effects and presets panel. And then be able to do the track in the Mocha interface and then using the effects controls tell it to apply the track as either stabilization, corner pin data or whatever from the AE interface when the clip is selected.

       

      Does anyone else think this would be a much better way of using Mocha? Am I the only one who feels this way? Was there something I missed in creating my project?

        • 1. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You can save your tracking data in a text file and then just open that file and apply it to your clip. You can save the mocha project, Otherwise, if you're in CS6 you must open Mocha from After Effects. If you plan on reusing the tracking data then export it. If you're just picking up an unfinished project then just make sure you have the right clip chosen and if you have saved your work before you'll be right back where you left off.

           

          Screen Shot 2012-06-23 at 6.56.44 PM.png

          • 2. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
            ACT.onn Level 1

            Thanks for the reply but... I think maybe I might not have communicated my thoughts correctly.

             

            I am working on a video that is going to be 1/2 hour long. Part of my footage is from a handheld camera. One section of the footage needs to be stabilized. So I right click on the clip in Premiere and replace with an After Effects Composition.

             

            Now I tried to track just using AE but that was a wash. So I figured I would track it in Mocha. Then I spent at least 1/2 an hour looking for Mocha in my start menu and on my hard drives in places that programs usually reside. Then when I didn't find it I went to the Creative Cloud site (I am a subscriber) and checked to see why I was having a hard time finding it. Then I got a little panicked trying to find out if it was still bundled with CS6 as I couldn't find mention of it there. The Imagineer site said it was, but it was not in my start menu and I couldn't manually find the executable where I expected it to be.

             

            So then after a short Google search I found that it was on the animate menu in AE. (Whew )

             

            So I opened the AE project I had created for tracking the clip and clicked animate and saw that the track in Mocha AE was grayed out. (oh boy...) I immediately went to the edit menu and clicked preferences, general. I looked through the choices and tried to find where I was supposed to "turn on" Mocha. Couldn't find anything related.

             

            So I selected the clip in the composition timeline. Chose Animate and then the choice was available and I clicked Track in Mocha AE.

             

            Now Mocha asked to create a new project. Basically took the defaults and then I had to wait a while as Mocha cached the clip. Once the clip was cached I got started finding the relevant area of the footage and set up the x spline for tracking on the first frame. Then I saved so I could start again the next day without having to wait and went to bed happy.

             

            The next day when I was ready to start tracking that footage again I tried to find Mocha in my start menu, I figured that maybe it would show up now because I had used it once. Didn't so I found it in Program files tucked away in a secret folder in the Adobe folder sets and created a short cut and double clicked it. It told me that I had to start it from inside AE.

             

            So I opened the previous days AE Project and clicked the clip chose Animation and clicked track in Mocha. Mocha wanted to start a new project based on the clip I had to select in order to get the menu choice from inside of AE, so I canceled that and then Mocha opened and I chose recent files and the previous days project.

             

            And then I waited again as Mocha re-cached the clip. I made sure everything was set up correctly, looked at the spline layer and felt I was good to go so I hit the forward track button. The clip has a frame length of 21752 frames. At frame 9199 I had to stop working and do other things. I stopped the tracking and saved the project.

             

            The next day when I was ready to start tracking that footage again I opened the previous days AE Project and clicked the clip chose Animation and clicked track in Mocha. Mocha wanted to start a new project based on the clip I had to select in order to get the menu choice from inside of AE, so I canceled that and then Mocha opened and I chose recent files and the previous days project.

             

            And then I waited again as Mocha re-cached the clip. I made sure everything was the same as I had left it the previous day and then found the end of the previous days work and moved Mocha's CTI to the spot where I needed to track from. I hit the track forward button. It told me the footage was different or too dark from previous frames and that it couldn't continue. HUH?

             

            So I noticed that there was a different coloration on the frame timeline indicator. There was a blue section, where I had previously tracked and a red section, which I assumed meant it was untracked. I moved the CTI back into the blue section and hit track forward. Everything worked. Then I got to a section that had people obscuring the part of the shot that I was doing my tracking on. Time to create an exclusion x spline layer. I found the first frame where the people would become a problem and surrounded them. Everything was good even though it was taking 7 extra steps to get to the start of working on the clip each time. So I saved and went to bed.

             

            Should I bother to tell you what happened the next?

             

            The today when I was ready to start tracking that footage again I opened the previous days AE Project and clicked the clip chose Animation and clicked track in Mocha. Mocha wanted to start a new project based on the clip I had to select in order to get the menu choice from inside of AE, so I canceled that and then Mocha opened and I chose recent files and the previous days project.

             

            And then I waited again as Mocha re-cached the clip.

             

            This work flow is aggravating. I have to take extra steps, wait at least 5 minutes for caching each time and then wait for the actual track itself. I have used Mocha before and so I know how to use it, I know the different ways of getting the data to AE, but the problem is not the end of the workflow, it is getting to the start of the work each time I have to close the project(s) that is the problem.

             

            This "workflow" is making me want to see if there is a better way or another program that will help in correcting shaky footage. Yes I get back to exactly where I left off, but the point is the amount of work to it takes to just start working on my project again. I wonder how anyone can tolerate the process.

             

            Is there some magic menu choice or setting somewhere I am missing? Do you feel that this process is "normal"?

            • 3. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Your workflow is almost correct. Even on my MacBook (yes I ocasionally run AE CS6 on a MacBook with 2 GB ram - like I am doing this morning) I have cache clip turned off in Mocha Preferences and when I start a new Mocha project I don't have cache clip turned on in the advanced settings. I'm interested in tracking and even on a puny old MacBook I can drag the CTI around fast enough to get started without problems or delay.

               

              If you really want to cache the clip then make sure you save cached frames when you close the project in Mocha. As I said, I never do.

               

              Secondly, most folks new to visual effects or even editing with a NLE start out trying to do everything in a single timeline. Your work will be much more efficient and easier to re-edit later if you work on smaller sections. In most of my edited projects the average time between cuts, unless it's an interview, is about 3 seconds. For action sequences it's even shorter. In your half hour project you said that there is one section of the shot that needs to be stabilized. The part that needs to be stabilized is the only part you should be working on in Mocha. Loading the entire shot is a very inefficient way to work. I can't remember ever working on a shot in mocha that was longer than about 20 seconds because I can't recall any piece I've ever done that had a single FVX shot that was longer than 20 seconds in the edited piece. You should easily be able to track a minute or so of footage and get the results saved in an hour or so.

               

              Workflow issues aside, here's the my standard workflow in Mocha for AE CS6. Other than opening Mocha from the Animation Menu it's the same workflow I used in earlier versions and in Mocha Pro.

               

              Set the in and out points of the clip that needs to be tracked in AE (or PPro) with sufficient handles (extra frames) to allow a little editing for timing in the final project. 60 frames is usually more than enough.

               

              Select Animate>Track in Mocha to load the clip with Cache Frames turned off in the advanced settings.

              Do my work in mocha and export the data if it will need to be reused or copy to the clipboard and use immediately in AE.

              Save the Mocha Project and return to AE.

               

              If the clip then needs to be tracked again or adjustments need to be made I select the clip in AE, select track in mocha, and then hit cancel when the import clip dialogue opens up. I then go to File>Open Project or File>Recent Projects and open the saved file. (remember cache original clip is turned off in the preferences) Within a half a second my mocha project is open and ready to work on.

               

              If you feel you must cache frames (just working on a track does so) then make sure you save them, and your project should open within seconds. It's always been that way in Mocha.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
                ACT.onn Level 1

                So now I find out the real culprit in this workflow mess... I also posted this same question at Imagineer Here.

                 

                "In the Adobe bundled version: mocha AE CS6, the only way to launch is from within AE. The current workflow was requested by Adobe, but we can look into the idea of opening additional options dialogue on launch.

                For your other suggestions, you may want to run the trial of mochaImport+ which is a script that has some very nice options of applying the tracked data in various way in AE. http://www.imagineersystems.com/products/mochaImport"

                 

                So Adobe requested this chain of clicks? For what purpose? To frustrate users into not using Mocha? Does Mocha threaten some of their market share in some way?

                 

                "What would be even better is if AE saw the Mocha program as an effect. Click a clip and then apply Mocha AE Tracking from the effects and presets panel. And then be able to do the track in the Mocha interface and then using the effects controls tell it to apply the track as either stabilization, corner pin data or whatever from the AE interface when the clip is selected."

                 

                Why not use Mocha this way? Is there a technical challenge? Some legal obligation?

                 

                This is kind of frustrating because as an end user I could careless about all of the issues and would just like these 2 programs to work better together.

                • 5. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
                  CEJLLC Level 1

                  ACT.onn,

                   

                  I believe you are correct in stating that Imagineer may be frustrating AE users into a purchase.  However, if the software does not work as a bundle would I take a chance on a outright purchase?  No.

                   

                  In your case I decline overwriting, Mocha opens then I open up the file from the main drop-down.  Even then it is problematic.

                   

                  My overall experience is that of inconstancy with the keyframe importing into AE and the inability of Mocha to update keyframe revisions.  The re-imported keyframes are identical to the original.  Additionally, the track looks great in Mocha but about 20% of the keyframes are way off in AE.

                   

                  As an example; I am tracking two eyes.  The right eye comes in beautifully but the left? Unbelievably bad.  And upon close inspection there is nothing different about the method or procedure.

                   

                  Mocha is great about responding to forum posts. Thank you!  But at the end of the day I am a creative person. I want to create.  I do not want to search for answers or work-arounds.  I do not want screen shots, file uploads, etc.  I want it to work like the software is illustrated in the in the tutorials.   Sadly that has not been my experience.

                   

                  For the record, I am tracking only 36 keyframes.    That's all.

                  • 6. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I have never had a problem with Mocha and tracking data on any project using Mocha AE and I use it almost every day. There was a bug a couple of releases back, but even that could be worked around.

                     

                    If you are getting funky tracks then your workflow and your track clean up is not accurate. Almost all tracking requires some adjustment.

                    • 7. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
                      Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional
                      "What would be even better is if AE saw the Mocha program as an effect. Click a clip and then apply Mocha AE Tracking from the effects and presets panel. And then be able to do the track in the Mocha interface and then using the effects controls tell it to apply the track as either stabilization, corner pin data or whatever from the AE interface when the clip is selected."

                       

                      recently added to the Mocha products is the plug in option.

                      Plug-in Option « Imagineer Systems

                      • 8. Re: How to get more efficient After Effects and Mocha Integration?
                        CEJLLC Level 1

                        Rick,

                         

                        I truly want Mocha to work.  Yes all tracking requires some adjustments however, this is clearly excessive.

                         

                        After reviewing your profile I am going to perform a PRAGMATIC step by step examination of my workflow.