I'm editing on After Effects cs6. First, I will describe two situations, and what I am capable of doing, then I will explain what the core issue is.
First situation: When using "motion tracker," I will "Edit Target" to a null I've titled "Tracker." As you know, this will allow my null to follow the tracked motion and sync with the movement of my video. This much worked.
Second situation: Let's say I have a blank canvas, and just paste in a null. I take this null, and draw some motion sketching anywhere I like. Next, I take a Solid. I apply an effect such as "Particular" to this solid. Now if I take the "Position XY" of this effect, and do a pick whip to the position of my motion sketched null, the effect will now follow the path I sketched. This worked as well.
My issue: I tried combining the two situations above, in order to get my motion sketched Particular effect to sync with the tracking of the video. I attempted this by first making "Tracker" null my target for motion tracking (1st situation). Next, I motion sketched a 2nd null. I pick whipped this 2nd null to "Tracker," and successfully got the sketch to sync with my video.
HOWEVER, once I tried syncing a Particular effect with the path of my motion sketch (2nd situation), I found this happening: my Particular effect was indeed following the path of my motion sketched null, but it was displayed in the top left corner of my screen, WAY OFF from where my motion sketched null was actually placed. So the motion sketched null and the Particular effect were both following the same path, but not in the same spot.
My question: How do I sync my effect to move exactly where I want it (with a motion sketched null), and still get it to track with my video? I know this is difficult to describe without directly showing it in person, but I hope this is a simple issue that has a simple answer with it.
Tracking coordinates are relative to the source layer, not the comp. Additionally, Particular is a 3D effect which only naturally may not always align with 2D effects since the latter don't respond to cameras, but the particle effects do. Based on your info nobody can tell where things go wrong. Simply make sure to use equally sized layers for everything and your camera is aligned with the middle of the comp along the Z axis.
As described my first post: when pick-whipping the motion sketched Null to the Tracker Null, the Particular effect follows the sketched path, but has been suddenly moved to another point in the frame.
However, there was a simple solution to this issue after all. For those interested, once the Position XY parameter of the Particular effect is pick-whipped to the motion sketched Null, do NOT pick-whip said Null to the Tracker Null. Instead, pick-whipping the Solid [that has the Particular effect] to the Tracker Null does the trick, and everything is aligned.
But thank you for the insight!