Well, I figured it out only to come up with another question.
If you select "Align Surface" in Mocha first everything works fine... except then you can't use this approach if you just want to have a layer (and not a masked area) follow your track. So you need some way to both determine you *have* aligned the surface in Mocha as well as a way to undo such an alignment (sort of a simple immediate undo after you press the button).
Can't find a way to do that but if anyone knows how I'd appreciate hearing it.
I guess I don't exactly understand what you are asking. You need to align a surface before corner pin tracing in Mocha works properly. If you just want to use the tracking data you copy just the tracking data and the align surface for corner pin is ignored. If you have aligned surface then if the surface visibility is turned on in Mocha you can see it and check it. I guess I am not following your workflow. I just spent a few minutes trying a bunch of things in Mocha AE and I can't get results that I don't expect.
Please detail the workflow step by step that is giving you a problem.
Masks are applied before effects. That means if you have both a corner pin effect and a mask, it will first apply the mask on the original source image and then distort the masked area with the corner pin. If the layer you want to corner pin is full screen size, you can use the align surface, or the workflow I described here:
If you want to corner pin and mask something that is not full comp size, I recommend to precompose.
If you precompose such that you have the corner pin inside the precomp, you can draw a mask in the main comp and it will behave as a normal mask (i.e. not be changed by the corner pin, this is useful if the mask should not move with the track).
If you precompose such that you have the corner pin inside the main comp, I recommend to do the masking inside the precomp (this is useful if the mask should move with the track).
Working with stabilized precomps and doing your compositing and masking inside the stabilized precomp is another easy to use workflow.
See these tutorials:
Thanks for the reply -- that's useful information.
I've been meaning to buy your MochaImport+ for quite some time to help with my basic understanding of how to work with Mocha, but at the moment I'm still struggling with an issue with my new laptop and Mocha -- on my desktop I can load in a .MOV file into AE and then track it in Mocha just fine, but on my laptop Mocha says it's an unsupported file (both computers running the exact same OS and versions of software that I can tell, and have all the same codecs installed, so I'm really stumped by this). I know a lot of folks say "convert your .mov" but that's such a PITA in your workflow and since it works fine on my desktop (with the exact same file) I don't know why it can't work on my laptop.
If I ever get this figured out I'll buy your stuff for sure (since I need to work the same on both machines).
If you have a file type not supported by mocha, most of what can be done with MochaImport+ can also be done with MaskTracker+ and the Mask Tracker of AE CC:
This means you don't have to switch to a different application at all and can do everything inside AE.
But note that the mask tracker is not always as good as mocha. I use to say that the mask tracker is a good tracker and mocha is a great tracker :-)
We also have a bundle deal including both MaskTracker+ and MochaImport+
Yeah, I got my problem finally resolved (a reboot but that's a weird solution) and I've been using the demo Mocha+ and definitely will buy it.
I'm not sure if Mocha+ will help with this, but I'm frustrated right now trying to get shape data imported into AE. I create the track just fine, and copy the shape export to the clipboard, but when I paste the mocha shape data into a track only the first frame of the mask gets pasted and it won't animate. I'm sure I'm an idiot, but if there's something in Mocha+ that corrects what I'm doing I'd love to hear about it (otherwise I just have to spend more time trying to figure Mocha out -- one thing I'll say for sure, Mocha+ makes using Mocha a whole lot more intuitive, at least to me. For that reason alone it's worth buying).
MochaImport+ will only help with tracking data, not with shape data.
In this tutorial I show how to import shape data to AE (at about 30:00):
MochaImport+ is my product and mocha Plus is kind of a deluxe version of mocha AE by Imagineer Systems.
If I'm reading your post correctly, the fix is simple. Don't apply the Mocha corner pin track to the footage itself, but to a NESTED COMP (aka Precomp) of the footage. Then you open the nested comp to mask the footage any way you want.
Um, no, that doesn't work.
I'm following a tutorial online by Mary, one of the Mocha experts, and am doing everything *exactly* as she does, and even precomping the layer the mask I end up with is only masked on the first frame (and doesn't move at all).
Here's the tutorial: Paste mocha roto shapes to After Effects masks on Vimeo
So I am clueless.
Right, I was just lazy in typing Mocha+ -- I know it's MochaImport+.
I'll see if your tutorial clears things up for me, but I sure don't know why it isn't working for me (pasting shape data as masks).
Ah, I finally figured it out (but it shouldn't be THIS hard :>).
I was working from a clip that was much longer but only using a trimmed comp. Turns out you can't do this, not even with a precomp that matches that length, as the shape data from Mocha just doesn't copy properly. So I went ahead and first exported the clip at the trimmed length, and them made a composition with THAT clip and all was well.
Sigh -- so much software, so little time (to learn).