5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2015 12:49 AM by Rick Gerard

    Simple text tracking?

    jmflu Level 1

      I have been checking out some tracking tutorials but none of them address the simple thing I want to do.


      I basically want to do (image below) is have a camera moving from left to right and have text in an area (like this top of this building) but have that text stay and eventually fall off screen as the building its on moves away.  Can someone point me in the right direction of terms/tutorials/what features I would use to accomplish this?





        • 1. Re: Simple text tracking?
          dissidently Level 2

          If the text is on the building, part of the photo, then you'll need to mask it out and make a copy of it to a new layer, kind of how you think about copying a part of an image into a new layer in something like Photoshop.


          Then this new layer can be animated to do as you please, and is "stand alone" text.

          • 2. Re: Simple text tracking?
            jmflu Level 1

            Right this is just an example, I actually created the text as its own png with transparent background.  I was under the impression that after effects can use its motion tracking to "stick it" to the top of that building as if it is in the scene.  I've seen similar stuff on tutorials of it tracking objects, but I couldnt find a tutorial that tracks something like this and goes off screen

            • 3. Re: Simple text tracking?
              dissidently Level 2

              Argh, I get it. You want to create the text, have the building come into view with the text tracked to the building, then, at some point, release the text and have the building continue to pan off the screen as a result of the camera's passing by.


              What you need to do is release that tracking that brought the text onto the screen, at the point you want to release it, and then take over manually animating it to do as you please.


              Or... you could do all the "tracking" manually. I do that, and get better results, most of the time. Simply animate your text to move at the same pace and in place as you perceive it needs to be to give the impression you're after. Always seems easier than fighting with pixel tracking, to me.

              • 4. Re: Simple text tracking?
                jmflu Level 1

                Ok thanks for the info!


                Problem with manual was that it was not the steadiest shot so it would be kind of painstaking.  Ive never used auto tracking before and thought it might automate it a bit

                • 5. Re: Simple text tracking?
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  This probably would be easiest to do using Track in Mocha. Draw a spline around the top edge of the building, track it. verify that the track is good, copy the tracking data, paste it to a null, use the null as a parent for the text layer. Really basic stuff.


                  Another option would be to use AE's camera tracker, pick a target that is well lined up with the front of the building, add a camera and text layer, then fine tune the position of the text and you're done.


                  Another option would be to stabilize the shot using AE's tracker in the stabilize mode tracking position scale and rotation. Pick something like the top left and right corners of the window just to the right of the building where you want the text. When you apply the stabilizer then the building should stay put and the frame should move. You can then add your text layer, then add a null, name your stabilized footage stabilized and add apply this animation preset to the null. This will add the following expressions to the null: Dropbox - destabilize Rotation Scale.ffx




                  x = value[0];

                  y = value[1];

                  tx = thisComp.layer("stabilized").transform.scale[0];

                  ty = thisComp.layer("stabilized").transform.scale[1];

                  nx = x/tx*x;

                  ny = y/ty*y;

                  [nx, ny]


                  - thisComp.layer("stabilized").rotation


                  This will put the motion back into your shot and attach the text to the building.


                  My point is that there are lots of ways to do what you want to do and AE has the tools to help do it quickly. The best tool depends entirely on the shot.