The version has a number of new features and a huge amount of work has gone into improving workflow for artists and facilities.
New features include: New Roto Tools: Transform Tool and Join Layers point parenting. Layer Management: View, organize, color code and group layers Project Management: Merge and share projects between artists 3D Camera Solve: Brownlee is teaching a new mocha pro v3 course at fxphd this term, and the new release will also be available on the VPN. But before we get to that, a bit of historical perspective is in order. It uses techniques from 3D tracking rather than 2D approaches like optical flow, combining several different algorithms to produce a robust result.
Traditionally, most tracking was done by selecting a small region on the screen and having the software track the area from frame to frame. The software uses various ways of analyzing the pixels on screen from frame to frame in order to track the pixels. If an artist wants to map an object onto a plane, one would generally do a four point track, manually placing tracking points at appropriate places in order to define the rectangular plane.
With planar tracking, the process is a bit different. The artist feeds an application information as to what to track by creating simple spline shapes. The planar tracker then analyzes all the pixels in the shape and determines which are moving on the same relative plane. Additionally the shapes can use multi-layer modes to animate, add or subtract to the search area. Using traditional point-based tracking methods, there is generally considerably more artist intervention.
Cinesite was looking or an efficient way for inserting the animated paintings into the picture frames on the hallways at Hogwarts. The following year, the planar tracking tech was introduced to a much wider audience when Imagineer licensed Mocha AE to Adobe and had the product bundled with After Effects CS4.
With After Effects in the mix, Imagineer now has over 42, users worldwide. Two years later, mocha and mocha AE v2 were released, featuring an improved UI and stabilization module.
The applications reached bit support in with the release of v2. In , Imagineer also dramatically simplified their product line. Over the years, the array from products mokey, monet, mocha, etc from Imagineer could be seen as somewhat confusing, so they decided to combine products and into one: Mocha Pro. Versions 2 and 2. Mocha v3 The v3 layout The development process for v3 brought some change to the way Imagineer worked with their customers.
They have always had a good relationship with facilities Cinesite is a good example of this , but tried to get even more of their customers involved early on. However, mocha Pro is rapidly becoming a go-to tool in the feature film arena. One of the main areas Imagineer has seen growth in has been the stereo conversion market as well as large scale roto pipelines.
From this feedback, we focused on layer management, project merging, advanced roto editing improvements and more. Python scripting support. According to Shain, the groundwork has been started for this, and will be added to a v3 point release in the not-to-distant future. While not necessarily sexy, those kind of improvements have a big impact day to day — features such as more keyboard shortcuts, new transform controls, layer management, and a proper dopesheet for keyframe editing will be improvements artists see every day.
However, many of the changes in this release involved some major changes to the tools. The new layer backend has the potential for more powerful organizational tools such as nested groups, tagging and search, features we could add in the future if users ask for them.
Exporting of camera data Users of mocha have asked for the ability to export 3D data for years. In fact, according to Shain, many customers use mocha alongside camera trackers to help with difficult 3D solves. We expect it will compliment the other 3D trackers quite well. After all, rigid objects in a tracked scene can become much easier to roto, track, and isolate, simply by placing shapes at the appropriate location in 3D space. According to Shain, this is definitely a direction where they can see the product going.
The two moving-camera solvers small and large parallax change each make different assumptions about how the camera moves that optimize them for different types of shot. Small Parallax works for shots where the camera moves slowly over a short distance relative the distance to the subject. The Large Parallax solver assumes the camera is close to the subject and moving fairly quickly. This is the solver to use for fast moving hand-held or tracking shots where the angle of view between the camera and the subject changes a lot.
They also have a fourth solver, which is used for moving objects. Solving the camera needs stationary objects, but once the camera is solved we can convert any planar track in the scene into a 3D solution for that layer. There is an expectation of maturity now.
The issues with V1. Imagineer Systems mocha has now hit that magic number and it opens itself up to an even wider range of users.
This single piece of technology has been the basis for a whole range of tools over the years, including mokey, monet and, of course mocha. At its core, it offers rock solid tracking where point trackers would fall over. How you used that tracking data was up to you and the product you were using. Whether that was object removal, screen insertion, to aid roto work or just as exported trackers to your chosen compositing app.
This is a huge usability upgrade if you are working on larger projects or complex roto. There are now proper layer management tools. No more working with a huge list of layers. Layers can be grouped, collapsed and both layers and groups can be easily colour coded. On paper this sounds a little tame, but the time savings over the course of a day are huge.
It also means that house rules regarding layer structuring can more easily be enforced. So when you pass your shot on to another artist either in mocha, they can see immediately what they are working with. Your 20 layer hand roto sits in its own group, hidden away until you want it.
Another problem fixed in V3, was how you managed larger shots that required multiple artists. Now it is simple to merge projects together into a single master.
The roto toolset is significantly improved. For a product that was highly reliant on understanding the distortion of planar surfaces with its tracking, when it came to manual shape animation things were not so easy. Again, that has changed. It is now straightforward to do distort, skew and non-uniform scales. What does this mean for your workflow? Simply put, less work, fewer keyframes and better animation. The more natural movement you can capture with the main shape, the less work there is to do on individual control points.
The bounding box that lets us do all of these shape transformations is not limited to a single shape. Select multiple shapes or even just a few control points, and the box automatically resizes to fit the new selection. This opens mocha as a seriously fast rotoscoping tool.
This keeps things, fast, simple and easily fixable! You know a feature is good when you dread going back to working without it. The Join Layer tool worked for the frame you joined them at. Then stopped working as soon as you animated either control point. It worked. Just with limitations. Those limitations are now gone in a very smart manner. Connect your two or more points together to create a seamless edge between them.
Obviously this is to keep the edge seamless no matter what you do. Of note, it is only the Parent control point that can break the join. How to tell a Parent point? Both from the air of world-weariness that hangs around it and its fancy new icon a triangle. There are more small improvements to make life easier, better keyboard shortcuts, including nudging and Viewer. Also is the move away from the Curve Editor to do keyframe manipulation.
Taking over that mantle is the Dope Sheet. The next time the tracker goes awry, you pop into the Dope Sheet select the dodgy keyframes and delete them. No fuss. No hassles. No selecting the same keyframes multiple times. You can now get two different types of 3D solve out of mocha, using your planar tracking data. Either take out a nodal pan Pan, Zoom, Tilt from a moving camera at a fixed point e. The number of shapes you have to track read, amount of work you have to put in obviously depends heavily on the type of movement and your material.
It is also a fast way to get even more use out of your tracking data. But by focusing on core functionality both in terms of workflow and rotoscoping tools, this threatens to be the most important release in its history.
The new Imagineer Systems Authorized Education Partner Program is designed to make it easy for educators to incorporate valuable skill sets derived from mocha Pro v3 and its powerful Planar Tracker technology into a school's curriculum. Imagineer's new academic and EDU discount programs offer two options, now available on an annual renewal fee basis: As members of the Authorized Education Partner Program, sites also receive a free listing and banner on Imagineer's web site, access to Imagineer Product Specialists via Skype, and the ability to run the mocha license server remote and allow VPN log-in. Who Qualifies for Academic Discounts University, college students, film school students, faculty members and departments High school students, faculty members and departments Approved non-profit organizations To qualify for the new Academic Discount Programs, schools or students are required to provide written proof of eligibility, via academic ID or non-profit certification. Use of the program is expressly restricted to use in teaching, research and noncommercial projects.