360 VR Remove tool has strange hard edges


I’m using Mocha Pro 9.5.2 inside AE 22.3.0 on Windows 10 64 bit.
My footage is 7680x7680 360 with top and bottom stereo 3d. 29.97fps.
The footage is taken on a repeatable motion control dolly. The goal is to remove the dolly and dolly tracks. We have plate shots without the dolly track to create and populate all necessary clean plates.
I can get a perfect track on the dolly tracks (I even have tracking markers on the ground).
I can use the Remove tab to create clean plate frames.
I can use the clean plates we shot to paint away the dolly and track flawlessly.
This plate tracks onto the footage very well.
However, my issue arises with the content and the edges of the removed area. It is nowhere near as clean or sharp as the paint out is. EVEN on the exact frame that it is sourced from (this is the confusing part). There is a very hard edge where the clarity changes. I am aware of the feather tool but I just don’t see how the same frame can be so different between the imported clean plate and the remove. See three attached images. Zoomed in, wide, and orig.

This is a test shot gearing up for a large production. Any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Ian Tetzner
Point in Time Studios Phoenix, AZ

Can you show me a screen grab of your Mocha remove parameter setup and your clean plate edit dialog? This will help determine the problem.

Patches can become blurry due to the distortion of the camera. Very close sections are going to be the most detailed with a large drop in detail moving away from the Nadir.
For example, if you are using a single clean plate over a constantly moving camera, the details painted out in frame 1 are going to warp to frame 50 with the same distant detail that was captured in frame 1.

The difference here is you’re seeing the blur on the same frame. This could be due to a scaling issue, but I’d need to see the parameters as requested above. Are you using a single clean plate or multiple plates?

The other thing to check is how much disparity there is between the lenses. Since you’re working in top/bottom stereo, you may have to clean both frames, not just the hero eye.

Hi Martin,

Thanks for jumping on to help with my issue.

I have attached three new screen shots. Let me know what else you need as I am eager to get to the bottom of this.

Yes it is stereo but I am only working with one eye right now to remove variables with the troubleshooting. I have the plates for the other eye too. I just really want to get one eye working first. I have ample experience with static stereo paint-outs. I understand your point about distortions that can creep in after moving away from the sourced clean frame. We can shoot more plates down the dolly track to fix this. For this test I only shot the start and the end clean plates. However, I can’t even get the Remove from the start to look like the sparkly clean plate I have fed it. If we can get to that point I can fade and blend between additional plates down the line. Right now though I am not confident what I am feeding it is translation correctly.

Ian Tetzner
Point in Time Studios

Is it possible you created the clean plate while working in a lower resolution or proxy mode?
Can you check the size of the plate to be sure?

Did you track from this point or track backward to frame 81?

Also, change your “first frame” to be the same as the frame in-point. This will avoid looking at frames outside that range.

If you can send the project files I’m happy to take a look directly, as this will be quicker than the back and forth. Feel free to DM me with the details if necessary.

Hi Martin!

Thanks for getting back to me and happy Friday.

  • I have made the lower resolution clean plate error in the past but unfortunately that is not the case in this instance. The plate is 7680x3840 as it should be.

  • I tracked from my first frame (81) onward. My track seems to hold really true. The crisp edge blurry plate does follow along well motion wise.

  • As for the frame number point you made, I only sent Mocha the frames I want to use. I have trims in AE. it is supposed to be 81 to 1154.

  • Thanks for taking a look at my project file. I have all the assets packaged up here. Let me know if you need anything else. I have other plates I can fade to when it gets further down the track. For now I just want to get my first frame looking like my clean plate if you can help with that part. Not worried about stereo part yet either.

Ian Tetzner
Point In Time Studios

Thanks for the project, I will check it out today.

From what I can tell, the hard edge is mainly because of the spline cutting of the slightly blurry clean plate.

If you look at this shot, the clean plate is slightly blurred:

Comparing that to the remove on the same frame, you’re going to see the same blurring, only the patch will be cut off by the spline, so you’ll get a hard edge between the slightly blurry plate and the original material. It’s subtle, but it does make a difference:

The only way to reduce that is to paint more detail into the softened gravel areas to make it appear more like the original detail in that area.

The other way is to soften the edge of the matte using edge width. I’d also recommend making the background “MainTrack” layer slightly larger, so the Paint Area layer doesn’t get cut off.

Hi Martin,

Thank you for taking a look at my project. I can use the actual “shot” clean plate vs clone stamp created clean plate to make things even shaper. However, I was finding the area inside the remove spline edges to be very harsh and not really what I was feeding into it. I will try fully restarting with what you said in mind. I still feel like things should meld much better (especially on the frame that the plate is sourced from). I will report back.

Thank you,
Ian Tetzner
Point in Time Studios

Hi Martin,

I was able to get back into this issue and solve it. Before, when I was using the feather function inside of AE, the remove area would become feathered and you can see that above but it was feathering “beyond” this hard edge. Regardless of how much I feathered I’d still be feathering pixels that have a hard edge (more inwards) coming from Mocha. The fix was that my layers in mocha were a bit too close to the same size and that they were actually out of order. In any case the hard edge still shows in mocha interface, but now in AE the edge can be feathered away successfully. I still can’t figure out why the same exact cleaned source frame, has the hard edge. That would fix it even better but at least now the hard edge can now be feathered away as you’d expect.