AE nulls problems with camera solves

Started on Mocha Pro at work. The tracking works like a charm, but I’m having serious problems after pasting camera solve data to After Effects: The nulls seem to have completely unuseable orientation/rotation parameters - and they are in no way connected to the “planar” data from Mocha. This happens every time. What’s the catch? How is it even possible for Mocha, to export anything that doesn’t add up to “being planar”? In other words: it is virtually impossible for me to recreate a planar surface in AE from camera solve nulls…

Thanks in advance…

Hi Mike,

The camera projection of the surface nulls is based on the estimated position of the surface corners and center in 3D space, so if it has been modified to an approximate plane in the shot by adjusting the corners it will sit at the best representation for the plane the camera solver can find.

Note however that this doesn’t mean it’s going to adhere to a specific axis. We don’t define the solved nulls to a ground plane or specific axis, we solve based on what has been given to us by the position of those corners.

The same goes with the rotation of the nulls: We are mostly projecting 5 points in space, not a 3d plane. The planar tracks merely provide us with the necessary data to figure out the projection and the points are then cast to the estimated position.

This limitation of course means that we can’t always get the correct planar orientation for those nulls.

Hi Martin

Thanks for the response…
I accept of cause your explanation on what the solver can do.

But - just saw another Borisfx tutorial:

I find it quite odd watching someone eye-balling graphics onto the footage, when the nulls are right there on the screen - but you cannot use them for anything except position.

I could bring the track and 4 points into my 3D software - create a quad polygon that snaps to the points - and export a simple plane to AE that has been aligned to the polygon normals. Seems like a lot of work though…

Thanks again

So, we’ve arrived at just… silence?

I’d say, that you cannot argue against the fact, that mocha-generated ae-nulls add up to co-planar surfaces. And - a flat plane has per definition a normal (orientation) - not seeing this information coded into Mocha for user convenience is a mystery to me…


You just arrived at the weekend and I was out of the office when your reply hit my inbox. Sorry about that. :slight_smile:

Oh, you’re absolutely right. A planar card that approximates the average between the surface points would be very useful in the future, but After Effects didn’t have the direct capability to read meshes well at the time and we couldn’t distort AE 3D solids in space when the camera solver was first made.

The camera solver core functionality has not been updated for a while, so this is useful feedback for what you require when we do update it.

People find the solver useful for difficult tracks and moving objects, but we do need to make it more user-friendly, I agree.

We definitely have some plans in this area, for the future.

Thanks, all good, Martin…and sorry for venting a bit.

I’m not a code-person and have no idea what it would take to build “averaged orientation” into the null exports. With a bit of luck, maybe it can be done with “pure math”…