Another day lost with Mocha


Let me first tell you, that I’m really frustrated at the moment. :mad:
So if you want to read some of my experiences with Imagineer Systems products in the current feature film production I work on VFX, then read on. If you just love everything you spent a lot of money for lately, you better don’t.

Since this seems to happen more often then I can stand I just wanted to let you know. I’m having a lot of trouble working with Imagineer Systems Products in general. It’s instable, hard to learn and in my oppinion there is close to zero support.

Right now, after having “Auto Save” set to 3 Minutes, pressing the save button myself as well all the time, and saving under new version files, Mocha just crashed again today because I tried to open the “Curve Editor” when some Beziers freaked out caused by Interpolation Errors.
But now, todays work is completely f***** up. There are just a whole lot of points missing when I reopened my setup and Mocha didn’t even saved all the time I thought I would when I press “SAVE!!!”. I start where I began this morning.

I already had the situation where I worked a whole day on a roto and the next day Mocha just told me “Error whatever, game over!” everytime I just tried to render or export from that file.

In Monet I had similar problems. Getting lost in the way Layer - Mattes - Whatever are handled and stuff. I was lucky to get the chance to head into those Apps at the place where I currently work and I also bought an own Monet License. I already gave a first workshop for my collegues here so they also could get into Mocha for Rotos and Tracking.

I’m actually thrilled most of the time how I could easily solve tasks faster in Monet or Mocha so I find myself recommending those products wherever I work.
At the workshop when I tried to give an introduction to the Monet and Mocha, I realised that the workflow of the tools is crap. Nobody could follow and everybody was more or less experienced as compositor so I wasn’t talking Suaheli for anyone. Integrating in our Nuke pipeline is a nightmare too. By the way, where is the sense of exporting Bezier Data to Shake for example, and then have the Tracking “baked” into the Shape Animation itself by setting a Key each frame. Where is the advantage compared to a Matte Sequence? What do you want with hundreds of keys in a Roto Shape instead of a view and a Tracker and 4-Corner Pin afterwards. I’m curious to know…

The only thing is that the tracker system is really great anyway.

But I’m really getting tired of learning these tools without any support, with this product line (I’m so tired of telling everyone that they would need another 3k € Imagineer product for each step of their work process) at this costs and with close to zero stability of the applications.
Give me a reason not to drop these products and stop using them.

Sorry for my bad English, I’m German and full of Adrenaline while I’m writing this and planning to start my work from scratch OVER THE WEEKEND! :mad:

i’m a mocha/motor client since it was in beta. i’ve used in film work mainly on 2k/4k and HD. it never let me down. i have footage that it’s impossible to track in shake but mocha tracks it without glitches.

it does sometimes run out of memory on longer shots but it has a proxy system that works just fine.

the longest shot i did was a 1220 frames long (2k anamorphic dpx file sequence). i’ve tracked the actor’s forehead for some makeup touchup when he moved freely (3d move) on the shot while smoking. for me it’s a fire and forget weapon. i have some horrible noisy footage that shake cannot handle even for a 1 point tracking. mocha goes through with no glitches. i have to stop it now and then to readjust the search area but it works.

it has some bugs with the animation curves UI it sometimes crashed but at the end of the day it gets the job done.

i’m sorry to hear you’re not happy with it but after 1 year of using it i can rely on mocha.

to bad mofex it’s a dead product :frowning:


First, I want to thank you for reaching out and sharing your frustrations. As much as we like to hear the accolades from our customers, it’s actually so much more critical that we hear when things aren’t going as expected. We do understand the frustrations of working with software that doesn’t deliver when you need it most; our goal has always been to save time, eliminate tedium and frustration, so when we hear that we’re not delivering on that promise, we take the appropriate steps to fix the problem.

So here’s what we’re doing:

  • First, we’ve identified key stability and performance issues with mocha and motor. As Version 1.0 products, they clearly had some issues that we’ve identified and have corrected. We’ve issued a point release with some fixes that will help with your immediate term problems.
  • Second, with help from customers like you, we’ve taken a very hard look at the design of our products, how they perform and interact with our own solutions, as well as with other tools. And we’ve fed that back into a significant initiative that we began almost two years ago. We’re actually on the threshold of unveiling this new initiative at NAB 2008 next month, but to give you a sense of the scope of this initiative, we basically decided to start from scratch. Working with actual visual effects artists as product designers. Learning from the past without bringing forward any baggage. You will soon start hearing about this, and later in the year start benefiting from all the effort that has gone into – not only addressing your frustrations, but taking VFX workflow, collaboration, management and actual desktop tools to an entirely new level. And it’s a solution that you, as a current user, can easily migrate to if you so choose, without impacting your original investment
    in Imagineer Systems. But stay tuned on that as in a month, we’ll have a lot more details to share with you.

Again, we truly appreciate your feedback and we continue to honor your support and loyalty to Imagineer Systems. We hope that we’ve earned some trust and that you will give us the chance to demonstrate exactly what we’ve done to address your frustrations.

Thank you,

Allan Jaenicke
CEO, Imagineer Systems

Good to hear a response, as frankly I have also been unimpressed with the stability and performance. My problem is near constant crashes on osx 10.5, coupled with generally just a lot of interface design flaws and wackiness.

Also if you’re going to be on the job of improving it, please give it some good hooks into python and release and SDK for it. This program should be near-ubiquitous in every facility doing tracking and roto but it absolutely has to mesh into the existing systems, and giving us the tools to customize your outputs directly would be a great start. PFTrack offers this and Maya, Nuke, Shake (via pyShake) are all moving towards having their own hooks, which will make cross-platform interfacing so much easier.

As is I got lucky, I’m an individual and I was able to purchase using the sale you offered to fxphd students, and at that price I’m willing to put up with the crashes and interface problems, but I can’t imagine having paid full price for this level of performance.

Very good to hear you are responding to this and working towards a solution, looking forward to future releases.


“By the way, where is the sense of exporting Bezier Data to Shake for example, and then have the Tracking “baked” into the Shape Animation itself by setting a Key each frame. Where is the advantage compared to a Matte Sequence? What do you want with hundreds of keys in a Roto Shape instead of a view and a Tracker and 4-Corner Pin afterwards. I’m curious to know…”

For me, when I give a Shake script to a client it’s much easier to have everything
embedded in the file. plus a keyed rotoshape is WAY smaller than mattes.
i prefer using the motion blur from shake anyway.

I, too, have MANY issues with this line of products… Seems like a single app that
is modular would make much more sense.
Stability is poor. Haven’t tried linux yet, but that’s on my list
Bought Mofex, but it doesn’t work with my G5 PPC and i it now appears that it’s being dropped? I haven’t even used it yet.

I really don’t like this forum software. it’s incredibly hard to type in it. i can’t see what i’m typing half the time. (OSX + Firefox). Seems to have a major display bug.

ANYHOW. all that being said, I find I’m incredibly drawn to this software. It calls to me. It just feels really good to work in. It’s very easy and quick to be productive. The only real issue technically for me, is trying to adjust tracking. that part seems less then intuitive.

my $.02


believe me i feel your pain i run on a mac and even with 10 gigs of ram i still get crashes a lot, doing normal things. it’s a very very finicky app. I really wish they would stabilize it a lot more if they did that these apps would be unstopable

agreed this is very good news, and at the price I really can’t complain about it.

That being said, I’ve met Billy W before and had a few emails with various people as well as talked via Forums to various members of the staff, So i know you guys are all Kick ass workers and are really trying to be the anti company, you know, upgrades at 0 cost, sales, discounts, and customer support are all great. I just would really love a program that, well, doesn’t crash all the time