Brain Refresh-Mocha Using Surace Tool As Mask

I do this every year. I don’t use Mocha Pro 5 AE for months, then when I need it, I don’t remember everything.

I have a bunch of shots of a car where I need to replace the plate with something else. I have a solid track and a layer with a precise mask linked to it. I also have an Occlusion layer for the guy walking in front. Perfect. When I go back to my AE timeline, add a solid and either paste or apply the tracking data, instead of my precise mask, I’m seeing the Surface Tool being used as the mask. What am I missing? The surface tool on this mask layer wasn’t really adjusted since the layer it’s linked to does have it aligned with the plate.

This should be so easy, yet I can’t get this to work. I’ve tried aligning surface tool, but the best I get is a solid layer that does track with the movement, but keeps its size. Not helpful at all.

To add insult to injury, is there an issue with Mocha not allowing After Effects to autosave while the Mocha AE plugin is open? I just lost an hour of work even though I was hitting Save while tracking in Mocha. Then AE crashed and I have nothing.

Hi Al,

The surface is a representation of the Tracking data, not the mask.
If you need to replace the plate with a tracked insert, you will need to line up the surface to the plate inside mocha.
If you need to mask out the plate (or mask above it for the foreground occlusions), you need to use the “Create Masks” or “Apply Matte” feature in the plugin.

If you’re using Mocha Pro, you can also use the Insert:Composite render to do a combined mask render, but you definitely need to line up the surface if you want to use the tracking data specifically to insert a replacement plate.

In terms of the autosave, Mocha GU is a modal window so it needs to be closed so you can save in AE.
We are addressing several Mocha autosave issues in the next update.

Thanks for reply.

So do I need to line up the surface tool on the main track layer, the mask layer that’s linked to it or both?

That’s entirely up to you, but it has to be a layer with tracking information, so either will work. A layer with a linked track has the same tracking data as its parent.

This tutorial from Curious turtle should give you a refresher on the basics of doing inserts in AE:

Just closing the loop on this thread. Since I was using the warp tool extensively to get the new plate to bend with the car and change shape over time, I didn’t think I needed a mask, so I only used the xspline tool to make a basic shape not realizing the warping I was doing was going beyond the mask shape since it didn’t follow the shape of the plate exactly. I’ll post a short before and after clip soon. This was for a high-end car maker and these clips are not public yet.