How to use Mocha Pro Stabilization data to create an animated path with Thicc Stroke in Adobe After Effects

I know this is possible because I have done it a couple times before (2 years ago). A lot has changed in Adobe AE and Mocha Pro and I can’t remember the process I used to create the animated path.

I know I need to use Mocha Pro to create the track data and import that into Adobe After Effect as a path. Can someone here help me with this step?

In Adobe After Effects, Thicc Stroke uses a Layer with a Mask Path. How do I get the track data from Mocha Pro to create the path rather than transform data? I can create good planar stabilization track data with Mocha Pro which I use to stabilized video sequences in Adobe AE. Is the export of the stabilization data different for a path than it is for stabilizing an Adobe AE sequence? I do understand that for stabilizing a sequence you want to check the “Invert” box under Create Track Data and for creating a path you would create a new Mocha project and track what you want to and then select the Mocha Pro layer with the track data and make sure the “Invert” box is unchecked before clicking on the Apply Export button. But I’m at a loss as to what to create in Adobe AE that needs to be selected in the “Layer Export To” dropdown before clicking the “Apply Export” button. Please include all the basic steps, I am not very good at Adobe AE.

Here’s an image of the starting point in Adobe AE from the Thicc Stroke tutorial. Looks like I need a shape layer with a Mask Path.
Link to Thicc Stroke Tutorial if you want to watch it.

Thanks for the help!


Getting an AE mask is as simple as just clicking the “Create AE Masks” button in Effects Controls. All the shapes that you have created inside Mocha Pro plugin would be “exported” as a masks, and appear on you layer. Masks would follow the footage (in case you’ve tracked them) straight away, no additional steps for applying track data is required.

But I’m not quite sure what is your goal on stabilization part.
Do you also want to stabilize the footage, and create some sort of animated text over it?

I don’t want to create a mask from the Mocha Project. I want to create a path from the transformation data. I believe this needs to be a Shape Layer in Adobe AE.

You can create a shape Layer in AE, then click on small “Add” button and add a “Path” element.
Now you can manually copy either the Mocha mask data OR position data to that path.

Speaking of export, you can export the data to any random layer at the first place. Then just select the needed parameter (position, in your case) in the layer properties, copy it, and then paste the data into “Path” parameter on the Shape Layer.

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Thank You for the help Elizabeth.
This is the workflow I created to make it work for my application:

After footage has been stabilized in a Adobe AE Composition;
Right Click under Video Clip in the blank space on the lower left
Right Click > New > Shape Layer
Right Click on the Shape Layer and choose > Mask > New Mask
Using the “>” carrot on the left side of the shape layer, expand down to the Mask Path
Using the “>” carrot on the video clip, expand down the Transformation and Right click on “Position”.
Use Command + C to copy the position key frame values
Click on “Mask Path” under the Shape Layer
Use Command + V to past the position values to the Mask Path creating a mask path
(Note, it might show up in an unexpected location like the lower right side of the screen area. You will have to zoom out to make sure it pasted a path to the Mask Path)
If the Mask Path is not lined up correctly you will have to modify the transformation values to get it to line up with the starting location of the object you want it to follow.
Under the “Mask” should be a “Transformation” carrot, expand it to reveal the Position values.
If you don’t see blue numbers, you may have to click on the “Expand or Collapse Layer Switches pane” button in the very bottom left side of the screen.
Change the transformation Horizontal and Vertical position values until the beginning of the path is close.
Move the play head to the beginning of the Composition (T=0:00:00:00)
Zoom in on the Path and line up the beginning with the object you want the path to follow (Use option + scroll wheel up to zoom in what the mouse pointed is located over)
(The beginning of the path has a small concentric circle or square around the beginning point)
Tweak the final location moving the first point to be directly on top of the center of the location where you want it to start (i.e. the object you tracked in Mocha Pro).
Move the play head and make sure the center dot of the reticle move to the next corresponding point on the path. They should be lined up for every point.
In the “Effects & Presets” window, expand Plugin Everything and drag and drop “Thicc Stroke” onto the shape layer.
This should add a stroke to the Mask Path
I like to modify the path so that it starts out red and changes to blue.
In the Effect Controls window for Thicc Strok, change the following
Width Controls:
Width Start = 10
Width End = 10
Mode = Gradient 4
Color A = FF0000 (Red)
Color B = FFFF00 (Yellow)
Color C = 00FF00 (Green)
Color D = 0000FF (Blue)
Look under the Shape Layer and expand down to Trim Paths
With the play head at the start, Click on the stopwatch icon next to “End” this will create a key frame.
Change the value to 0.00
Move the play head to the end of the clip and click on the small Dimond left of the stop watch.
This will animating the stroke revealing more of it with each new frame.
Unfortunately Thicc Stroke doesn’t account for paths that do not have equal steps along the path line (Which is typically what happens with tracking data from Mocha Pro). I.E. if there are several small steps, then large steps, the reveal of the stroke will go beyond the initial short steps and then lag behind when the composition gets to the longer gaps.
You can dial in the amount of the stroke reviewed by adding more key frames between the start and end key frames you just created for the Trim Paths > End
Click on the “Graph Editor” icon (located to the right of the Composition Time and just to the left of the play head when it’s at the start)
You can more finely tune the key frame values using the graph. Add more key frame points by holding Command + Clicking on the line. Then move the new keyframe point up or down to get the stock to stop where that keyframe path point is. Repeat as needed.

It was extremely frustrating knowing i’ve done this before but forgot how to make it work.
Hopefully this helps someone who is trying to do the same thing. Maybe it will spark some creativity in someone who decides to give this a try just to see how it works.

Thanks for sharing your workflow here. Perhaps this is the use case that is used not so often, and it may be overlooked.