I'm looking for video tutorials


#1

Hello everyone. I am new to the forum. My partner has Mocha Pro on his laptop and I need to learn how to use it while he is away. I need to use motion tracking to replace something with a different item. This is for footage of a puppet which needs to have it’s physical plastic eyes replaced with animated eyes. Obviously the puppet moves around from front to side during dialogue. (front facing the camera; side facing the other puppet character).

Can someone with actual experience in this sort of thing please direct me to a tutorial that walks one step by step through this process? I’d be very grateful. We’d also like to ultimately get the eyes to blink by replacing certain frames through the video, which I assume is done by replacing the graphic in appropriate frames.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Hi there,

Have you seen our tutorial on Eye Replacement for performance enhancement? Not much different as a technique for a person as a puppet, save that puppets have less secondary facial motion making them a bit easier to track. Check the tutorial out and see if it helps? https://borisfx.com/videos/replacing-actors-eyes-for-digital-performance-enhancement/

It’s the same technique as a screen replacement, but just a different subject.

Make sure also that you watch our getting started series, it will save a ton of frustration as you get used to the way Mocha works. https://borisfx.com/videos/?tags=category:Getting%20Started,product:Mocha&search=

Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to help you.

Cheers,
Mary


#3

Hi Mary, thanks for the reply, it is appreciated.

I’ve gone through the entire tutorial that you shared with me, but only a few things in it address what I’m trying to do.

We are producing a regular series with puppet characters. Right now it is only two characters, but more will be added over time. The puppets we are using are nicely made sock puppets with the standard large ‘googly eyes’. We want to replace those eyes with animated eyes. This will help give the puppets a way to express emotion which will allow the viewing audience to better connect emotionally with the puppet characters.

There are two puppet characters that interact with each other on screen. This means that sometimes they are looking directly at the camera, and other times they are looking at each other. As they turn back and forth there will need to be proper tracking of the area where the plastic eyes are located. The eyes are also on top of the puppet’s ‘head’ (the hand of the puppeteer) so they both move up and down as the puppet mouths open and close, and go side to side as the puppet ‘head’ turns toward and away from the camera.This seems like it should be a simple thing to do, but using only After Effects the motion tracking is very unpredictable and often goes completely off the puppet faces on to something in the background.

We were told that Mocha Pro is the best option for this kind of task. My partner has an entire suite of software on his laptop, Mocha being one of them. He is currently out of the country and it gives me a good opportunity to learn how to do this and show him how to do it when he returns. If Mocha can do this task then we won’t have to go looking for other software.

Are there tutorials out there that will show me how to perform this task on frequently moving characters? Because the characters turn their ‘heads’ to and away from the camera regularly it isn’t as simple as replacing something on a face which moves very little. I’d even be willing to pay someone to teach me how to do this with Mocha if there is no tutorial available. Any direction you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :slight_smile:


#4

Hi there,

Sorry for the delay, I have been out for the holidays. If you prep one or two shots for me to look at, I can spend an hour of complimentary training time with you on this sort of shot. Email me at maryp at boisfx dot com and we can set up a time.

Cheers,
Mary


#5

A couple things you can try that may help:

  1. Degrain/denoise the footage before tracking.
  2. Ensure there is a large enough x-spline shape on the correct planes/co-planar surfaces(Mary has done a great video on co-planar surfaces.). Mocha does not like small search areas for tracking.
  3. Watch out for severe lighting differences in the tracked area, try switching to autochannel.
  4. Reduce the percentage of pixels to allow for more tolerance of image changes.
  5. Track on a frame the contains the largest and least blurry pixels, dont strat on a blurry frame or a frame where the puppet is turned away from camera.

Hope that helps! if not Mary will get you sorted out!


#6

Thank you Mary. I’d be happy to take you up on your offer. Let me review my schedule and I’ll get back to you with times that I’m available.

-Eric