Is it possible to stabilize using multiple planes on a long complex steadicam shot?

I am using Mocha Pro 2018 v5.6.0.

I am attempting to stabilize a 7000 frame steadicam shot with continuous forward motion. It’s an exterior shot moving through fields, between trees / buildings / other structures, and with characters walking through frame.

Since the environment is ever changing in the shot, I was wondering if there’s a way within Mocha to stabilize using multiple planes for different portions of the shot. Right now I’m tracking one object at a time through the shot.

For example, the ground plane is occluded for portions of the shot, so I’m tracking a tree for 200 frames, then when the tree moves out of shot there’s a wall I can track for 400 frames, then the side of another structure, then back to the ground etc. I’m exporting each of these tracks individually into Nuke (using cornerpin info), then blending between them in Nuke using expressions.

Any other advise on a way to tackle this shot would be greatly appreciated. It’s a tricky one for sure!

Thank you very much.

Try tracking from the end to be beginning and only tracking translation, scale, and rotation. That way it doesn’t matter if you switch objects as long as they are stationary objects and not moving people or cars.

Can you try that and let me know if it works for you?

Hi Mary, thanks for the swift response.

Tracking backwards has definitely been working better, that’s mostly what I’ve already been doing.

Are you suggesting using one shape that moves from object to object as they disappear/appear in frame, rather than using different shapes on different objects as I have been doing?

Yes, exactly. Take one shape, and since you’re only using translation, scale, and rotation, just move that shape around as needed to get your track. Turn the surface tool on while you track to make sure it’s looking correct.

Great! Thanks Mary. I’ll let you know how I get on.

So far, when I switch to another object it creates a lot of bumping around the switch point, even when I add keyframes to try to smooth it out. My frames are set to 15, which so far has consistently given me the best result in smoothing these steadicam bumps.

I have a decent Nuke workaround which is working well enough.

OK, you can also delete the keyframes between the bumps as well in the dope sheet and that might also fix it.

Great idea, I’ll try that too and let you know how I get on. Thanks!

Hi Mary
So far the approach of blending between tracks has still been most successful, and gives me a little more control.

That said, I’ve just been upgraded to Mocha2020, so if there’s anything in this version that might help me with this shot, that would be great! Otherwise I’ll keep going with the same methodology.

Thanks for all your advice!