Manual track using shape - not screen track

In the manual tracking tutorials I’ve seen, it always seems to be a screen replacement and there is an obvious place to put the corners of the surface.
If I’m not tracking a screen (say for example I’m tracking a tree using a tree shaped x-spline) and it becomes occluded by something - I can switch into manual track but then I can only move the edges or corners of the surface, I cannot click and drag the whole surface to a new position. Since I can only drag corners or edges I cannot seem to move the whole surface without inadvertently affecting it’s shape or aspect.
Am I missing something here?
I know I can move the x-spline shape as one, but in that case I’m just adding shape keyframes on top of the surface track, which would no longer be on the tree (and therefore not be useful if I exported position tracking data.
Hope that makes sense, any ideas?

So, this varies shot by shot, there’s almost never an “obvious” place to put a surface on organic objects, you have to find your own visual landmarks. Maybe that’s some features you can find again, maybe it’s the edges of the object, use your best judgement. The only important thing is that your track looks right, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be unnoticeable.

We really need to be able to transform the surface as one. It’ on our list of feature requests for this very reason, but we don’t have an ETA.

You are right, you can’t move the shape to keyframe the manual track, only the surface.

Ok, thanks Mary.
I thought I must just be missing something obvious. Hopefully it will rise up the feature request list.
In the meantime, I’ll just try to drag the opposite edges of the surface in equal amounts until the surface centre crosshair ‘visually’ lines up with where it was before the occlusion.

BUMP. Manual Track’s limitation to screen inserts is pretty frustrating. Any developments to this? Any advice? (other than the good advice already given. Thanks, Mary). Extracting centerpoint data from splines would be a Godsend. The ability to reposition the center anchor point a la After Effects’ “pan behind” tool would be wonderful. Even the ability to select a surface center or corners and nudge them using arrow keys would be nice. Squeeze those tightwads at Adobe for some dev money! :wink: I guess I should submit that (and the rest) to feature requests.

It isn’t limited to screen inserts. It is limited to four points you can find again. I look for landmarks. For faces, the inside corner of the eyes and edges of the nose or mouth usually work for me. For shirts, certains parts of text on logos or buttons, etc.

You can move the surface tool now together by using the center though, and you can use transforms like scale, rotation, and translation on the surface tool as well. That’s fairly new in Mocha and should help with Manual track.

As to converting data sets, definitely there’s not a good way to do this without scripting yet, but we are working to improve tools every day. Thank you for letting us know. We have some things coming that might help, but don’t have a release date yet.