Mocha AE Problems (the laundry list)

I upgraded to Mocha AE because I was hoping to get faster results with access to the dopesheet and other features. However, my experience has been less than stellar; some features in AE CS6 actually work better than the standalone version.
I’ve been rotoscoping for 15 years, so I can appreciate what Mocha can do. I can also tell you that during that time I’ve seen that many pro-level products seem to make the same mistakes; the spectacular sophistication of the software engine is only outshone by the mind-boggling number of bugs in the user interface. I hate to say it, but Mocha is the worst I’ve seen in a long time.
For example, many keyboard shortcuts can be modified, but some are hard-coded. The defaults involve holding down shift and a key, except for the arrow selection tool, which requires holding down the command key. Why? Even then, I often have to hit the shift+z or shift+x keys several times before Mocha recognizes that I want to zoom or pan.
In Mochae AE, you can’t use the arrow keys to navigate the timeline (keyframes and frame-by-frame); it’s simply broken. Sure, cmd+arrow works fine, but it’s awkward for me. In AE CS6, this keyboard shortcut continues to work fine for me.
If I want to jump to a specific frame, I have to first select the entire frame number - simply inserting the cursor or selecting part of the number won’t actually allow me to delete or type! - then type. And then… nothing. By trial and error I discovered that there seem to be only two ways to get Mocha to recognize that I’ve submitted keyboard input: I have to either click on a different part of the interface, such as the layer palette, or switch to a different application. The latter one is actually kind of funny.

The dopesheet is an utter disappointment; the keyframes for the bottom item in a nested group (revealed by hitting a plus button) are hidden below the bottom of the window and you can’t scroll to them. Items in the list are in order of when they were added, rather than the layer order, and cannot be changed. In every single project I have LogoBase, Grid8x8Base, Grid16x16Base and Grid32x32Base, with no option to delete them. Seriously?
I cannot copy or paste any keyframes, parameter, animation, or otherwise, and I don’t understand why there is no option to cut or delete them as well. Then there’s the fact that group keyframes are officially immune to copying or pasting (although, as I said, copy and paste doesn’t work, anyway, so hey). There should at least be a logical explanation, or it should be acknowledged as a bug. The dope editor in its current form is, unfortunately, not a reason to upgrade. Unfortunately, that was my only reason to upgrade.
Access to the curve editor is a mystery to me; no matter how far I drill down, it doesn’t appear. The documentation doesn’t explain how to find it, either.

As I’ve mentioned in another thread, the ?berkey is not restrained by the in and out points. Imagineer told me that they fixed it but then asked me to send them a video showing how it didn’t work. Not to sound lazy, but I don’t see the point of sending the video if the programmers found the bug and fixed it. Steps to reproduce: 1. set the in and out points. 2. Use the ?berkey. 3. Notice how it doesn’t respect the in and out points. It’s dirt-simple to reproduce, and if it’s already been fixed, I feel like releasing an existing software patch would be more productive.

Saving needs work. Specifically, it needs two variable resets: the first one, for when I save manually. At that point the auto-save timer needs to be reset. Seriously, having it auto-save ten seconds after a manual save is really aggravating. The second variable reset is for when I manually save, then quit the application. I do not need Mocha asking me if I want to save if I haven’t made any changes to the project yet.
Finally, pressing or holding down the escape key does nothing. Stop teasing me with that. I keep hoping it will actually interrupt the auto-save, and then it doesn’t. If it makes you feel better, nobody ever gets the escape key right.
Mocha is an amazing tool, and despite all its problems has been a serious help to me on my current project. It deserves the accolades it’s been given. With the milestone of winning the Oscar, Ithink that’s a good time to take a breather and take some time to polish the user interface rather than continuing to tinker under the hood. Seriously, everybody puts that off until version 5 or 6. Break the mold and show them how it’s done, guys. Make the front end as pretty as the back end and I guarantee you I’ll be happy to pay for the next version as well.

Hi there, thanks for the feedback! I’ll drill through some of these for you:
—Quote—
For example, many keyboard shortcuts can be modified, but some are hard-coded. The defaults involve holding down shift and a key, except for the arrow selection tool, which requires holding down the command key. Why? Even then, I often have to hit the shift+z or shift+x keys several times before Mocha recognizes that I want to zoom or pan.
—End Quote—
We are adding more keyboard customisations later, however you can change how directional keys are used by going to Preferences and changing it in the Key Shortcuts page at the bottom left. Which ever one you choose, it is then controlled by the directional keys and the unselected one becomes Ctrl/Cmd + arrow.
Pan and Zoom are just X and Y. You do not need to hold shift. You do however sometimes need to be focused in the viewer. There is a defect logged for this.
—Quote—
If I want to jump to a specific frame, I have to first select the entire frame number - simply inserting the cursor or selecting part of the number won’t actually allow me to delete or type! - then type. And then… nothing. By trial and error I discovered that there seem to be only two ways to get Mocha to recognize that I’ve submitted keyboard input: I have to either click on a different part of the interface, such as the layer palette, or switch to a different application.
—End Quote—
You just double click, type, and hit return. It should then jump to that frame. If you are not seeing this, we will see if we can get to the bottom of it.
—Quote—
The dopesheet is an utter disappointment; …
—End Quote—
I am curious to know which version you are running, as the copy/paste/delete/cut situation is not the case for any current versions. We have copy, cut, paste and delete in the dopesheet for both the parameter keys and the group keys.
If you need it, you turn on the curve editor from the View menu. Unless you actually need to modify values however, it is better to use the dope sheet. Again, make sure you are on the most recent version.
You did mention you had 3.1.1 in another thread, but from your experience with the dopesheet, it does not sound like that version.
—Quote—
As I’ve mentioned in another thread, the ?berkey is not restrained by the in and out points. Imagineer told me that they fixed it but then asked me to send them a video showing how it didn’t work. Not to sound lazy, but I don’t see the point of sending the video if the programmers found the bug and fixed it. Steps to reproduce: 1. set the in and out points. 2. Use the ?berkey. 3. Notice how it doesn’t respect the in and out points. It’s dirt-simple to reproduce, and if it’s already been fixed, I feel like releasing an existing software patch would be more productive.
—End Quote—
?berkey only works for the key frames within the in/out points. If you have tweening between a keyframe outside the boundaries and one inside the boundaries, you are going to affect the motion between those keys. The reason we ask for a video is that we cannot reproduce your results, so would like to see how it is being done so we can accurately assess the situation.
Alternatively if you can be more specific about the exact setup of your keys and what you expect to happen, that will also help us determine the issue.
—Quote—
Saving needs work…
—End Quote—
Thanks, we will check the save interval issue. In terms of the save on quit, right now it is necessary as the user needs to determine if they want to keep their cached files on close. We are looking at alternatives to this.
Thanks again for the feedback!

Hi there, thanks for the feedback! I’ll drill through some of these for you:

—Quote—
For example, many keyboard shortcuts can be modified, but some are hard-coded. The defaults involve holding down shift and a key, except for the arrow selection tool, which requires holding down the command key. Why? Even then, I often have to hit the shift+z or shift+x keys several times before Mocha recognizes that I want to zoom or pan.
—End Quote—
We are adding more keyboard customisations later, however you can change how directional keys are used by going to Preferences and changing it in the Key Shortcuts page at the bottom left. Which ever one you choose, it is then controlled by the directional keys and the unselected one becomes Ctrl/Cmd + arrow.

Pan and Zoom are just X and Y. You do not need to hold shift. You do however sometimes need to be focused in the viewer. There is a defect logged for this.

—Quote—
If I want to jump to a specific frame, I have to first select the entire frame number - simply inserting the cursor or selecting part of the number won’t actually allow me to delete or type! - then type. And then… nothing. By trial and error I discovered that there seem to be only two ways to get Mocha to recognize that I’ve submitted keyboard input: I have to either click on a different part of the interface, such as the layer palette, or switch to a different application.
—End Quote—
You just double click, type, and hit return. It should then jump to that frame. If you are not seeing this, we will see if we can get to the bottom of it.

—Quote—
The dopesheet is an utter disappointment; …
—End Quote—
I am curious to know which version you are running, as the copy/paste/delete/cut situation is not the case for any current versions. We have copy, cut, paste and delete in the dopesheet for both the parameter keys and the group keys.

If you need it, you turn on the curve editor from the View menu. Unless you actually need to modify values however, it is better to use the dope sheet. Again, make sure you are on the most recent version.

You did mention you had 3.1.1 in another thread, but from your experience with the dopesheet, it does not sound like that version.

—Quote—
As I’ve mentioned in another thread, the ?berkey is not restrained by the in and out points. Imagineer told me that they fixed it but then asked me to send them a video showing how it didn’t work. Not to sound lazy, but I don’t see the point of sending the video if the programmers found the bug and fixed it. Steps to reproduce: 1. set the in and out points. 2. Use the ?berkey. 3. Notice how it doesn’t respect the in and out points. It’s dirt-simple to reproduce, and if it’s already been fixed, I feel like releasing an existing software patch would be more productive.
—End Quote—
?berkey only works for the key frames within the in/out points. If you have tweening between a keyframe outside the boundaries and one inside the boundaries, you are going to affect the motion between those keys. The reason we ask for a video is that we cannot reproduce your results, so would like to see how it is being done so we can accurately assess the situation.
Alternatively if you can be more specific about the exact setup of your keys and what you expect to happen, that will also help us determine the issue.

—Quote—
Saving needs work…
—End Quote—
Thanks, we will check the save interval issue. In terms of the save on quit, right now it is necessary as the user needs to determine if they want to keep their cached files on close. We are looking at alternatives to this.

Thanks again for the feedback!

Yes, slight typo for the zoom key there!
I see, you are using an international layout. This makes a lot more sense.
We are doing an update to correctly support non-latin files and keyboards in version 3.2, which will be coming soon.
Unfortunately we set up the whole project based around the core clip settings, so if your friend has not started in progressive mode he will have to restart.
You can email me directly with the ?berkey steps here: martinb[at]imagineersystems.com

Yes, slight typo for the zoom key there!

I see, you are using an international layout. This makes a lot more sense.

We are doing an update to correctly support non-latin files and keyboards in version 3.2, which will be coming soon.

Unfortunately we set up the whole project based around the core clip settings, so if your friend has not started in progressive mode he will have to restart.

You can email me directly with the ?berkey steps here: martinb[at]imagineersystems.com

I upgraded to Mocha AE because I was hoping to get faster results with access to the dopesheet and other features. However, my experience has been less than stellar; some features in AE CS6 actually work better than the standalone version.

I’ve been rotoscoping for 15 years, so I can appreciate what Mocha can do. I can also tell you that during that time I’ve seen that many pro-level products seem to make the same mistakes; the spectacular sophistication of the software engine is only outshone by the mind-boggling number of bugs in the user interface. I hate to say it, but Mocha is the worst I’ve seen in a long time.

For example, many keyboard shortcuts can be modified, but some are hard-coded. The defaults involve holding down shift and a key, except for the arrow selection tool, which requires holding down the command key. Why? Even then, I often have to hit the shift+z or shift+x keys several times before Mocha recognizes that I want to zoom or pan.

In Mochae AE, you can’t use the arrow keys to navigate the timeline (keyframes and frame-by-frame); it’s simply broken. Sure, cmd+arrow works fine, but it’s awkward for me. In AE CS6, this keyboard shortcut continues to work fine for me.

If I want to jump to a specific frame, I have to first select the entire frame number - simply inserting the cursor or selecting part of the number won’t actually allow me to delete or type! - then type. And then… nothing. By trial and error I discovered that there seem to be only two ways to get Mocha to recognize that I’ve submitted keyboard input: I have to either click on a different part of the interface, such as the layer palette, or switch to a different application. The latter one is actually kind of funny.


The dopesheet is an utter disappointment; the keyframes for the bottom item in a nested group (revealed by hitting a plus button) are hidden below the bottom of the window and you can’t scroll to them. Items in the list are in order of when they were added, rather than the layer order, and cannot be changed. In every single project I have LogoBase, Grid8x8Base, Grid16x16Base and Grid32x32Base, with no option to delete them. Seriously?

I cannot copy or paste any keyframes, parameter, animation, or otherwise, and I don’t understand why there is no option to cut or delete them as well. Then there’s the fact that group keyframes are officially immune to copying or pasting (although, as I said, copy and paste doesn’t work, anyway, so hey). There should at least be a logical explanation, or it should be acknowledged as a bug. The dope editor in its current form is, unfortunately, not a reason to upgrade. Unfortunately, that was my only reason to upgrade.

Access to the curve editor is a mystery to me; no matter how far I drill down, it doesn’t appear. The documentation doesn’t explain how to find it, either.


As I’ve mentioned in another thread, the ?berkey is not restrained by the in and out points. Imagineer told me that they fixed it but then asked me to send them a video showing how it didn’t work. Not to sound lazy, but I don’t see the point of sending the video if the programmers found the bug and fixed it. Steps to reproduce: 1. set the in and out points. 2. Use the ?berkey. 3. Notice how it doesn’t respect the in and out points. It’s dirt-simple to reproduce, and if it’s already been fixed, I feel like releasing an existing software patch would be more productive.


Saving needs work. Specifically, it needs two variable resets: the first one, for when I save manually. At that point the auto-save timer needs to be reset. Seriously, having it auto-save ten seconds after a manual save is really aggravating. The second variable reset is for when I manually save, then quit the application. I do not need Mocha asking me if I want to save if I haven’t made any changes to the project yet.

Finally, pressing or holding down the escape key does nothing. Stop teasing me with that. I keep hoping it will actually interrupt the auto-save, and then it doesn’t. If it makes you feel better, nobody ever gets the escape key right.

Mocha is an amazing tool, and despite all its problems has been a serious help to me on my current project. It deserves the accolades it’s been given. With the milestone of winning the Oscar, Ithink that’s a good time to take a breather and take some time to polish the user interface rather than continuing to tinker under the hood. Seriously, everybody puts that off until version 5 or 6. Break the mold and show them how it’s done, guys. Make the front end as pretty as the back end and I guarantee you I’ll be happy to pay for the next version as well.

—Quote (Originally by martinb)—
Hi there, thanks for the feedback! I’ll drill through some of these for you:
We are adding more keyboard customisations later, however you can change how directional keys are used by going to Preferences and changing it in the Key Shortcuts page at the bottom left. Which ever one you choose, it is then controlled by the directional keys and the unselected one becomes Ctrl/Cmd + arrow.
Pan and Zoom are just X and Y. You do not need to hold shift. You do however sometimes need to be focused in the viewer. There is a defect logged for this.
—End Quote—
I tried what you said and it doesn’t work. Also, X and Y? Are you using a German keyboard layout? X and Z make more sense.
—Quote—
You just double click, type, and hit return. It should then jump to that frame. If you are not seeing this, we will see if we can get to the bottom of it.
—End Quote—
Neither return nor enter work for me. Two different computers and both versions of Mocha.
—Quote—
I am curious to know which version you are running, as the copy/paste/delete/cut situation is not the case for any current versions. We have copy, cut, paste and delete in the dopesheet for both the parameter keys and the group keys.
If you need it, you turn on the curve editor from the View menu. Unless you actually need to modify values however, it is better to use the dope sheet. Again, make sure you are on the most recent version.
You did mention you had 3.1.1 in another thread, but from your experience with the dopesheet, it does not sound like that version.
—End Quote—
I just figured it all out. Mocha doesn’t support the Japanese keyboard layout. When I went into System Preferences and added the US keyboard layout to my list of available input methods, all of my problems flew out the window. Wow. I feel a little embarrassed, but glad that I found the problem. FYI, the default keyboard layout I was using was for Roman text and numerals, which is in all ways identical to the US one.
I am so happy right now. I’m doing a little happy dance.
I agree about the keyframes; I have had no need to adjust curves until now, nor would I want to. If I have to mess with spline interpolation, I’m probably doing it wrong.
—Quote—
?berkey only works for the key frames within the in/out points. If you have tweening between a keyframe outside the boundaries and one inside the boundaries, you are going to affect the motion between those keys. The reason we ask for a video is that we cannot reproduce your results, so would like to see how it is being done so we can accurately assess the situation.
Alternatively if you can be more specific about the exact setup of your keys and what you expect to happen, that will also help us determine the issue.
—End Quote—
Fair enough, I’ll do a stripped down test version and see what happens. Regarding the tweening issue, my problems until now seem to be occurring across every keyframe outside the in and out range, not just the immediate neighbors. However, stripped down test version first before I go out on a limb and say something that isn’t so. I REALLY want the ?berkey to work.
—Quote—
Thanks, we will check the save interval issue. In terms of the save on quit, right now it is necessary as the user needs to determine if they want to keep their cached files on close. We are looking at alternatives to this.
Thanks again for the feedback!
—End Quote—
Thanks for the quick reply! Looks like the real bug is just mapping the Japanese Roman keyboard input method and doing the test case for the ?berkey.

—Quote (Originally by martinb)—
Hi there, thanks for the feedback! I’ll drill through some of these for you:

We are adding more keyboard customisations later, however you can change how directional keys are used by going to Preferences and changing it in the Key Shortcuts page at the bottom left. Which ever one you choose, it is then controlled by the directional keys and the unselected one becomes Ctrl/Cmd + arrow.

Pan and Zoom are just X and Y. You do not need to hold shift. You do however sometimes need to be focused in the viewer. There is a defect logged for this.
—End Quote—
I tried what you said and it doesn’t work. Also, X and Y? Are you using a German keyboard layout? X and Z make more sense.

—Quote—

You just double click, type, and hit return. It should then jump to that frame. If you are not seeing this, we will see if we can get to the bottom of it.
—End Quote—
Neither return nor enter work for me. Two different computers and both versions of Mocha.

—Quote—

I am curious to know which version you are running, as the copy/paste/delete/cut situation is not the case for any current versions. We have copy, cut, paste and delete in the dopesheet for both the parameter keys and the group keys.

If you need it, you turn on the curve editor from the View menu. Unless you actually need to modify values however, it is better to use the dope sheet. Again, make sure you are on the most recent version.

You did mention you had 3.1.1 in another thread, but from your experience with the dopesheet, it does not sound like that version.
—End Quote—
I just figured it all out. Mocha doesn’t support the Japanese keyboard layout. When I went into System Preferences and added the US keyboard layout to my list of available input methods, all of my problems flew out the window. Wow. I feel a little embarrassed, but glad that I found the problem. FYI, the default keyboard layout I was using was for Roman text and numerals, which is in all ways identical to the US one.

I am so happy right now. I’m doing a little happy dance.

I agree about the keyframes; I have had no need to adjust curves until now, nor would I want to. If I have to mess with spline interpolation, I’m probably doing it wrong.

—Quote—

?berkey only works for the key frames within the in/out points. If you have tweening between a keyframe outside the boundaries and one inside the boundaries, you are going to affect the motion between those keys. The reason we ask for a video is that we cannot reproduce your results, so would like to see how it is being done so we can accurately assess the situation.
Alternatively if you can be more specific about the exact setup of your keys and what you expect to happen, that will also help us determine the issue.
—End Quote—
Fair enough, I’ll do a stripped down test version and see what happens. Regarding the tweening issue, my problems until now seem to be occurring across every keyframe outside the in and out range, not just the immediate neighbors. However, stripped down test version first before I go out on a limb and say something that isn’t so. I REALLY want the ?berkey to work.

—Quote—

Thanks, we will check the save interval issue. In terms of the save on quit, right now it is necessary as the user needs to determine if they want to keep their cached files on close. We are looking at alternatives to this.

Thanks again for the feedback!
—End Quote—
Thanks for the quick reply! Looks like the real bug is just mapping the Japanese Roman keyboard input method and doing the test case for the ?berkey.

He’s new to rotoscoping and spent over a month working on 16 clips averaging 300 frames each. You tell him to start over; I don’t have the nerve. :wink: In the meantime it’s an annoyance, not a deal-breaker. It’s much more critical to me to have the keyboard working correctly so I can do clean-up on what he gave me, so things are much better now.

He’s new to rotoscoping and spent over a month working on 16 clips averaging 300 frames each. You tell him to start over; I don’t have the nerve. :wink: In the meantime it’s an annoyance, not a deal-breaker. It’s much more critical to me to have the keyboard working correctly so I can do clean-up on what he gave me, so things are much better now.

One more thing: I want to be able to scrub the dopesheet by clicking and holding on the playhead marker, and I want to be able to perform edit operations on the current keyframe (cut, copy, paste, delete) when the viewer has focus. I’m sure these are totally obvious; I’m just adding my voice to the vote.

One more thing: I want to be able to scrub the dopesheet by clicking and holding on the playhead marker, and I want to be able to perform edit operations on the current keyframe (cut, copy, paste, delete) when the viewer has focus. I’m sure these are totally obvious; I’m just adding my voice to the vote.

—Quote (Originally by midnightbrewer)—
One more thing: I want to be able to scrub the dopesheet by clicking and holding on the playhead marker, and I want to be able to perform edit operations on the current keyframe (cut, copy, paste, delete) when the viewer has focus. I’m sure these are totally obvious; I’m just adding my voice to the vote.
—End Quote—
What is obvious is that there is no scrolling function within the Dopesheet. Yours is a good request though. In the meantime, there is an equally powerful, if not better, feature in that you can use the mouse Scroll Up+ CTRL to Zoom In and mouse Scroll Down to Zoom Out.

As for your Uberkey issues, all you need to do, to invalidate or remove keyframe interpolation is to copy (in the Dopesheet) an 'Inside" keyframe and paste it into the first frame outside of the clip’s In/Out point. Copying and pasting KFs within the Dopesheet works!

And moving the CTI works perfectly and has worked perfectly for years and has never ever broken down! :eek:

—Quote (Originally by midnightbrewer)—
One more thing: I want to be able to scrub the dopesheet by clicking and holding on the playhead marker, and I want to be able to perform edit operations on the current keyframe (cut, copy, paste, delete) when the viewer has focus. I’m sure these are totally obvious; I’m just adding my voice to the vote.
—End Quote—
What is obvious is that there is no scrolling function within the Dopesheet. Yours is a good request though. In the meantime, there is an equally powerful, if not better, feature in that you can use the mouse Scroll Up+ CTRL to Zoom In and mouse Scroll Down to Zoom Out.
As for your Uberkey issues, all you need to do, to invalidate or remove keyframe interpolation is to copy (in the Dopesheet) an 'Inside" keyframe and paste it into the first frame outside of the clip’s In/Out point. Copying and pasting KFs within the Dopesheet works!
And moving the CTI works perfectly and has worked perfectly for years and has never ever broken down! :eek: