Newbie Struggling with Remove Function

I’m trying to remove logos/decals/etc from the sides of vehicles while they’re driving around (running footage) and I can’t get the removal tool to function at all. The only way I’ve got ANYTHING to work at all is by using a static clean plate, which isn’t what I’m going for… I’m trying to get Mocha to use the clean areas around the logo/decal as samples to replace the masked area with that “smart fill” information.

A good example of a shot that I’m trying to do is kind of like this (2016 Volvo S90 - Running Footage - YouTube), where the goal is to remove the lower left emblem on the trunk lid (S90) and use the empty space directly to the right/surrounding the S90 emblem) as the source for fill/replace.

Current setup and workflow:

  • AE 2019, Mocha 2020 14 day trial (activated this morning)
  • Top layer: Tight cutout mask w/ slight feather around logo. Tracked w/ plane.
  • Bottom layer: Wider cutout of most of the trunk lid. Tracked w/ plane (with top layer calculations off, initially). Made sure the top layer’s track mask doesn’t go outside of this layer’s bounds.

When I go into the Remove tab, I turn on AutoStep and leave everything else on default. When I hit Render Current… nothing. I literally can’t get Mocha to remove ANYTHING.

The goal of my project is to remove decals/logos/emblems on vehicles utilizing Mocha’s semi-automated Replace function… which I can’t get to work. The closest I’ve got to getting anything to work is by exporting the Mocha mattes to AE masks and then trying to use AE’s content-aware fill… which works, kind of… the end result is NOT super clean and I KNOW Mocha can do this much better, I just can’t figure out HOW. I’ve gone through the Lynda Mocha 5 training + watched a ton of YT videos (I’ve probably struggled with trying to figure this out for a full 8-10 hours)… it doesn’t seem like getting this function to work (even poorly) should be THIS hard.

I’ve checked the documentation that a mod/admin/dev listed (3 links) in this thread and it seems like I’m following all of these steps properly.

It’s maddening…

Hi there,
Mocha Pro’s remove module has 2 basic functions:

  1. Removing an object when the clean frames exist in the shot. This is used for wire removal, removing foreground objects, etc.
  2. Using Clean Plates - this is used for removing objects that are in every frame - such as a logo on a car.

So in short, if I understand your issue - you want to remove logos on a car and do not have clean reference… so you need to feed Mocha at least one clean plate. There is no auto-fill function that you describe.
If you have tried using AE Content-Aware and not gotten the results you would like, I would recommend you to try Mocha Pro with clean plates. Part of the power in this workflow a. is you have exposed control over the planar tracking, 2. you can channel multiple clean plates into remove module, 3. you have more control over illumination/lighting render options.

You need to feed at least one painted clean plate to the remove layer.

The most difficult logo removes that I have seen are usually accomplished with multiple clean plates. Another basic tip is the remove is only as good as the background track. Analyzing the surface on your background track layer is essential to getting a good remove. If it slips, the remove will not loo good.

I hope these tips help. Here are some of the clean Plate tutorials on our site:

Best of luck,

Thank you for the clarification. Seems like the biggest trick is the moving reflections on the vehicles paint. I guess I misunderstood what Mocha does/is capable of doing. So basically (ignoring clean plates) Mocha does NOT do a function like AE’s content-aware fill, essentially? Once again… it’s the reflections that are my #1 concern (in terms of motion). I’ve got the clean plate option to work before, so ideally I’d do that I’ve been doing, but just include a bunch of clean plates per shot to help speed up/make the composite cleaner?

Correct. The illumination modeling should help the reflections and multiple clean plates get interpolated across the clean should also help. Depending on the quality you are going for you may to to add some grain or even comp some reflections back in.

If the reflections are really intense, you might be able to key them out before you track and use that as a matte pass in the layer above your track to holdout the reflections so you get a better track on the car, or you can track the seams of the doors and windows instead of the side of the car. Often, as Ross says, reflections do have to be rebuilt.

If you have any more questions we are happy to help.


So I’m starting to get the clean plate thing figured out, but running into new issues. Two fold:

On a 170frame sequence, I created a clean plate on frames 0, 47 & 170. One thing happens consistently: after rendering, it’s “popping” between the plates (no blending/interpolating) despite me going through and tweaking blending/smoothing and using Cleanplates exclusively.

What’s NOT happening consistently is that despite not having any keyframes or anything in the sequence, it’ll randomly get to frame 47 (or somewhere that is NOT where th Clean Plates change) it’ll remove just fine and then… Pop! The thing I’m trying to remove will pop back on. It SCREAMS to me media cache/whatever since I can scrub through the timeline without changing parameters and it’ll just start happening out of nowhere. It’s like I have to flip between views/workspaces to try to get it to work.

Clear as mud? lol

Very odd, can you try making a new layer, linking it to the old layer track, and redoing the remove? Sounds like there’s a keyframe somewhere being weird.

Or you can email me the whole project at and I will take a look.

So I just rebuilt the whole thing and this time I tacked the background layer onto the hole cutout layer to assume the tracking from that instead of it running on it’s own and it seems to have fixed the issue. There’s some slow dissolves happening between the clean plates that I need to figure out how to make less dramatic (more clean plates?) but it’s definitely better. I agree about the rogue keyframe(s) but I’m still too new to be able to track them down efficiently.

I’ll try a couple more things tomorrow morning when I get back into the office. I might send you a copy so you can adjust my expectations and let me know if it’s where it should be or if there are any glaring issues with the project… I built this one as lean as possible.

Sounds good, let me know!

I hear you. I also am using the 14 day trial in After Effects, and I have spent two hours going through Mary’s webinar and her shortened tutorial (both of the simple car removal) and I have not been successful. Either it does not work on an iMac, or the trial doesn’t work—I have blown up all of the screens on the tuts to make sure I have the settings right. It’s a very simple static camera with a hand moving in and out of the background. Very disappointed.

Mocha needs tracking on the back layer even if it is static.

I understand. I followed everything in Mary’s TWO tutorials on the car removal, and I tracked my background. When I did the one-frame render in Mocha I got an error message that the frame did not render. Is it possible that the 14 day trial disabled this feature without notification?

No, the trial is fully working. Sorry to hear you are having problems.

We can extend the trial if you have not been able to get a successful removal.

If you can take screen recordings or provide screenshots, we can try to help. If you want to private message me your name and email, I can grant you a few more weeks extension. If you can provide more details in the forums - including your system specs, we are here to help.

I am happy to take a look at the shot. :slight_smile:

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Neal indicated to me in an email that the trial does not allow tracking data export to AE.

So I am not sure what features do work in the Mocha Pro trial.

Yes, I did track the static background as well as the body part that drifted in and out.

I chose something super simple to test the software. It did not even render one frame. Luckily since it was so simple I was able to make do with masking in AE but it would have been nice to see what Mocha could do.