Only one Rotation channel?

Hi Folks,
This is probably a silly question, but I’m brand new to AE and Mocha and a lot more familiar with 3D apps like Maya and C4D.
My question is why when I export translation data to After Effects (using CS5.5 here) do I only get Z rotation on the object? I tracked the source footage in Mocha with Rotation enabled and I can see the spline rotating in 3 axis in the Mocha viewport but when I copy the export data to the clipboard and paste into AE it only keys the Z rotation. I’ve tried pasting the data into a text file and can confirm that there’s only one rotation.
This seems like a big limitation as it’s not possible to have a plane object in AE follow the tracking data properly.
User error on my part?
Cheers,
Brian

Hi Martin,
Many thanks, that’s a great tip. I haven’t looked into rendering in Mocha yet but I’ll add it to my list of things to learn as I can imagine how useful it will be for this (I’ve only bought AE CS5.5 just over a week ago so my study time has been mainly dedicated to that thus far).
Regards,
Brian

Great, thanks for the advice. I’ll just do it with corner pins for right now so (AE and the new DSLR have taken a bite out of my funds for the moment), but I’ll keep that in mind if I upgrade to the pro version.
Regards,
Brian

Thanks for your reply, that sounds promising : )
I’ve been trying writing expressions in the 3D apps I use to try and turn the corner pin translation data into rotational animation (based on calculating the amount of skew in the shape) but it’s not very exact as it relies on the tracking plane being a perfect square to begin with and the results are not very usable.
Regards,
Brian

Hi John-Paul,
Thanks for that, I’ve not looked into that but I’ll check it out.
The camera tracker I have here is Autodesk Matchmover which came with my license of Maya 2011, I’ve been learning the ropes of basic camera matching with that using some lo-fi footage shot with my phones camera (I’ve ordered a Canon 600D DSLR though so I should be able to improve on this soon).
The footage from the phone is very grainy of course which gives a point tracked like MM a tough job, but I did an experiment with Mocha which worked pretty well.
I was thinking that maybe using Mocha to create masks to make a more Matchmover-friendly video from the grainy source footage might give more stable results so I tried it out and hey, it works pretty well.
Tracking in Mocha using planes :
Image: http://www.graphite9.com/WIP/mochaTrackTestMO.jpg
Bringing the shape data from Mocha to AE and masking the original footage.
Image: http://www.graphite9.com/WIP/mochaTrackTestAE.png
Export a BW image from AE to Matchmover and manually tracking the corner points. Look at those nice clean tracks : )
Matchmover seems to have a much easier time tracking this clean, high contrast image compared to the original video.
Image: http://www.graphite9.com/WIP/mochaTrackTestMM.png
This then gave me a much better 3d track than just using the original footage and I can bring that right into Maya or C4D. I didn’t spend a lot of time on setup so it’s a bit sloppy but I’m going to explore the idea some more. The main limitation I have though is that AD Matchmover doesn’t really do object tracking which is why I went looking for a solution for that in Mocha. I’ll investigate IXIR though and see if it can help here.
Thanks again,
Regards,
Brian

Hi Brian,
If you have any of the popular 3D camera tracking tools, you can use IXIR 2D Track Editor (http://www.ixirdigital.com/trackeditor.php) to transfer mocha tracks into the 3D package, where the camera can be solved based on the mocha track. You can then use the data for 3D work.
Best regards,
J-P

You can’t do this in any version of mocha at the moment, but watch this space…

Hi Brian,
One technique you can try is using the mocha tracking data to render a grid/checkerboard onto your surfaces to get more accurate match moving data for those planar surfaces. We’ve seen this technique used where a surface was completely untrackable with a standard feature tracker.
It’s very similar to the technique you just demonstrated, but the addition of a checkerboard or other high-contrast feature points makes the match moving a lot easier.

Just use the corner pin data and paste it to the grid/checker in AE. You can use the masks if necessary, but often you just need the surface in the middle of the plane you’re working with.
If you just wanted to do it in mocha you can render this type of thing out of our mocha Pro software, not the CS5 version.