Power Mesh Image Errors in After Effects

I’m having issues using power mesh with (in this case) a closeup of a face. I chose the best image of the face as my reference frame in Mocha Pro, then performed power mesh rendering. upon completion, I stabilized unwarp on the reference frame. Then in After Effects, I applied the Matte and Rendered as Stabilize-Warp on the reference frame. The results at the beginning of the clip, and in other parts, are included as still images here. How to I rectify the smearing seen at the extremities of the face? Also, I went back to Mocha Pro and got an error as shown in the additional picture.


I’d use a reference frame where the head is completely visible onscreen OR I’d use the new PowerMesh insert warp here. One of the two, depending on how the reference frame worked out.

Thanks Mary. The reference frame I used was the first picture in my post - that seemed to be the most of the head possible in this clip. Also, the “drag" lines shown in the other picutres seem to equate to the boundaries of that reference image (?). I’m not familiar with the PowerMesh insert warp. I will look for that.

Additionally, have you ever seen the error shown in the last picture (below)? I can’t redo the PowerMesh tracking with this condition existing.



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Also, here is the finished clip showing the errors I am getting.

Screen Recording 2021-09-30 at 9.25.10 PM.mov (4.84 MB)

Sorry for the delay, I was out of the office. Can I see your settings in Mocha? Or have you tried using the insert module with PowerMesh instead in the latest version of Mocha Pro?

Thanks Mary. No problem. I would be happy to share my settings with you, but I will need to understand what settings you need to see. I have the latest version of Mocha Pro and am using PowerMesh, but I’m not familiar with the “insert module” you referenced. Also, in the meantime, I discovered a work around that I can share.


Settings as in a screenshot of the whole stabilize module so I can see what is happening with your options.

But I am happy for you to share your workaround.

I’m not completely sure what you are looking for, but enclosed are a couple of screen shots for you to look at.

Regarding my workaround: Since there was no part of the clip that showed the entire face, I chose the a frame closest to what may cover all the frames as my starting frame for stabilization. In doing so, any frame where a portion of the face appears that was not in the reference frame, the image would be smeared. So, what I did to resolve this was to take the initial stabilized rendering in After Effects and duplicate it the number of times to match the smeared instances in the clip. Then, with each occurrence of smearing, I would go to the worst smeared frame in the run and re-stabilize that duplicate clip in Mocha Pro to that particular reference frame. I would do this for each of the smeared points in the clip and adjust each Mocha Pro rendering for the span needed to cover each smeared area (usually there were two or three instances). Then, I precomposed each re-stabilized clip (trimmed to the corresponding span in the timeline) so that I could then mask (as an Add) the area of the smear replacement. Likewise, in the original stabilized clip, I precomposed it as well and masked the smeared frames to subtract them from the original. This allowed me to match the frames with the correct timing, position, and effects rendering, and repair the smeared areas of the image.

I hope that makes sense.



I think your frame list being at 0 where the head is cutting off is going to be your problem. Delete your reference frame in the frame list at 0 and make it the location you can see the whole head at.

Alternatively, use PowerMesh and the insert module to wrap the texture around, no stabilization needed. Boris FX | Mocha Pro 2022: Improved Insert Module with PowerMesh Tracking

Thanks for the suggestion about using a different frame. However, that is what I did initially but then the neck was cut off. It was a catch 22 situation. There were no frames available where the entire head and neck were visible all at once. That’s why I developed the piecemeal approach that seems to be working for the time being, though somewhat labor-intensive.

As for PowerMesh, I’ve been stabilizing the mesh to a reference frame in order to create a frame to which I can apply the noise and veins effect back in After Effects so that the effect will warp properly during movement. But the insert module looks really cool. I’ll have to alter my workflow and change my approach to the effect, but it looks like it is worth a try.


Yeah, you’d definitely have to overlap them in pieces with the stabilize technique, that’s a limitation of any stabilized workflow.

Let me know how using insert works for you, it should solve much of the problem.

Hi Mary. Just to let you know, I solved my issues without using Insert. Now I’ve moved on to another project and am trying to utilize the Remove Module within Mocha Pro and am having problems. Are you available for consultation? One issue I have is that I have created the Clean Plate Input and when I try to use it I get the error: “Unable to replace layer pixels: no active layers found behind the layer”.

Email me at MaryP at BorisFX dot com and we can set something up.


Glad we could turn off the GPU and fix the rendering issue. As to using remove on that shot, unfortunately, remove is not going to work. Therefore I recommend roto paint inside of AE using Mocha stabilized data to make it a bit easier. But. Please keep in mind that rotopaint is a skillset that takes time to develop and your mileage may wildly vary.

The workflow that will work best for you is a corner pin stabilized workflow for paint.

  1. First, because you are using a comp probably sent to AE from Premiere, take your footage layer and Precompose it and move all attributes into the new composition. Make sure you trim the layer to the comp as well, it’s an option underneath “move all attributes.”

  2. Now apply Mocha to this layer.

  3. Open Mocha.

  4. Track the logo using translation, scale, rotation, scale, and perspective.

  5. Adjust track if necessary, it is vital to get a completely locked down track for this workflow.

  6. Select your tracked layer and select the stabilize module.

  7. In the stabilize module in Mocha, select the frame where your object to be painted out is most parallel in-camera, least blurry, and largest in frame, and it helps if it is fairly centered in frame. Add this frame to your frame list in the bottom lefthand corner of the stabilize module. Check the options for “all motion” in the stabilization options, and “maximum smoothing.” If you scrub through your scene your area to be painted should be locked down.

  8. Export the tracking data out of the stabilize module as an Adobe AE CC Power Pin. Copy to clipboard. Save and close Mocha.

  9. In AE, go to the first frame and select your precomped layer, duplicate this layer.

  10. On the duplicated layer, paste the AE CC Power Pin.

  11. Precompose your now corner pinned precomp again and move all attributes into the new composition.

  12. Select your rotopaint tool in AE, double click this new composition, and paint to your heart’s content according to the AE manual for how to use the rotopaint tool. Paint until it looks right. Don’t worry about the roto for any occlusions here right now, just focus on getting the paint looking good.

  13. Once you’re happy with your paint, precompose this and move all attributes into the new composition. So many nests to make this work, but it is necessary so that effects don’t fight with one another.

  14. Paste your Power Pin back onto this new precomp. If you don’t have it copied to the clipboard anymore, select the layer below this where you should have Mocha still on the original Precomp (remember, we duplicated this for ease), open Mocha, and re-export the Power Pin. Paste it on top of the precomposed paint.

  15. Select the option in the AE CC Power Pin called “Unstretch.”

  16. Watch your paint move back to exactly how it should.

  17. Mask out anything you need to mask with a solid layer above your painted layer, you can either use Mocha AE masks or you can use Mocha to render to the Solid, it doesn’t matter. But using the “trkmat” option you can use any layer in AE above the layer you are working on to mask the layer below. It’s really handy when you don’t want tracking to interfere with roto. You may have to “toggle switches/modes” to see the “trkmat” option. I’d use alpha as the dropdown option for trkmat.

OK, that’s a nice and easy 17 step method for stabilized roto paint, and it doesn’t sound like it but it makes the process SO MUCH easier.

Hope that helps, best of luck on the seven shots you need to work on here.

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