Tips for removing a piece of a shadow in Mocha Pro 8.0.3. in After Effects

Hi Boris Community!

My name is Joshua, I'm new to Mocha Pro and wanted some advice and tips for a project; as I learn myself. 

I’ve shoot POV with a GoPro, I did not account for seeing the camera in shadows. At the link, is a quick screen record of me recording; you’ll see the GoPro’s shadow PROtruding :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: from my shadow’s forehead. I tracked its shadow, I did it frame by frame. Was there a better way to track it? Is there additional tracking needed to accurately remove and replace the GoPro’s shadow, with the sunlit part of the ground?

My first instinct is to set the GoPro’s shadow as the foreground layer, and the pavement as the background. Beyond that I draw blanks lol. Looking forward to your feedback!

Hi there, I can’t see the clip. Can you make it sharable?

Hi Queen Mary!

Yea! I just made the link shareable.


Honestly, I’d probably just patch the ground over that section using a roto shape attached to the ground plane, and then I would rotoscope the head back over that with a darken layer, that way you’ll get a more natural looking shadow back on top and you can use a darken blending mode to add the shadow back in.

Does that make sense?

Just so I’m clear, I should attach a roto shape to the ground plane. That shape that you see tracked to my shadow, wouldn’t that be the roto shape? If so, I attach that to a ground plane; which I’m sure I don’t have. The only layer is that shape I tracked to my shadow.

The second part of your explanation did confuse me. I want to remove that piece of shadow rather than add any shadow in.

If you create a patch shape based on a track, you can simply offset the background (the gravel in this case) with a feathered edge and you have a very believable offset patch.

Then you just track the head shape on the shadow and use that to composite the shadow back over, ignoring the camera since it’s already been taken care of with the patch.

Does that make more sense?

It’s clicking for me a little more, can I just offset the background with the shape that I already have as Layer 1? That is already tracked.

I wouldn’t, I would make a new, clean, stationary shape with a new and positively rock solid ground track. Your shape moves too much to be a successful patch, and I bet the track is really wobbly. Avoid the shadow altogether for this tracked shape.


So first, i use a layer to track the ground. Then on another layer I create a roto shape over the GoPro’s shadow and link it to the ground plane.

After that, I use another layer to track the shape of my head (another roto shape?) and add a darken blending mode; to make my shadow more realistic.

No. At no point do you roto the go pro. You’re just making a patch over it.

Hey Queen Mary!

Yesterday I assumed the patch shape and roto shape were the same thing. After re-reading the thread today, this isn’t the case; correct?

Your recommendation is to use a patch shape (not a roto shape) covering/on/over the GoPro’s shadow. Then, the patch shape should be linked to the track of a ground plane. Am I correct?

I’ve attached a link showing my tracked ground plane (does it look solid enough?) for your reference.

By “that section” do you mean the section where the GoPro’s shadow is? I got confused only because you say “using a roto shape”, but…


By “this tracked shape” you mean the ground plane and it’s track, not the patch shape; correct?

Please forgive me for my long windedness, this is me experiencing the growing pains of a new skill. :sweat_smile:

Bear with me as I try to regurgitate what I’m ingesting, so I can know for a fact I’m understanding.


Hi Joshua,

What you have looks like it jumps to me.

I think you’re overthinking it. All that is necessary is a solid BG track. You can use that shape as the track and patch, or you can simply make a new shape over the GoPro and link it to that track.

What is important is that the shape doesn’t bounce all over the place, is accurate, and covers the go pro.

Set that shape to “subtract” in the compositing software of your choice, like AE.

Create a second copy of your original clip/plate/footage etc. Move that underneath the layer with the subtracted shape on it. You will see the image look as if the shape was never subtracted. On this bottom layer, use the transforms to offset the plate to some similar gravel. Now you have a gravel “offset patch.”

Now you can roto the head shadow back over the top in a new layer.

That’s it. I hope that’s more clear.

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Yes yes! Thank you kindly! :relieved::relieved::pray:t5::pray:t5:. Back into the lab I go. :test_tube: :lab_coat: