Using Mattes as a way to apply tracking data

To the community!

I’m currently tracking an Apple Watch, but the data is so bad that the surface continually drifts (even to extremes sometimes) I have tried numerous ways to track the shot but either the data is too bad, the actor is moving too fast, or I just have no idea what I’m doing/talking about. (#3 would make me the happiest!)

The Matte track is as close to perfect as I could ever ask for. I’m wondering if there is anyway to interpret the data from the matte and utilize it to put a new face (image file) on the Apple Watch. Any tips on tracking would be helpful as well, although I truly feel that I have exhausted my options on that front.

Hi there,

The roto is only correct because you have adjusted the shape over time, but since you need the track itself adjusted, you should use Adjust Track instead of changing the roto spline. You can find our latest tutorial on Adjust Track here:

That should help immensely. I think there are also scripts to translate points to corner pins, but that’s not going to be as useful as using adjust track to correct the track instead.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to help you.


My biggest question is regarding the fact that I completely understand what advice you are giving. Unfortunately, the movement is quick/non-smooth enough that the planar surface won’t keep itself attached to the edge of the Apple Watch (making it extremely difficult to put a new face on it.)

Even when I go in and adjust it, without key-framing the entire 3-second clip, I don’t know of any way to keep the surface full screen across the Apple Watch.

Thank you for all of your help though! The tutorial really was informative!

New issue… Now that I have decided to use Adjust track, I am moving the reference points, and key-framing each one, to match my surface to my matte. The problem occurs when (after a few keyframes) the adjustments I’m making, effect the surface area of previously key-framed reference points. How do I key-frame the reference points without effecting points that I’ve already key-framed? I feel like I’m doing the work for nothing.

I have seen that happen with manual track, but not adjust track.

You need to keep the surface tool on the entire time, so you can see how the track is being affected. Maybe I am not understanding correctly. Also, make keyframes on all four corners when you make keyframes for reference points.

Alternately, you can use manual track for the hard parts of the track, and then adjust track after that is done.

You can also send me the file and the source footage and I can take a look, which might be easier. MaryP at borisfx dot com.