Imagineer's Mocha Version 2
Imagineer's Mocha Version 2
|Creative COW Product Review
San Francisco Bay area, California, USA
©2010 by Brendan Coots and CreativeCow.net. All rights are reserved.
In this article, CreativeCOW leader Brendan Coots takes a look at Imagineer's Mocha Version 2, a standalone 2D tracking and rotoscoping tool. Read on to see what impressions Brendan's experience with this powerful and innovative tool yielded.
Tracking and rotoscoping tools typically fall into one of two camps - simple, lightweight applications meant for the smallest of jobs (such as the tracking tools included with Adobe After Effects), and expensive, robust applications aimed at the feature film market. Having tried tools from both sides of this divide, it's easy to see why the split is so clean with virtually no middle ground. Cheaper tools are almost always a "good enough" solution strictly meant for non-critical applications. Ease of use and simple, toy-like interfaces are mandatory, as they are typically aimed at entry level users who seldom reach for these tools and don't want to learn a complex new workflow. Professional grade applications, on the other hand, tend toward extreme complexity that can take even experienced users several days to tackle. The depth of features that make these tools so useful in critical environments almost always means complicated workflows and, by extension, complex interfaces. Simple and cheap, or complicated and expensive - it's usually a bit of an an either/or proposition, but Imagineer's Mocha is changing that equation.
A few months back I reviewed Imagineer System's Mocha V2 for After Effects, a tracking and roto tool that integrates with After Effects to provide a seamless, cost effective solution. You can read that review to get a feel for the overall functionality and use of Imagineer's approach to tracking and roto tools, but generally speaking Imagineer has done a fantastic job of bridging the divide between ease of use and depth of features. It's not easy to reduce interface complexity without impacting functionality, while simultaneously reinventing the actual process of tracking and roto itself. These advances are very apparent in Mocha's standalone application, which is pretty impressive considering the broad functionality and feature set. In the end, the result is a tool that antiquates other systems as "the old way." It is precisely this type of forward-thinking innovation that changes entire industries for the better. I for one won't ever look back.
Anyone who has ventured into the world of rotoscoping knows what a nightmare it can be. Thousands of keyframes (and even more cups of coffee) later, you might have a usable matte. Imagineer's approach simplifies the process and significantly reduces the amount of time required to get a clean matte. Mocha's roto tools are definitely accurate and reliable enough for feature film work, yet easy enough to use that less experienced users won't feel discouraged.
Tracking footage with Mocha is dead simple - believe it or not, it's actually difficult to generate a poor track. In testing the software I experimented with a wide array of footage types and shooting conditions, and Mocha easily tracked almost everything I threw at it on the first pass, requiring no additional adjustments to get a solid track. I almost felt as though I should meddle with it just to earn my keep. Mocha also does a phenomenal job of tracking elements which move out of the frame, a task that usually requires heavy user intervention to clean up. The images below show Mocha tracking dark, fuzzy, heavily motion blurred elements moving completely off the screen, and it did so on the first pass without skipping a beat. That's powerful stuff.
In short, this is easily the best tracking software I've ever used, and its roto tools are so simple and innovative that it almost makes me look forward to rotoscoping. Almost. This is a solid, production-ready tool that is priced to kill.
Version 2 of the Mocha standalone brings some great new features. The biggest news is that Mocha is now 64-bit, which should provide decent performance gains, especially for users working with larger plates such as 2K footage. Mocha V2 has a more refined interface, new stabilization features, and improved overall stability and performance. Imagineer also tells me that support for both Apple Motion and Nuke are coming, which will make a lot of users very happy.
Product will ship April 12.
|Related Articles / Tutorials:|
Mocha v2 for After Effects
In this article, CreativeCOW leader Brendan Coots takes a look at Mocha v2 for AE and concludes that overall, Mocha v2 for After Effects is fast, friendly and cost effective, making it an excellent choice for freelancers and major studios alike.
|Recent Articles / Tutorials:|
Art of the Edit
Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited
Do you edit like a sculptor, or like a bricklayer? It seems a simple enough question, but as longtime editor, post house owner, and VFX software developer Simon Ubsdell shows, the implications for how this affects the way you edit can be profound. His advice, regardless of where you land on the spectrum? Always be editing.
Hearing The Handmaid's Tale: Jane Tattersall's Sound Career
With Emmy, BAFTA, Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel, Canadian Screen, and Directors Guild of Canada Awards among many more, Jane Tattersall shares insights into a career in sound editing entering its fourth decade with two young women just beginning their own careers in the field. Their conversation begins with Jane's work on the Hulu hit series, The Handmaid's Tale.
Feature, People / Interview
Art of the Edit
Indie Film Sound Editing: A This Guy Edits Tutorial
ACE Award-nominated picture editor Sven Pape ("This Guy Edits") speaks with Sundance Award-winning sound editor Ugo Derouard on The 5 Five Steps of Audio Post Production: Sound Editing, Spotting, Dialog Editing, Sound Design, and Sound Mixing, paying special attention to the specific needs of, and techniques that can work best for, independent filmmakers.
Adobe After Effects
Stabilize 360 Video with Mocha VR
In this intermediate tutorial, Mocha Product Manager Martin Brennand takes you through smoothing the horizon in a Samsung Gear 360 shot using the Reorient Module in Mocha VR. Jittery 360 video footage can be made more watchable by stabilizing with Mocha’s planar tracking tools. The tutorial is done via the Adobe After Effects plug-in, but the techniques apply to all versions of Mocha VR.
DJI Mavic Pro In Depth Review - The Best 4K Drone?
VFX guru Tobias Gleissenberger was so delighted with the DJI Mavic Pro 4K drone that he bought (yes, bought) that he was inspired to take a break from making tutorials to create an in-depth review of this compact, lightweight, consumer drone offering terrific value. No, it's not a platform for your digital cinema camera, but if you're looking for a fast, fun, integrated 4K camera drone packed with features, the Mavic Pro might be for you. This review is delivered Surfaced Studio-style, with wit, high energy, and details you won't find anywhere else.
The Panasonic EVA1: Questions Answered!
Anticipation that Panasonic began building for their "mystery camera" at April's NAB Show 2017 was paid off at June's Cine Gear Expo 2017 in Hollywood, as Panasonic finally unveiled their AU-EVA1 cinema camera. Compact, lightweight, equipped with a newly designed 5.7K Super 35 sensor, and positioned between the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K mirrorless camera and the VariCam LT 4K cinema camera, the AU-EVA1 is tailor-made for handheld shooting, but also well suited for documentaries, commercials, and music videos. Panasonic Cinema Product Manager, Mitch Gross has provided some answers to early questions about the EVA1’s target audience, shooting applications, Dual Native ISO, the 5.7K sensor, and more.
Art of the Edit
TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure
TV workflow supervisor Kylee Peña (Jane the Virgin, Colony) visits Adobe's "Make It" talk show to chat with host Jason Levine about the evolution of motion picture workflows, from the days of film and tape to our modern digital world of crazy-high shooting ratios and constantly evolving technology. She also expounds on the upside to creative constraints and tight deadlines. And don’t miss the lightning round!!!
Feature, People / Interview
Grading The LEGO Batman Movie: Animal Logic and FilmLight
Following successful collaborations on The Matrix, Legends of the Guardians, and Happy Feet, Sydney's Animal Logic worked with Warner Bros on The LEGO Movie from pitch to proof of concept to post. Animal Logic has gone even further on the latest LEGO animated feature, The LEGO Batman Movie, where they were embedded with the production for over a year. The range of their work pushed every aspect of the Baselight system for editorial, VFX, and HDR not just for post, but for the entire production process.
An Editor's Epic Journey, by Katie Toomey
What do you do when your company folds and there's no local work? Whatever you have to. For Katie Toomey, that meant emptying her savings and heading 2000 miles west to Los Angeles, with no job in hand. The only options were make it or break it. The journey itself was difficult, but the hardest part may have been the only thing that made it all possible: asking for help. This is a truly inspiring story with tons of real-world examples of how to accomplish what feels impossible at the time.