Boris FX Mocha Pro 2021 continues to develop digital planar motion tracking for VFX artists, editors and colourists. The software supports new workflows using PowerMesh tracking, warped spline and warped stabilisation, built to produce accurate results on time-consuming visual effects work that requires tracking organic moving objects such as musculature, skin and fabrics.
Mocha Pro is supplied either as a plugin for Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer and OFX host applications including Foundry Nuke, Autodesk Flame, Blackmagic Fusion, VEGAS Pro and HitFilm, or as a standalone application.
"Tracking organic and moving warped surfaces with realistic results is probably the most challenging job a VFX artist can work on,” said Ross Shain, Chief Product Officer, Boris FX. “PowerMesh simplifies complex digital makeup and touch-up work, and can also speed up rotoscoping. Other interesting changes are Alembic exports, the updated AdjustTrack Module, and the new ability in the standalone version to export Apple ProRes.”
Organic PowerMesh for non-rigid surfaces
Sub-Planar Tracking Engine
Mocha’s PowerMesh tracking uses a new sub-planar tracking engine. Artists can accurately track complex warped surfaces for match moves, rotoscoping, digital retouching and stabilisation. PowerMesh tracking can be rendered for a warped stabilise/destabilised compositing workflow that helps track graphics, scars, tattoos, blood and digital makeup into shots in most VFX or editing hosts.
PowerMesh is a sub-planar tracking process applied on top of Mocha’s regular tracking. Because it only requires a single pass, it works faster than optical flow based applications. It tracks rigid and non-rigid surfaces that the default tracker hasn’t been able to handle until now. The mesh is created as normal using spline tools to define the region to track, and then the planar tracking parameters – translation, rotation, scale, shear and/or perspective – are chosen depending on the object motion.
You can choose a uniform spaced mesh for areas with limited texture, or an automatic mesh that determines mesh placement according to pixels in the image to accommodate more texture with varied mesh segments. As in the standard Mocha workflow you can use subtraction layers through the interface to help the mesh tracker work through the occlusions and blur, and keyframe the tracking as well. Adjusting smoothness affects the level of generalisation that occurs during a track. The mesh can be analysed for accuracy, and all vertices and segments edited.
Roto and Stabilisation
PowerMesh can also be used in a new mesh-driven rotoscoping workflow, and in several different stabilisation workflows. For example, by rendering a stabilised region driven by PowerMesh for effects work, the region can be used for paint, beauty and graphics work in After Effects, Nuke, Autodesk Flame, Blackmagic Fusion and other 3D host software, before propagating the motion back into the shot. Or, instead of rendering, dense PowerMesh tracking data can be exported to hosts, to After Effects nodes and to a new Alembic 3D exporter.
Beta tester Katie Morris, Senior VFX Artist, said, “Now I can quickly track a custom mesh, mask out obstructions, and export the tracked and warped mesh to a variety of hosts to assist with painting on organic moving surfaces. This ability opens the potential to help make organic roto procedural-based.” Other beta testers found that, due to PowerMesh, Mocha Pro 2021 now delivers better results than some of the optical flow-based tools.
The AdjustTrack module, which helps correct drifting tracking data, now has an easier UI and workflow. When elements go off screen, are obscured by foreground elements or have motion blur, the track may be subject to drift. Instead of the previous limit to 4-point perspective fixes, AdjustTrack now includes all planar track parameters for more accurate edits and data interpolations. The module adds a secondary layer of interpolated keyframes that make non-destructive corrections over time.
The interface and controls can now be used to make dynamic adjustments to continuously refine your results as well. New features are auto-step correction, magnetic point snapping and dynamic multi-point nudge adjustments.
Python Script Editor
An updated Python Script Editor is now available in all versions of the Mocha Pro plugin – for Adobe, Avid and OFX – as well as the standalone version. Developers can use the Editor to build and run new tools, automate processes and integrate with external asset management tools, and can now run and share the same scripts across all versions as well. An API allows access to most Mocha Pro parameters. You can build interfaces for interactivity, create scripts to help with repetitive tasks, and prepare for depth matting, fitting surface corners to spines. Mocha Pro comes with Python 3.73.
Mocha Pro 2021’s engineering is updated with performance increases, and greater stability in a variety of environments. The Mocha Pro plugin now runs an out-of-process, that is, outside your application, freeing up system resources for a better user experience. Mocha Pro’s standalone application can now read and export a bigger range of file formats including Apple ProRes. borisfx.com