Post Magazine

February 2011

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review By STEVEN M. BLASINI VFX Supervisor/Co-owner BFX Imageworks Los Angeles Roto, track- ing, insertion and removal made easy. he folks at Imagineer have done it again. As if they didn’t impress with Motor, which pioneered planar track- ing and applied it to the seldom-liked task of rotoscoping, and their follow up Mocha, which took that technology and added the ability to export their tracks to compositing apps of all flavors... now they give us Mocha Pro, a rotoscoping/tracking/insertion and re- moval tool. You might be asking,“Why do I need an- other application when my compositing app can track and roto?” The answer is quite simple: two weeks vs. two hours. Do I have your attention? The core of Imagineer’s latest productiv- ity enhancing extravaganza is still their in- credibly fast planar tracker, which instead of tracking a single point or pixel or collection thereof, tracks entire planar surfaces in your scene.Think of it as a pattern or sur- face tracker. Mocha Pro can track an entire region of the frame and compute not only its transla- tion, rotation and scale in standard 2D, it also tracks perspective and shear changes in 3D space. So logo replacement, or even full on face or body part replacement, can now all be handled within this one application. Mocha Pro, which is a complete 64-bit app, adds the ability to automatically remove objects from your shot, insert objects into your shot, stabilize your shot (beyond the Imagineer’s Mocha Pro T · tracks entire surfaces · entirely 64-bit and are still charging the same affordable price for the program. As an active visual effects house, we use Mocha Pro literally on every project. PRODUCT: Imagineer’s Mocha Pro PRICE: Node-locked license: $1,495 US; cross-platform floating license: $1,695 US WEBSITE: · incredibly fast tures built into Mocha Pro eliminate the has- sle. How many computer monitor screens, cell phone screens and assorted graphic in- serts do you have to do in a day? Imagine not having to worry about the painstaking NEW FEATURES In addition to its existing planar tracker and rotoscoping tools, Mocha Pro adds: Remove: An alternative to manual paint and clone techniques. Remove analyzes tracked layers to automatically remove ob- scured objects. It’s very useful for removing rigs, wires, lens flares and unwanted objects from footage. Remove can analyze lighting and compensate for luminance shifts. Re- move is also useful for “in-filling” in the 2D- to-3D conversion process. Insert:To composite and render screen inserts and match moves with motion blur, Mocha Pro can render out completed com- frame-by-frame adjustments for, say, when the talent decides to bang their elbow on the desk where the monitor is sitting? You know how that is.The minute sub-pixel tilt of the monitor on the desk.... something barely visible, yet when it comes time to lock down that graphic, it appears as if it’s on a trampoline. Mocha Pro handles this with ease and your insert will lock onto that monitor like it was there all along. Does the camera pan the monitor or cell phone off the frame? Mocha Pro will continue to track its position until its very last pixel is visible. Need to replace a license plate on a car that’s traveling in the frame, while the camera pans and tilts as well? Mocha Pro has you covered.The types of graphic/CGI/animation insertions you can accomplish with ease in Mocha Pro are unlimited. Brand label replace- ments on commercial products? You got it. Same for item removals from plates. Those are the bane of our existence, but Mocha Pro excels here as well. Need to re- move a wire? A barrel? An entire person? Mocha Pro handles obtaining the “clean plate” portion of the clip, as you track it, and allows you to remove objects with ease. All handled by its planar tracking technology. Before and After: Mocha Pro can easily remove a person from a shot by obtaining a clean plate portion of the clip as you track it. typical anchor point track of most composit- ing apps) and handle lens distortions as well. Some of you readers out there may recall, several years back Imagineer was responsi- ble for VFX applications Monet and Mokey, which handled this sort of task but cost many thousands of dollars.Well, the good news here is they’ve poured all that technol- ogy and innovation into the new Mocha Pro posites internally or inserts can be rendered out with alphas to import composites into other apps. It includes a mesh warper to dis- tort and “bend” insert layers; and 3D offset, which adds more control to offset tracking data such as rotation, depth, perspective. Insert and remove composites are quite possibly the most common task a composi- tor will perform in a given day, and these fea- FINAL THOUGHTS With all this power, efficiency and speed, it’s no wonder Mocha Pro is being used by many stereoscopic conversion studios where they can use it to roto and separate all the layers of a 2D shot in a fraction of the time it takes to do it manually.This package is all you’ll ever need to tackle any nightmare roto or tracking job with ease... and make that deadline on budget. February 2011 • Post 47 VITAL STATS

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