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7.1 Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text

Motion tracking is a powerful tool to integrate text and graphics into your projects and use advanced effects! In this lesson, you'll learn how to use motion tracking in After Effects to add text to a shot.

Related Links

1 lesson, 00:49


2.Getting Started
5 lessons, 42:55

What Is After Effects?

Main Panels


After Effects Tools

More AE Tools

3.Compositions and Layers
3 lessons, 26:35

After Effects Composition


After Effects Layer Properties

3 lessons, 25:21

After Effects Keyframe Basics

After Effects Keyframe Easing

Spatial Interpolation

5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text
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Learn How to Mask in After Effects

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 2

Text in After Effects

Text Animation and More

2 lessons, 13:42

What Is 2.5D?

More 2.5D

7.Motion Tracking
4 lessons, 34:04

Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text

More Motion Tracking

Camera Tracking in After Effects

3D Text in After Effects

8.Mattes and Cool Effects
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Mind-Blowing Third-Party Effects

9.Build a Lower Third
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How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects

Final Touches on the Lower Third

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Exporting From After Effects

1 lesson, 01:16


12.Bonus Lessons
4 lessons, 2:14:00

How to Make an After Effects Text Animation

How to Use After Effects Intro Templates

How to Create Handwriting Animation in After Effects

How to Create Brush Effects in After Effects

13.Frequently Asked Questions
8 lessons, 1:34:42

FAQ Introduction

How to Export Video From After Effects

How to Export Video From After Effects Using PreRendering

How to Mask in After Effects

How to Animate Text in After Effects

How to Make a GIF in After Effects

How to Duplicate Layer in After Effects

FAQ Conclusion

7.1 Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text

In this lesson, you're gonna learn how to do some basic motion tracking to add text to a shot. All right, to follow along in this lesson, make sure to open up a motion tracking.aep file, and also you're going to need some footage to work with. In this case, if you wanna follow along with this clip, you're gonna be looking for this clip right here on Envato Elements. So I just opened up this footage in the footage viewer here. I don't think that's something that I've shown you at this point. And the footage viewer can be a useful tool to be able to set the in and out points over your footage before you use them or before you add them to a composition. And in fact, that's what I'm going to do right now. I'm gonna show you how to motion track something in this shot, but this shot is 26 seconds long, we don't really need to motion track the entire thing. So instead I'm going to go from about 5 seconds, and I'm going to set the in point, and then I'm gonna go to perhaps 12 seconds, and I'm gonna set the out point. Then I'm gonna take my footage here and I'm gonna drag it down onto the new composition button. And when I do, a new composition will be created and it'll have the same name as the footage. Now, I don't like that. So in the Project panel here, I'm gonna select that comp, press Enter on the keyboard, And rename it Motion Track. You can see the name updates down here. And also, the length of this composition is not 26 seconds. Now, it looks like it's 12 seconds long, but that's actually not true because it starts at the 5 second mark. And if this, for whatever reason, doesn't work for you and you wanna change it, it's no problem. You can jump into the Composition Settings by hitting Ctrl+K on your keyboard or coming up to Composition and you choosing Composition Settings. And then you can change the start time code here to 0, in fact that's what I'm going to do now. And now you can see my comp is actually only 7 seconds and two frames long. All right, let's talk about how to motion track this footage, and in particular I want to attach some text to this camper here. To do that, I'm going to select my footage, and then I'm going to come over here to the Tracker panel. And if this is not available, go up here to Window > Tracker, and then i'm going to hit the Track Motion button. When i do, that's going to open up the Layer panel here, it's another type of viewer, and this lets us work on an individual layer independently of the composition, and that's how the tracker works. And if, for whatever reason, when you're in this layer viewer, if it looks terrible, that's probably because it inherits the resolution or the downsample factor from your composition. So if you have this at like 25% and this was set to auto, it's going to be doing a 25% downsample. So if you jumped over to your layer viewer here, you can see that that looks pretty nasty. And if we were trying to track the motion on this video, yikes, that might not work out so well. So instead I'm going to make sure this is at 100%. And when I do, over here in the Layer panel, things are going to be at 100% resolution as well. Even though I'm bumped into 200% here, it's going to be using that 100% resolution or the full resolution of my comp panel. So when I hit that Track Motion button, I got a track point. There's a bunch of different options here. We can track position and rotation, or position or rotation or scale, or all three. And there's a few different types of track. You can do a stabilize, transform, parallel corner pin, and more. But for now, we're just gonna do something very simple, we're gonna use one tracker and we are going to track the position. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna move this track point by clicking on this inner box here. And I'm gonna move it to somewhere that has a really nice feature to track. Now, a good feature is something that's very distinctive in the layer that does not change over time. Basically, think of After Effects looking at the footage, and it needs to be able to see whatever this little detail is throughout the entirety of the portion of the clip that you want to track. If, for whatever reason, this got obscured by something, After Effects would not be able to track that very well. There's other ways to handle that, but for now, we're gonna pick something that is going to be visible at the beginning of the shot and at the end of this shot. And if we zoom and take a look down here, yeah, we can still see that. It changes perspective, but I think that's going to be okay. I'm gonna come back to the beginning of the composition, and I'm gonna adjust some things here. This inner box here is called the feature region. Whatever is in this box is what After Effects going to be looking for. And we want this to be a distinctive feature. For example, if we tried to track this right here, we said, I need something to stick right here. That would not be a very good idea because there's nothing distinctive in here. Even though After Effects may be able to stick this to this side of the trailer or the camper, it's gonna bounce all over the place because it's not gonna know frame to frame what to stick to. However, if we pick something that's high contrast and distinctive, like this window here, or this window, or even the top of the camper, it's going to work really well. This middle point here is the attach point, so this is where the track is actually going to be mapped to. And you can change that, but for right now, I'm just going to leave that as is. This outer box here is the search region. So After Effects is going to be looking for this element or this feature inside this box here. So when it goes to the next frame, this is going to move. And depending on how fast your feature moves within your footage, you may need to adjust this search box here. If it gets bigger, After Effects will be looking for it more. So if you've got something that's moving really fast, you need to make this bigger. If you have something that's moving pretty slow, you can make this smaller. Now you would think, why wouldn't I just wanna leave it big and let After Effects figure it out? Well, the bigger you make this, the more problems you're gonna run into. One, it's gonna take way longer because After Effects is going to be searching in a huge area. Secondly, it can jump to another thing that can look very similar. It could jump to this window here because that kind of looks like this or that right there, to After Effects, that could look pretty similar. So I'm gonna keep this nice and small, kind of a medium amount. I'm gonna come over to the Tracking panel, and I'm going to hit Analyze Forward. Before I do, I'm gonna zoom out a little bit here because I wanna monitor what's going on with this track. So as this analyzes the footage, I just wanna make sure that that looks more or less locked to my object that I am trying to track. As it goes off the screen, I'm going to stop the track by hitting the space bar. And I'll reposition my comp here so that I can keep an eye on that tracker as it finishes out this motion track. Uh-oh, I see we've ran into a small problem there. Right at the very end here things got a little squirrely. We're looking pretty good, it's more or less in the right location. But right here, [SOUND] because things kind of moved a bit quicker, After Effects lost it. So no problem, what I can do is just back this up a little bit, maybe to here. And I'll increase, The region window, and I'll also increase the search area, and I'll just analyze forward from here. And it will rewrite all of those frames there, no need to delete those. You can see that now each one of these is more or less locked right on there. Right at the very end it kind of loses it, right, no, it's actually fine. If you have been following along with me so far in this lesson, I wanna say good job, because motion tracking is not the most exciting thing in the world. However, it's going to get a little more exciting coming up in the next lesson, when I show you how to apply this motion tracking data to an object, attach some text to it so it follows our camper down the road. It's gonna look pretty cool, so check it out, coming up next.

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