Motion Tracking in After Effects [Tutorial Part 2/3]

In this After Effects tutorial-series you’re gonna learn how to track and make everything stick to your scene.
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Motion tracking works with everything. That means you can put in a logo, a title, an image or whatever you like.
The 3D camera tracker works like magic! It allows you to create astonishing results with little effort.


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Full transcript:
Welcome to Visuals Kingdom! I’m your host, Nick Metzger and in this video I’m gonna show you how to create epic scenes using the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects.

Start out by dropping your footage into a new composition and cut it as needed by pressing cmd+d. You can simply delete the leftovers of the clip and trim the comp to the work area.

To make the shot look a bit cooler, you can use Lumetri and use a LUT to enhance your colors.

Now you need to track your shot. This means that your computer has to analyse what movement is going on in the frame. To do so, go into the Effects & Presets tab and search for “3D Camera Tracker”. Drop it on top of your video layer and you will see that it starts to analyse the scene immediately.

If you look on the left in the Effect Controls, you can see that the 3D Camera Tracker has a few settings. You should set the “Shot Type” to “Fixed Angle of View” most of the time. You only need to use “Variable Zoom” when you have a difference in focal length during the shot.

You can leave “Show Track Points” to 3D Solved and check the box next to “Render Track Points”.

Now it’s time for the “Advanced” settings. Most of the time “Auto Detect” works fine for the Solve Method. Now check the box next to “Detailed Analysis” and that’s it for the settings.
Now you just need to wait until your Analysis of the shot is done.

Usually your warning banner should vanish when it’s done but sometimes it can happen that the analysing process fails. This can be caused by a variety of reasons:
Either it fails because the footage has too much motion blur or movement like cars and people in it. Or it fails because the camera movement is too complex.

If you think your shot should actually be fine but it still fails, there is an easy trick to solve the problem:

Just play around with the Solve Method and Shot Type settings and it should work fine!

When the 3D Camera Tracker did a good job, you can see all those little coloured tracking points. These are points detected by the software and they will stick to the scene. If you don’t see them well, you can enlarge them in the Effect Controls under “Track Point Size”.

When you hover over your tracking points you can see a red target. This indicates the perspective of the object that you’re about to place into the scene.
To apply that 3D track to your text, either hover until you can see a fitting target and then right click it or select as many tracking points as you can as long as they lay on the same plane which – in my case – is the floor. You can simply click and drag around them to make a selection. And if you want, you can also select just a few points by clicking on them.

As soon as you are happy with your selection, right click it and go to “Create Text and Camera”. You can see in your timeline that you now got a 3D Tracker Camera and a new text layer.
To reposition the text, click on the arrow next to the coloured rectangle and play around with the X-,Y- and Z-Rotation. You can also use the scaling and positioning tools to put the text where you want to have it. When you’re happy with the perspective you are basically done.

But now, let’s make it look a bit cooler and more realistic!

To do so, select the Text layer and press cmd+d. This duplicates your layer. Then play around with the red, green and blue arrow, which represent your X-,Y- and Z-axis and try to position the text on the ground because we are going to use it as a shadow.
When you’re happy with the position, place the shadow layer under your main text layer and rename it to stay organised.


If you play that back you can see that everything sticks perfectly to your scene.

Duration: 00:04:46