Thursday, February 9th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Imagineer Systems releases Mocha VR

Originally posted on 12 December 2016. Scroll down for news of the commercial release.

Imagineer Systems has released Mocha VR, a new edition of its mocha planar tracking software designed for virtual reality work and 360-degree film-making, in beta.

A complete toolset for tracking ‘problematic 360 footage’
Mocha VR, which is described by Imagineer Systems as enabling VR filmmakers to “process, track and fix problematic 360 footage”, got its first public outing as a technology preview at NAB 2016 this April.

By IBC 2016, that had moved on to a working After Effects plugin designed to “complement Adobe video workflows for 360 tasks such as removing camera rigs, nadir patching [and] stabilising drone camera jitter”.

Now complete, barring minor UI changes and bugfixes
The latest demo video (top of story) also shows Mocha VR running within After Effects. Product manager Martin Brennan describes the Beta 2 build on show as “pretty much the feature-complete version”.

The plugin enables artists to use the standard features of mocha Pro, the non-VR version of the software, on 360-degree footage: either in an equirectangular view, or a full 360-degree view.

In the 360-degree view, users can switch between preset camera orientations – for example, looking directly down at the nadir of the shot – or set custom latitude, longitude and field of view values.

Track 360-degree footage in the same way as tracking standard footage in mocha Pro
Brennan describes Mocha VR as working “in exactly same way as mocha Pro, using splines to track and roto”, with the plugin then “using a rendering operation to do things with that tracking data”.

Users can work normally on undistorted footage, with Mocha VR automatically translating the resulting mattes and roto shapes back to the equirectangular version.

It’s also possible to reduce calculation times by using Mocha VR to handle lens distortion but working natively in the host software, as Brennan demonstrates at around 12:15 in the video.

New Reorient module fixes horizon distortions
In addition, the Beta 2 build introduces a new Reorient module, designed to combat the “horrific” way that horizons can distort in equirectangular footage when filming with a free camera.

By tracking a feature close to the horizon, then fitting a guide spline to the horizon manually, users can reduce jitter in the shot, or fix the camera’s position with respect to the horizon completely.

Updated 8 February 2017: Mocha VR is now shipping for After Effects, Premiere Pro, Media Composer, Nuke and Fusion running on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

The software costs $995 for a single host platform (Adobe, Avid or OFX tools like Nuke and Fusion), or $1,495 for a multi-host licence. Rental deals and upgrades from mocha Pro 5 are also available.

Read a full list of features in Mocha VR on Imagineer Systems’ website