Thursday, November 12th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Boris FX ships Mocha Pro 2021

Boris FX has released Mocha Pro 2021, a major update to its planar tracking software that makes it possible to track organic surfaces as well as rigid ones, for tasks like digital make-up and replacing logos on clothing.

The release also overhauls Mocha Pro’s AdjustTrack module, adds the option to export tracking data in Alembic format, and introduces an integrated Python editor in the plugin versions of the software.

Track curved and deforming organic surfaces as well as rigid planar ones
The key change in Mocha Pro is PowerMesh, its new system for tracking organic and curved surfaces.

The functionality makes it possible to track objects in Mocha that would previously have required dedicated 3D tracking software – particularly faces and clothes.

According to Boris FX, it uses a similar workflow to that for tracking rigid objects, with Mocha doing “most” of the extra work for you.

Users identify the key area of the frame using Mocha’s standard spline tools, with the software generating a 2D mesh that deforms with the object being tracked.

The automatically generated mesh can then be adjusted manually over the course of the track.

Potential uses shown in Boris FX’s demo videos range from digital make-up and adding logos to clothing to tracking bike helmets, newspapers, and even the membrane of a trampoline.

In each case, the object being tracked remains more or less face-on to the camera, but it looks like the system can cope with at least a degree of rotation and deformation.

Export PowerMesh tracking data in Alembic format, or directly to After Effects
Mesh generation is a sub-planar tracking process that is applied on top of standard Mocha planar tracking in one pass, which Boris FX describes as “quite fast” compared to optical-flow-based systems.

PowerMesh tracking data can be exported in Alembic format – newly supported in Mocha Pro 2021 – for use in any compatible application, including Nuke, Fusion, Flame and most 3D software.

Alternatively, tracks can be exported directly to After Effects nulls via the Mocha Pro After Effects plugin.

Can also be used for paint work and rotoscoping workflows
PowerMesh also shares image warping code from Silhouette, which Boris FX bought last year.

Users can unwarp the area of the frame being tracked in Mocha Pro’s Stabilize module, do paint or touch-up work on the stabilised version, then warp the result back to match the footage.

More surprisingly, the functionality can also speed up rotoscoping, with the PowerMesh track automatically deforming roto splines to reduce the need for manual adjustments.

The workflow can be seen at 07:00 in the video above: in this case, to rotoscope a seal, but the same workflow can be used for hard surfaces as well as organic objects like animals and people.

Better manual correction for difficult tracks
Other changes in Mocha Pro 2021 include AdjustTrack 2.0, a new version of the software’s module for manually correcting slipping or drifting tracks.

Rather than limiting you to four-point perspective fixes, Mocha Pro now sets the number of points automatically, with users able to add extra custom points as necessary.

According to Boris FX, the results are more robust when the object being tracked goes off screen, or is temporarily occluded by foreground objects.

Integrated Python scripting in the plugins, support for ProRes export in the standalone edition
Under the hood, the plugin versions of Mocha Pro now run out of process, freeing up system resources, which should improve performance and stability.

The plugins also get the integrated Python script editor, previously only available in the standalone.

The standalone edition itself gets support for Apple’s ProRes codec.

Pricing and availability
Mocha Pro 2021 is available as a standalone tool for Windows 7+, RHEL/CentOS 6+ Linux and macOS 10.12+.

Integration plugins are available for After Effects and Premiere Pro CC 2014+, Media Composer 8+, Nuke, Fusion, Silhouette, Vegas Pro and HitFilm Pro, with the software priced according to host platform.

A new licence costs $695 for the Adobe, Avid or OFX plugins, $995 for all the plugins, or $1,495 for the standalone edition plus all of the plugins.

Read an overview of the new features in Mocha Pro 2021 on Boris FX’s blog

Read a full list of new features in Mocha Pro 2021 in the online release notes