This week on MacBreak Studio, I take a look at 3D tracking using a private beta version of mTracker 3D from MotionVFX.com, a new plugin that lets you track 2D images, 3D text, and 3D objects to video footage in both Motion and Final Cut Pro X. Here I’m focussed on Final Cut Pro X since it has a broader user base, and although you can’t manipulate the tracker as much as you can in Motion, you can still do some pretty impressive things with it in Final Cut. I’ve been tracking 3D text to video clips in particular, since the 3D text feature of Final Cut is almost exactly the same as it is in Motion, which is to say very fully featured with a huge number of material options, multiple material capability, a variety of lighting options, and environment lighting options as well.
The tracker is stunningly simple compared to the steps you may be used to when creating a 3D track in other applications like Fusion or Syntheyes. It’s not as flexible, but it’s just a single click to track your footage. No solver, no point cloud, no entering camera data. Once tracked, you click in the scene to select a point for the object you want to place in the scene. Then, you copy the track data and paste it to your object, which in Final Cut needs to be one of the elements from the plugin. Thankfully, they include a good variety of 2D drop zones, 2D and 3D text, and all the brand new 3D USDZ models from Motion’s library.
I used 3D text as my example because you can include a shadow and a reflection if you want, which you can’t do with 3D objects. It does take a bit of tweaking to get the track just right since your initial placement may not be at the correct z-depth location so the object (text in this case) may appear to slide. But overall you can create a convincing track in just a few minutes.
mTracker 3D is in private beta with an expected Q4 release date, but they are taking preorders now. Many more examples on their site, but know they did a lot of extra work to make those composites convincing!