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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Performing a Motion Track

Some tips on what to look for when setting up a track in After Effects.

As we mentioned earlier, we've been busy this year creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Each course has two or more movies that are free for all to view; we're re-posting those videos here on PVC to make sure you don't miss them. This movie shares our mental process when we approach a piece of footage to track.

The twelfth Apprentice course (available both by subscription to lynda.com and stand alone from Focal Press/Class on Demand) – covers two core visual effects tasks you need to learn if you want to take your After Effects skills to the next level: Tracking and Keying. In this course, Chris shows you how to use the motion tracker and stabilizer built into After Effects, with loads of advice on how to handle a variety of shots. He also gives a quick tour of the third-party software mocha that is bundled with After Effects (the subject of our next AEA Free Video). On the keying front, Chris demonstrates the basic workflow for The Foundry's Keylight, which is also bundled with After Effects. By the end of this course, you will be combining these two skills to track greenscreen shot with a handheld camera, and replace its background.

In the movie above, Chris walks through the process he and Trish follow when approaching a shot to track – including identifying good Feature Region candidates to track, plus properly setting up the Motion Tracker Options (an oft-overlooked secret to getting good tracks). If you're relatively new to tracking in After Effects, and have been frustrated by the results you've been getting, watch this movie for a quick course in some things to look out for.

FTC Disclosure: We make a bit of money whenever you purchase one of our courses from Class on Demand, or have a lynda.com subscription and watch one of our courses. We do not make any money from either when you watch these free videos. We've worked with Adobe over the years, and they give us free access to their software in exchange for testing and consulting, but they did not subsidize the creation of these videos or the book they are derived from. We're just trying to pay the bills by sharing what we've learned from using After Effects in the real world since version 1.0.

The content contained in After Effects Apprentice – as well as the CMG Blogs and CMG Keyframes posts on ProVideoCoalition – are copyright Crish Design, except where otherwise attributed.

 

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Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS,…

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