United Front Design Fast Tracks with BCC, mocha, and Avid Media Composer
06 November 2014

Imagineer Systems left an indelible mark on Hollywood when it introduced mocha – the premier planar tracking software for visual effects that can handle virtually any shot. The Academy Award® winning results can be seen in The Hobbit , Black Swan, and Harry Potter . Boris Continuum Complete is the first plug-in suite to offer a feature that allows users to import mocha tracking data directly into its filters.

United Front Design (UFD), a Los Angeles-based entertainment advertising and content agency, was recently asked by one of its top clients to design and produce an edit friendly graphics toolkit that would be used to promote the next phase of its app. The project involved the highly detailed task of compositing footage onto the screens of over 100 moving devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptop computer using Avid Media Composer as the base system. Unfortunately, Avid’s built-in tracker could not recognize the fuzzy tracking points in the footage. The UFD team, who had used BCC and mocha on previous projects, imported the mocha tracking data via BCC 9 AVX to corner pin the device placements. However, the team quickly discovered they needed more flexibility to change the timing of the edits. Trimmed clips with tracking data were misaligned with the frames in the Media Composer timeline.

BCC and mocha tracking on an iPad

The initial labor intensive workflow involved cutting the clip, exporting it out of Media Composer, importing it into mocha, tracking and compositing it, and then bringing it back into Media Composer to fine tune the edit – without the ability to change the composite or tracking. The steps would need to be repeated again and again until the desired look was created which did not make for an efficient solution. Sergio Cardenas, a partner at United Front Design, contacted Boris FX to help find a solution to improve their workflow.

“We were building a toolbox of over 100 pre-built shots that the client could grab-and-go over an 18 month period. Using BCC Corner Pin would allow us to include tracking data for every shot in the package, therefore saving the client time and money by not having to go to a graphics station for tracking and compositing,” notes Cardenas. “The team from Boris was incredibly responsive to our needs and have improved the workflow so we can now make creative changes on a motion tracked screen insert up to the last minute.”

Import mocha data into BCC

The engineers at Boris FX worked with UFD to develop a parameter called the “Tracker Time Offset.” The parameter allows editors to cut clips after applying the mocha tracking data, while keeping the tracking data changeable within Avid. Editors can select a trimmed frame count or a full range using the power of BCC Corner Pin.

“The toolbox is now synced together across three different post facilities, giving everyone the same footage and tracking data,” adds Cardenas. “The combination of BCC and mocha helps our editors do more advanced graphics and visual effects without having to leave the Avid Media Composer environment. This is ideal for TV promo work where speed, timing, and creativity are essential.”

Thanks to the success of the smoother workflow, the parameter is now available to all BCC 9 customers with the introduction of BCC 9.0.2.

BCC includes a Motion Tracking system that, in addition to a built-in point tracker, allows users to import tracking data from many sources such as Adobe After Effects, Imagineer mocha, or tracking data generated by other BCC filters. Watch the related Boris TV episode on importing mocha tracking data.

Download a free trial of BCC AVX here.

Learn more about the advantages of using mocha’s robust planar tracking.