Software Review: mocha Plus and mocha Pro
24 September 2014

David Arbor Video Editor/Videographer – Adobe Certified Expert mocha Plus and mocha Pro 4 Motion tracking is an art, something that takes time to perfect and learn to do really well. I am not an artist in this sense, but mocha from Imagineer Systems is one of those tools that sure makes me feel a lot better than I really am. As many people know, mocha is an Academy Award-winning planar tracker which stands out from the rest of the motion tracking crowd by doing some amazing things. mocha tracks planes as opposed to individual points, so it can be far more accurate and do things like continue to track even when part of your subject starts to go off screen.
In the hands of the right person, a real artist, mocha can allow you to do remarkable things. In my hands, and after a lotof training, mocha allowed me to do things that I wasn't sure were possible before.
I've been familiar with mocha AE for a long time as it has been included with After Effects since CS4, but I only ever used it for relatively simple tracks.Imagineer Systems recently released mocha Pro V4, and an update to the previously named mocha AE, which is now called mocha Plus. Here's what's changed, and here's what's new: mocha AE CC continues to be bundled with After Effects, and the previously upgradeable version of mocha AE (v3) is now called mocha Plus. mocha Plus is really neat, and for the price, I think it's great choice for many editors and motion graphics artists who aren't doing super high-end work. In my opinion, the killer feature of mocha Plus is support for the new Adobe Premiere Pro masks! Premiere Pro CC's new masking features are now able to be used with mocha shape data, and that's just awesome. All you have to do is create a trackable shape layer in mocha, click Export Shape Data, copy the data for Premiere to the clipboard, then in Premiere paste on your desired effect. It's amazingly easy, and it saves you from taking a trip to After Effects. I love it. mocha Plus also supports FCP 7, Motion, Hitfilm 2 Ultimate, and even Boris Continuum Complete 9, which is just too cool. So to recap, mocha Plus is really good for tracking and roto in combination with other programs, and also camera solving with AE only. mocha Pro is where the extra features come in. With mocha Pro you get a stereoscopic 3D workflow, the Stabilize, Remove, and Insert modules, as well as advanced lens distortion and camera solving features. The Remove module is my favorite, it works really well when you do things right, which is something I was not doing at first, but after more training I got the hang of it. Both versions include a refreshed and streamlined interface; customizable keyboard shortcuts with presets for After Effects, Cinema 4D, eyeon Fusion, and The Foundry's Nuke; more export formats, the ability to change your project settings after you create it, and Retina display support, which mocha AE CC does not have. In my opinion, mocha has a high learning curve, but that's something that can be overcome with good training. Imagineer Systems has almost 100 training videos on their site, and I highly recommend the Fundamentals of mocha training series by Curious Turtle which can be found right on Imagineer's website. If you're like me and you've used mocha before with AE, but you never really explored it too deeply, I can't stress enough what a difference this training makes. Start at the beginning, and you'll learn a bunch of really great, yet important, tricks, to get the best tracks possible.If you need help deciding which version of mocha is for you, check out this handy chart from Imagineer: mocha Plus is $245, but if you are a Creative Cloud user, then you can upgrade your mocha AE CC license for $195, and if you are a previous mocha AE v3 owner, then you can upgrade for only $95. A full mocha Pro license is $1495, and upgrades start at $495. -David