News, Pro Tips

New Mocha AE Features: Advanced Tracking and Masking in After Effects


Adobe recently released a major update for After Effects CC and delivered great news for the visual effects and post-production community. Mocha AE, which has been bundled with After Effects for over ten years (since CS4), has been updated with a major overhaul, delivering new features and an improved workflow for advanced motion tracking and masking tasks.

Long time AE users know and love Mocha AE for tracking cell phones and screens and replacing logos. However, after many years, the tool needed some improvements. Previously, Mocha AE was a bundled standalone application (and not fully integrated inside After Effects). Now it’s a true plugin and has been improved with faster GPU accelerated planar tracking, a new Mocha Essentials workspace, and High DPI/Retina Monitor support with crisp new icons.

Track in Mocha

To get started with the new version in After Effects CC (October 2018 release), select an AE layer and apply Mocha from the Animation Menu with “Track in Mocha” (pictured) or by going to Effects > Boris FX Mocha.

Mocha Essentials Workspace

For new users, the Mocha experience has been updated with a simple, intuitive workspace called Mocha Essentials. This hides some of the complexity behind Mocha’s advanced tools and focuses on core planar-tracking tools. Just draw a shape around a surface you want to track and hit the Track Forwards button. Choose the type of motion you want to capture and let Mocha do the rest.

Mocha AE Workspace

For more choices and features, advanced users can always switch to the “Classic” workspace.

GPU Tracking

Depending on your video card, GPU power will dramatically increase your tracking speeds — which is very useful when working at high resolution. To make sure GPU is enabled in Mocha AE, go to File > Preferences > GPU. You can check the Boris FX Mocha tech page to learn more about the best recommended hardware.

GPU Tracking

New Tracking & Masking Data Workflow

Previously, the workflow to get Mocha data back into AE was via clipboard copy/paste. This workflow has now changed, and within the Mocha AE plugin panel you now use the “Create Tracking Data” and “Create AE Masks” buttons to exchange data without launching the Mocha interface.

Mocha Masks and Data

This short video tutorial from Mocha product specialist Mary Poplin specifically covers the new workflow for getting your data back to the AE timeline:

If you’re looking for more Mocha training, check out our other featured blog posts on Pond5, or visit Mocha TV at Boris FX for hundreds of useful tutorials covering planar tracking and advanced rotoscoping.

Once you get up to speed with Mocha AE, you can also get started with Mocha Pro 2019 for even more advanced visual-effects tools for both both After Effects and Premiere Pro.

Related Post Motion Tracking in After Effects: How to Use the Point Tracker

Have any questions about working with Mocha AE or any of its new features? Let us know in the comments below!