OK, the title is misleading but renowned special effects plugin vendor Boris FX has just signed a deal to buy Imagineer Systems, makers of the Mocha tracking software.
Boris’s flagship is the Continuum Complete suite of effects along with their Red and Graffiti tools for manipulating video. Imagineer’s Mocha is a rather clever bit of software that can work out how a flat plane is moving within an image and provide tracking data back to an effects package – hence “planar tracking” – so as to move the effect with the plane.
In simple terms if you film a wall but your camera is moving as you do so, and you want to add some text or effects onto that wall during the edit without having to painstakingly keyframe every single aspect of it, Mocha will work out how the wall moves in the shot and provide this data to your editing software so that it can do the keyframing for you. No, we don’t know how they do it. It must be magic pixies or something.
Here’s a video that explains it:
Mocha Pro boasts credits including the films “Gone Girl”, “Birdman” and “The Hunger Games” as well as TV shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards”.
Other visual effects software and theoretical rivals to Boris such as HitFilm and After Effects also bundle a version of Mocha; Boris FX say users of those suites shouldn’t worry as they’ll continue to be supported and indeed may continue to see updated releases.