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Removing Objects from Video using Mocha Pro 2019
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  • New features overall

  • Mocha Pro 2019

    One may view Mocha Pro more or less the as reference for planar tracking and it‘s quite popular too, since the time Adobe has integrated a restricted version in After Effects. But the interface was always a bit intimidating for newbies and the full version was lacking some modern supporting functions when rotoscoping. In a time when other video software is making good use of GPUs, some complex tasks (like Remove) also felt quite slow when being processed. Most of these points have been changed in the new version, which is now called Mocha 2019. The new owner, Boris FX, has announced that they plan to upgrade the program every year and that is connected with a subscription model. Other than Adobe, though, they don’t plan to take our work hostage, i. e. it wont stop functioning if you don’t pay any more.

    Interface

    When you first open the new version it looks like lacking a lot of features for those who are already familiar with the program. But it‘s just opening in a simplified workspace, called Essentials, which shows only the most frequently used panels and buttons. Mocha has a few pre-defined workspaces now, another one is Roto with its relevant tools and Big Picture for working only in the viewer. But don’t worry, you old-timers, your familiar interface is still there under Classic. All functions for VR have been integrated, only the plug-in still has two versions for compatibility. BTW, the plug-in still crashes in DaVinci Resolve, and the developers blame DR for not delivering all the needed data. While you can get most of the functions of Mocha in Fusion too, the tracker is still the best and Mocha makes some tasks less complex than Fusion.

    Speed

    Until now only the tracking process itself was accelerated by the GPU, but if you wanted to remove objects from a scene, which is one of the typical jobs for the full version, some calculations like we’re very slow. I tested with a scene from traditional Wayang theatre, where a dog ran through the foreground. While one can remove him perfectly fine with the older version, rendering took about 3 minutes. With the new GPU support it was down to 37 seconds. Gains were similar with the more complex Interpolation render, which helps when the lightning changes over the scene. Without GPU it needed 10 minutes, with my Radeon Pro 580 only 2. On average the gains with this middle-class GPU were like 5:1, without any additional artifacts. Remove is now even faster than the correction of lens distortion, which has not yet been GPU-enhanced.

    Helpers

    The most helpful function when doing demanding masks by rotoscoping is the new ‚magnetic‘ contour which sticks to the next edge with sufficient detail. It is somewhat similar to the Roto Brush in After Effects and can be switched between Freehand and Magnetic while working. You may end up with lots of points this way, but these can be averaged down later with the dial called Detail. Some smaller improvements are rectangle and ellipsis for masking and the reorientation of the Surface for perspective checks by translation, rotation and zoom.

    I would say that for those who are working with Mocha most every day, the new rotoscoping support alone is worth the upgrade.