Faking Motion Capture in After Effects

Learn how to fake motion capture animation in After Effects.Here is a tutorial that will show you how to fake motion capture using the Puppet Tool and 2D Trackers.

Step 1; Import the footage and create a tracker (if you don’t see the tracker menu just go to Window / Tracker Controls. Click on the Track Motion button and a new tracker will appear. Use the settings below as a guideline:

After Effects Tracker

Step 2; Resize it and put it on the wrist dot.

tracking hand

Step 3; It’s important to know that the inner square is the pattern reign and the outer square is the search reign. When you click the track forward button After Effects will attempt to search for that pattern within the outer square in each frame and place a keyframe where ever that pattern moves to.

play button

Step 4; Keep watch of your trackers and make sure they don’t slide off the target.

Tracking Motion Capture

When the first tracker is complete repeat the same steps for the next two tracking dots.

Step 5; Alright now we are going to setup our character rig, import the illustration file and place it above the footage you tracked. Then take the opacity down to 50% so that you can see where to add puppet points to.

cartoon arm overlay

Step 6; Select the Puppet Tool and start adding points where ever there’s a tracking dot.

Puppet Tool After Effects

Step 7; Click on Puppet Pin 1 and click on the triangle to drop down thePosition value. Highlight that value and go to Animate -> Add Expression. Now grab the little spiny icon and drag it to the Feature Center of the appropriate tracker.

After Effects Animation Menu

After Effects Expression

Now the puppet points and the tracking points are linked, now the puppet pin has the same keyframes as tracking point. Now repeat the same steps for the other puppet points. Make sure to add a few more dots to the edge of the shirt to keep it from bending off screen.

Puppet Animation

Add Puppet Pin

Faking Motion Capture Final Image

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