Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Top Ten Reasons to Upgrade to mocha Pro

mocha Pro is our top of the line software!
We have a new video for you guys! 

In my last post, I commented about how surprising it is that many of you potential mocha users out there don't know you have our software installed on your computers with After Effects CS4, CS5, and CS5.5. This post, I want to tell you that anyone who has our software already is eligible for a deep discount to upgrade to our high end software, mocha Pro, just from having our mocha AE software already! In fact, older licenses of any imagineer systems software, like mochamonetmokey, and motor are all available to be upgraded to mocha Pro as well. All our best features from mochamonetmokey, and motor were combined in 2010 into the mocha Pro software we ship today. 

Think of mocha Pro as our "all-in-one-swiss-army-knife-of-vfx-amazingness". We have a list of the features and differences in our software packages here, if you want more specifics than "all-in-one-swiss-army-knife-of-vfx-amazingness".

I just wanted to take a minute to tell y'all some of my favorite features that exist in Pro. In this short video, I go over some of my favorite modules and what they do. Features like the stabilize and auto fill tools, the grid warp tool, the lens and insert tools, and (my favorite tool) the remove tool. I can't count how many times the remove tool has helped me get a shot out the door on time when last minute paint fixes had to be done.

There's lots of examples to check out in this video, but feel free to ping us on our forums if you have any questions. I'm pretty active on our forums, and am happy to answer any questions you have about our software. It's especially helpful to search our forums to get a good idea of solutions that have worked for other users in the past, or see if other users can help you answer your questions. We want to build a community for you guys!

If you're just learning mocha, be sure to check out our videos section on our website where you can find more in depth tutorials on every module we have. I'm always looking for more good ideas on what kind of tutorials to make, so if you've got a request, please leave it in the comments section and let us hear from you!

Thanks for watching our new video! If you need help upgrading, our sales team is happy to help!


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Update from the Road: Mary Poplin

A View of Vancouver

I have been traveling! In the past several month our team has been really pushing to get out and get feedback from you, our users. In the past several weeks I have been to Vancouver, Burbank, and the greater Atlanta area. What I really love about traveling to see you guys is getting to share tips and tricks that you might not know about the software and seeing your faces light up when we talk about how much tedious work mocha products can save you. The time I can help save by showing you how roto work can be cut in half, for instance, means you get to go home and have dinner with the people that matter to you. That really makes my day. Let me tell you a little bit about what I've been up to with Imagineer Systems.

A few weeks ago our CEO, John Paul Smith, and our VP of Sales, Bryan Milne joined me out here in Los Angeles for a whirlwind studio tour that included visiting clients in Burbank, Hollywood, the Greater Los Angeles Area, and San Diego. We had a booth at Creatasphere for a few days as well and we met tons of new users, including editors and one-man shops who were blown away to learn that our mocha AE ships with After Effects CS4, CS5, and CS5.5. I am always shocked at how many people don't know that they have our tracker already, for free, installed on their machines at home or in their office. Or that they can upgrade to mocha Pro at a significantly reduced rate because of it. I like getting to be the bearer of good news!

A view of our Sales VP Bryan Milne
Creatashpere exposed up to a brand new market of people who may not have known about us before. Editors are having to increasingly do a lot of their own minor effects like boom mic removal, object removal, screen replacements, and roto for color corrections. We recently added an export option to Boris FX which enables support for edit systems: Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas; Adobe Premiere - so we are seeing an increased amount of interest from that sector of film, television, and commercials. It's a really exciting time! Owners of mocha AE and Boris can get this feature by upgrading to mocha AE v2.6.

From Creatasphere, me and Bryan Milne traveled up to Vancouver to visit studios and increase our presence there. We met with some wonderful and talented artists and were able to show them how mocha Pro could speed up their roto and clean-plate work on their own shots. I always love working on studio shots with compositors and paint artists because my laptop demos make everything look easier than most people think it should be. With studio shots I can really get into the nitty gritty of showing artists exactly how to think about a shot and how to tackle tough problems in a real work environment, and I can show them how easy mocha actually is. I stand by my belief that an experienced artist can learn mocha in a week. A very green student may take two weeks, but it really shouldn't take longer than that to master mocha's planar tracker and interface, and start diving into difficult shots. That's great news for people just starting to learn how to use our software. And our ease of use and small learning curve means that we get used a lot in roto houses all over the world.

After I got back from Vancouver, I got to briefly rest until I went to Atlanta. Now, I'm a Georgia girl, so this was a bit like going home. As soon as I got off the plane, my Southern Drawl increased. It had been raining and was unseasonably warm, and I finally got to experience the muggy, warm rain I'd been missing since I left the south over eight years ago to move to SoCal. I borrowed my mom's work truck, an enormous F1-50 pickup truck, and toured my old haunts in style... sortof.

Mary Poplin giving a talk in Atlanta

The first night I flew in I presented mocha Pro at Turner Studios with Walter Biscardi and his Atlanta Cutters group to over 130 people. They gave away lots of fabulous prizes, including an NFR license for mocha Pro. Everyone was excited and a lot of questions got asked. And again, everyone was surprised to hear that mocha AE ship with Adobe AE CS4, CS5, and CS5.5. Adobe was also at this cutters meeting, answering questions about Premiere. It was great to see them. I love being able to work with the Adobe team. The enthusiasm in the room was wonderful and warm, and the hospitality was amazing.

What a crowd at Atlanta Cutters!

Speaking of hospitality, while I was in Atlanta, I was hosted marvelously by Niche Video. They have a very cozy office with strong coffee and Anne Fowler and her team made me feel very welcome and took me on a tour of all sorts of studios around the greater metro area. I recommend checking out their website if you're in the industry in Atlanta. We went everywhere from large studios like Turner to small but efficient shops like Raven Pro Media, who handle all of Lynyrd Skynyrd's tours. Which is pretty awesome. Free bird! My last visit in Atlanta was back to Walter Biscardi's studio, Biscardi Creative, which is an ambitious editing studio up near Buford and Lake Lanier. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I met some great new people. I hope it's not another year before I'm back in my old stomping grounds, but I will say one thing I don't miss about the South. The Traffic in Atlanta. Whoa. No matter what people say, it's just as bad as LA, any day. Especially in a truck.

And now, I am back in the office! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate as much obscene amounts of food as I did. I was very thankful. So thankful, that I had to roll away from the table and I'm still recovering.

 I'll try not to let it be so long between blog posts next time, so you guys stay tuned!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Imagineer Welcomes New VP of Sales, Bryan Milne

All of us at Imagineer are very excited to welcome the newest addition to the team, Bryan Milne. Bryan joins us as our new vice president of sales. With more than 20 years experience in sales and product management in the post production industry, Bryan will be in charge of overseeing Imagineer’s global network of resellers and channel partners, and extending the Company’s award-winning Planar Tracking solutions into new markets worldwide. You can read more about Bryan's experience here....

Please join us in welcoming Bryan!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Retouching tutorial with mocha Pro remove module & clean plates

A little tutorial to show how you can use the remove module for adding and taking away.

When you have the laborious task of making skin ridiculously perfect, the remove tool helps by being able to take a 1 or 2 frames of photoshop clean-up and apply it to the rest of your shot.  The illumination tool helps keep the original lighting intact as well.

This means you can remove acne and eyebrows, or fix makeup, tattoos and continuity mistakes without having to reshoot, which is very handy when you've got more important things to do, like exploding a zombie.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Gradient FX Relies on mocha Pro

Founded in 2006, Gradient FX is a multiple award-winning artist and technology-driven VFX studio. Balancing the ideal blend of art and technology, Gradient FX artfully mix their technological savvy with high design and artistry to deliver unconventional, yet visually stunning results for their clients. Gradient FX has over 30 feature films under their belts - from arthouse indies to global blockbuster films, as well as award-winning music videos, television commercials and game cinematics.

Gradient FX has also been a mocha customer since version 1.0, and have made it the primary go-to tool in their VFX kit. We recently spoke with Thomas Tanenberger, co-founder of Gradient FX, where he talked about mocha and its growing role in the workflow for the artists at Gradient FX.

Read more about how mocha Pro played a big role in the production of last summer's hit, "Friends with Benefits," and made cell phone screen replacements, tracking and stabilization easy work!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Introducing Mary to the Imagineer Blog

Hi guys!

CEO John Paul Smith and Product Specialist Mary Poplin
I'm Mary Poplin, and I'll be helping contribute to our Imagineer Systems blog. I'm our Los Angeles based product specialist, and I am happy to share my experience with our users. As far as my production experience goes, I’m what you’d call a 2D “generalist,” and I find having many tools in my tool belt to be a great asset in an industry that is constantly changing and growing, like film and television certainly are.

mocha is one of those tools, and frankly, I find it indispensable in any compositing or 3D conversion pipeline.

I’ve worked on all kinds of projects for film, television, and product development; cutting my teeth on jobs like marketing cleanup, paint work, color keys, graphic design, compositing, motion graphics, stereoscopic conversion, and matte paintings. I've been with Imagineer Systems since November 2010 and I love it here. My work with Imagineer Systems as a Product Specialist includes visiting studios and supporting our mocha product line, answering questions on our forums, supporting users via our customer support caseload, and creating tutorials for our free online educational videos. To that effect, I have created two new videos to help you guys better use our mocha software. Please see the links below:

In this short and sweet tutorial, I will show you awesome mocha users how to paste a mocha mask in as a spline in After Effects. This is a feature that has been available in AE CS5 and CS5.5 that some of our users might not have known about. Please note, you can not paste mocha masks as splines in AE CS4, but you can post mocha shapes as effects in all versions of AE.

In this video, I will show you how to use adjust track to fix our planar tracking data in mocha on older, compressed footage in order to get more useable results. We will also take a look at using the insert tool in mocha Pro for a simple A over B replacement composite, all without ever leaving mocha Pro.

I will be updating here regularly, so check back often!


Mocha Training Now on

Steve Wright has just wrapped up a great series of training for mocha on the Lynda site.

Covering all aspects of mocha planar tracking, rotoscoping and stabilisation, Steve's new series provides a nicely paced and easy to follow lesson plan to get up to speed quickly.

Check it out here:

Monday, 22 August 2011

Vimeo Video School Series: Behind the Glass

Vimeo has recently started a great light-hearted look at lenses called Behind the Glass:

Behind the Glass Part 1: An Intro to Lenses from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.

There are currently three videos in the series (at time of posting) and I thoroughly recommend it for those getting a grasp on how lenses actually work and don't take life too seriously!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Mocha 2.6.1 and New Software Bundle: Motion Tracking for Editors

Today we released a new bundle to help editors get our planar tracking data into software such as Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro v7, Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro.

We've teamed up with Boris FX to support any Boris Continuum plugin that can use motion tracker data. Boris Continuum products support a great range of compositors and editors and now further extend where you can use the mocha tracking tools in your workflow.

Mocha 2.6.1, along with mocha AE 2.6.1 and mocha Pro 2.6.1 all now export to the BCC motion tracker format for corner pin and centre point.

The Motion Tracking for Editors ($299) bundle provides:
  • mocha AE stand alone tracking software ($249 value)
  • Boris Continuum Motion Tracker Unit: Match Move, Corner Pin, Witness Protection
  • & Wire Remover plug-ins from Boris FX ($199 value)
Check out the preview video on our site:

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Customer Profile: Identity FX. Stereo Conversion on Green Lantern

The team over at Identity FX kindly shared their thoughts on mocha Pro:

“With mocha Pro, we can accomplish 80% of the VFX assist required in a shot all within one application. With its amazing Planar Tracker, roto and removal all wrapped into one application, we were able to create an incredibly versatile team of artists, all of whom can now do clean plates, removal, roto, and do it incredibly fast. Using mocha Pro in complex sequences, we could work so quickly, recreating scenes, generating tracking and roto data and exporting it immediately to Nuke. This made for an incredibly efficient workflow.”

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Mocha tutorial: Tracking rotation with the angle parameter

mocha tutorial: tracking rotation with angle parmeter on Vimeo.

This tutorial covers an often overlooked set of Search Area parameters in the track tab: Angle and Zoom.

All Search Area parameters are telling mocha to look within a range of zero to the set value.
So, just like we set a maximum search value for the Horizontal and Vertical areas of the footage (Automatic by default), we can also tell mocha to look to see if the area has rotated up to a certain range of rotation, or zoomed in/out quickly up to a certain percentage of scale.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.  If you'd like to see more bite-sized tutorials like this that focus on just ne aspect of the software, let us know.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mocha 2.6 is out!

We've been hard at work in the Imagineer Systems offices for all you tireless visual effects people!
Version 2.6 family is available as a free upgrade to all customers with a valid mocha v2.x, mocha Pro v2.x and mocha AE v2.5 license or valid support contract.

What’s New in mocha V2.6

Imagineer Systems has incorporated a number of powerful new enhancements in the newest version of mocha, including:
  • Nuke Roto Export Improvements: mocha v2.6 now supports a 1:1 keyframe relationship between mocha and Nuke 6.2 roto keyframes
  • Tracking on Windows Speed Improvements: mocha v2.6 now delivers multiprocessing optimization on Windows operating systems resulting in faster tracking speeds
  • New SSF Batch Export Feature: mocha v2.6 now offers the ability to batch export multiple roto layers in popular Shake .SSF format.
  • Project Save and Load Speed Improvements: mocha v2.6 delivers performance and speed improvements designed to accelerate the entire workflow
  • Improved After Effects tracking export.
  • General Stability Fixes: Imagineer continues to bolster overall application stability to ensure smooth, stress-free workflows.
Read More here by clicking the image above, or if you just want the goods, it's in our download section!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Mocha Pro Remove Module Overview

If you've heard of the remove module in mocha Pro but don't know much about it, here's the one to watch. If you do use the remove module in mocha, this is also the one to watch, because we show you different ways of using it.

Imagineer Systems helps you create clean plates because we care.  Now let's all go do some wire removal!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

NAB 2011 Imagineer Systems' booth demo: mocha Pro

Missed NAB 2011?  We screen recorded the show demo of Imagineer west coast product specialist, Mary Poplin.

Mary's excellent presentation is a great introduction to mocha Pro:

• planar tracking
• rotoscoping
• 2D-3D conversion (mocha to Nuke)
• insert module
• remove module

If you've ever wanted a quick overview of how mocha Pro works, this is the one to watch.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Imagineer Systems 2011 Customer Show Reel

Examples of planar motion tracking, roto, compositing and vfx from our amazing customers.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Mocha Pro Tutorial: Lens Distortion module part 2

In this part we get into the exciting world of even more warped lenses and how to flatten them out, and look at why focal distance is important.

Grab the lens documentation here to see the focal distance tables I talk about in the video:

Friday, 18 March 2011

Louvre Museum without paintings

This video was recently shared on our facebook page. Artist Nicolas Rupcich used mocha and After Effects to remove the paintings from this art exhibition at The Louvre!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Case Study - Look FX: Visual Effects on Black Swan

For over 14 years, LOOK Effects has been a leading provider of digital-effects solutions for feature film, episodic television and special venue projects.  With studios in Los Angeles and New York, LOOK offers a knowledgeable and resourceful approach in partnering with their clients to supervise and produce visual effects.  On both coasts, LOOK offers ideas and options for digital effects design, on-set supervision, set-extension creation, 3D animation and complex compositing that dovetail smoothly into production schedules. This combined experience and expertise has earned LOOK a high level of trust and an impressive list of clients and credits. 

LOOK’s effects for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan have been nominated for both VES and BAFTA awards for visual effects. In fact, one of the more interesting attributes of Black Swan, is that you wouldn’t necessarily think of it as a VFX heavy movie. It looks like a straightforward film; yes, with some amazing special effects! In fact, the filmmakers worked quite hard to make it appear as such. They wanted the viewer to focus on the drama, and not the VFX.  And that’s where LOOK FX comes in. Because at the end of the day, their specialty is immersing you in the film, and not distracting you with effects. We recently spoke with the team at LOOK and asked them to describe the project, its challenges, and how they overcame those challenges to deliver such an impressive body of work... (Read the rest of the article here).

mocha Pro: The Lens Module Tutorial Part 1

mocha Pro: The Lens Module Tutorial Part 1 on Vimeo.

Imagineer Systems product specialist, Martin Brennand presents an introduction the mocha Pro lens module to analyze lens distortion for realistic compositing and tracking.

We'll follow this up soon with a second part on more a more complex lens, and why Focal Distance matters.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Roto for 2D-3D Stereo Conversion in mocha

mocha: roto for 2D-3D stereo conversions on Vimeo.

Imagineer Systems specialist Mary Poplin shows how break down a shot ready for stereo conversion using mocha to track and roto multiple areas.

A note to beginners: Mary gets right into the action, so you might want to check out the learning series first to ease yourself in: