Wednesday, 11 December 2013

RocketJump's Freddie Wong on Mocha Planar Tracking for VFX

Imagineer product specialist, Mary Poplin recently sat with director Freddie Wong from RocketJump and discussed, visual effects, mocha planar tracking and their episodic web series Video Game High School

“It’s surprising how often we break into the tool chest for mocha, mainly because of its speed, its versatility. You get to the point where you just shouldn’t be doing more work than you have to. If you’re doing more than you should, then you’re just wasting time in post production. Time is everything.” - Freddie Wong

read the full customer profile

Monday, 25 November 2013

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale!

Today, Imagineer Systems announced the annual day after Thanksgiving online sale:
Check out the Black Friday Sale for details. An excellent opportunity to upgrade the Adobe Creative Cloud bundled mocha AE to mocha Pro!

Also, all Curious Turtle Training Videos are 50% off from Nov 25 - Dec 2nd.

purchase training videos now   more sale details

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Halloween Video Contest Winners

And the winners are...!

Thanks to everyone who entered our annual Halloween Video Contest. We received many great videos that ranged from spooky to creative to all out weird! Here are our top winners who will be contacted privately to receive their awards.

Don't Be Scared

Halloween "Don't Be Scared" from Pavel Khvaleev on Vimeo.

by Pavel Khvaleev
Prize: mocha Pro v3

Dennis - Halloween

by Dan Bakst
Prize: Maxon C4D Broadcast

Tokyo Dusk


by William Allum
Prize: MamoWorld Bundle

Out for Drinks

by Jacob Dalton
Prize: HitFilm Ultimate

Flavor Graveyard

Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard from Pocket of Light Pictures on Vimeo.

by Brian Eckert
Prize: Rampant Design Bundle

The End Will Be Televised

Curry Quiche - The End Will Be Televised from Grit Street on Vimeo.

by Chris Webb
Prize: mocha AE v3

A very special thanks to our partners at: Maxon, Mamoworld, Rampant Design and FXHOME.

In other news!

Halloween is over, but that doesn't mean spooky VFX are done for the year. To see what other Monsters are being made with mocha Pro, check out the latest news from Hive FX and Imagineer Systems. "Inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales and set in modern-day Portland, OR, Grimm is a wild, dark fantasy cop drama in which the main character battles an assortment of villains and creatures - that come to life with the help of the VFX mastery of the artists at Hive FX."

New Video Tutorial!

Imagineer Systems Product Manager Martin Brennand takes you though some of the daily #mochatips tips we've been posting to our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Stay connected!

Learn more about planar motion tracking, rotoscoping and visual effects!
(If you missed the previous tip bundle, go here:

Tips covered in this bundle:
10. Rather than track and roto with the same shape, it can be better to track a shape, then link a refined roto to the tracked layer.
11. Pan (X) and Zoom (Z) are your friends when doing roto. You can get in close and move around without having to close the shape.
12. If your layer is not moving when you paste transform data into After Effects, you may need to remove the Anchor Point keys.

Upcoming Webinar!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Time4:00pm until 5:30pm in EST
Get Tickets
Duration: 1 hour
Where: online from any computer

Imagineer Systems is hosting another monthly webinar, this time it is a free online training session covering mocha AE and mocha Pro from Imagineer Systems.
Featuring Product Manager, Martin Brennand.

Replacing screens is one of the most common areas of visual effects, from simple phones to vast diagnostic monitors in spaceships. A screen however can be a deceptively tricky thing to track, with motion blur, lens distortion, obstructions, reflection and many other obstacles getting in the way.

In this live webinar, Martin Brennand will show how using tools and techniques in mocha AE and mocha Pro can help resolve a large number of screen tracking problems.

Topics Include:

  • Tracking screens with obstructions
  • Dealing with reflections
  • Adjusting a track when you can’t see everything
  • Exporting data vs Rendering Inserts
  • Removing and applying Lens distortion

One lucky attendee will win a node locked license of mocha Pro. A $1495 value!

Note: Webinar will be presented in passive mode. No audio input is required. We will be taking questions via live text message board and will try to answer all questions throughout

That Post Show!

This week, I will be joining in on That Post Show to answer questions about Imagineer Systems, mocha, and planar tracking. Tune into That Post Show later this week to hear the episode.

Hit Film 2 Ultimate!

Hit Film 2 Ultimate shipped yesterday from our partners at FxHome. HitFilm on Mac OSX! If you have never seen this powerful and super affordable VFX software, it is worth checking out. This nifty software ships with mocha HitFilm - 3D camera solver based on planar tracking. "HitFilm 2 Ultimate's huge visual effects library ranges from cutting edge particle effects to procedural fire, 3D muzzle flashes and color grading."

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mocha Inspired Music Videos

In the last few weeks we have seen some very creative work from our talented customers. Here we salute the Music Video. The following music videos used mocha AE or mocha Pro as part of their visual effects or post-production workflow.

VFX artist, Drazen Zeljkovic used mocha Pro for wire removal at the end of this fun music video.

VFX artist Ryan Quinlan used mocha and Nuke for comping in matte paintings and various beauty work on the new Katy Perry video!
This amazing short music video was directed by Daniela Villanueva and Mara Soler. They used mocha AE for tracking and roto work. 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Our biggest Halloween Contest yet! Submit a Halloween inspired, spooky video short and enter to win excellent prizes from Imagineer Systems and our partners: Maxon, FXHome, Rampant Design and Mamoworld. Top 5 entries will win a prize!

The Rules:

  • Submit a short "scary, spooky, Halloween" video (no longer than 5 minutes).
  • All videos must use mocha AE or mocha Pro for part of the process.
  • Enter by Midnight, Thursday, October 31
The Prizes: 

mocha Pro v3 from Imagineer Systems
mocha Pro is the academy award winning visual effects tool that combines modules for planar motion tracking, rotoscoping, lens correction, stabilization, object removal, 3D camera solving and more. Retail Value: $1495 more info

CINEMA 4D Broadcast from Maxon
CINEMA 4D Broadcast has everything you need to create dynamic broadcast graphics quickly and easily. If you are a motion graphics artist looking to add 3D to your existing suite of tools, then this is the ideal choice for you.  more info Retail Value: $1695  

VFX product bundle from mamoworld
Boost your After Effects workflow with the mamoworld suite. Includes iExpressions, CINEWARE proxy, MochaImport+, Auto Lip-Sync, Beat Assistant and all other mamoworld products. Retail Value: $485  more info 

HitFilm 2 Ultimate from FXHome
Essential editing tools, over 150 effects and groundbreaking 3D compositing with a revolutionary workflow. World class particle simulators, professional chroma key and advanced color correction. Import 3D models with full light and shadow support. Track features in 2D and camera solve in 3D with mocha HitFilm. Nothing else comes close. Retail Value $399  more info 

VFX product bundle from Rampant Design Tools 
Easy to Use Professional Grade Visual Effects. 
Includes GunFX, MonsterFX and Light Impact. 
Retail value $357  more info

How to enter:
  1. Create an interesting or scary or humorous "Halloween" inspired short video that uses any of mocha AE or mocha Pro's features including: Planar Tracking, Rotoscoping, Screen Inserts, 3D Camera Solve or Object Removal.
  2. Upload your video to Youtube or Vimeo. Tag your video: mocha Halloween
  3. When your video is ready to be viewed email us the link, your full name and email address.
Important Stuff!
  • To enter, your video must be uploaded by Midnight, Thursday, October 31.
  • All content must be yours. Only original materials will be considered.
  • You may enter more than once.
  • You may submit older projects for consideration, but we will give preference to fresher material.
  • Work will be judged on creativity and quality of visual effects. 
  • Have fun! This is an opportunity to learn something new and promote your work.
Some Inspiration! Not all videos need to feature zombies! We are simply looking for fun, creative and well crafted work. 

Looking for help, check out MonsterFX from Rampant Design!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Adobe Creative Cloud Info for Mocha Users

Today Adobe shipped Creative Cloud, the subscription based service that includes new versions of After Effects, Premiere and more. Imagineer's planar tracking and visual effects products, mocha AE and mocha Pro are widely used by After Effects users, so we wanted to take a moment and answer some common questions the AE community has been asking about Adobe's new "CC" offerings.

New Version! Adobe Creative Cloud includes the bundled: mocha AE CC
Q. Is mocha AE still bundled with After Effects? Are there any new features? 
A. Yes, After Effects CC now ships with a new version called mocha AE CC.

mocha AE CC is not a plug-in. To launch, select a layer in AE and go to:
Animation>Track in mocha AE

mocha AE CC has been updated with the following fixes and new features:
  • support for RED Digital Cinema (.r3d) footage
  • new layer grouping & multi-select
  • dope sheet for moving, copy/paste keyframes
  • transform tool for editing roto splines
  • multi-spline selection and modification
  • attach layers tool to link points of separate layers
  • ability to customize color for mattes & splines
  • ability to see individual pixels when zooming
  • many bug fixes
Q. Do I need to be connected to the internet to run mocha AE CC?
A. Only for installation. mocha AE CC has the same exact technical requirements as After Effects CC. You can learn more about Creative Cloud here.

Q. Can I upgrade mocha AE CC
A. Yes. We will accept upgrades from any registered version of mocha AE including those bundled with AE CS4-CS6 and AE CC. Registering your bundled mocha AE CC will qualify you for the reduced upgrade paths to other mocha products.
Note: You only need to subscribe for 1 month to qualify for the upgrade path.

Q. I am interested in upgrading to mocha AE v3.1 OR mocha Pro. What is the difference between the bundled version and what you sell?
A.  mocha AE CC includes 2D planar tracking and roto tools for After Effects CC only.

Upgrading to mocha AE v3.1 for $195 USD adds advanced modules for 3D camera solving, lens distortion and support for Final Cut v7, Boris FX and HitFilm.

Upgrading to mocha Pro v3.1 adds advanced modules for object removal, stabilization and support for applications such as Flame, Smoke, Scratch, Nuke and more.

view the upgrade guide or product comparison chart

Q. Can I launch mocha Pro from After Effects CC?
A.  Yes, you can set mocha Pro or mocha AE v3 to launch from within AE CC. Simply run the first time from start up icon and set the preferences to " Use this version with AE". The next time you "track in mocha AE" it will launch the version you selected.

Q. After Effects CC includes 3D Camera Tracking, why do I still need mocha AE?
A. mocha is a planar tracker and uses algorithms that are different than point or camera tracking. After Effects users still find many projects in which mocha is necessary to solve a shot... after all the mocha team won an academy award for tracking! mocha's unique image analysis engine often solves tracks where other trackers fail: tracking objects that go off-screen, objects that are partially obscured, even grainy and noisy footage. Planar tracking is used for screen inserts, digital makeup, set-extensions, assisted roto and much more.

If you have more questions, please contact us!

Monday, 17 June 2013

We hope you were able to come visit us! Here's what's coming up!

Hi guys,

Mary here again. We are all excited to have had the opportunity to get out there and meet some of you wonderful users! Thank you for continuing to support our wonderful planar tracker, mocha, and for creating beautiful work. We always love to hear from you.


Ross Shain, CMO, at Collider Conference NYC
I hope you were able to come see Ross Shain and Darrell Lee at the Collider event this past week! It was three days, 40 speakers and panelists, a Job Fair, Master Classes, and much more. It was a busy event and we think it was a great time. Ross and Darrell really enjoyed meeting our users and we hope to see you at Siggraph!

The Manhattan Edit Workshop!

Did you see Ross Shain, Jeff Wozniak, Chris Healer, and Yuval Levy at the Manhattan Edit Workshop? It was a full day event hosted by Manhattan Edit Workshop.
Jeff Wozniak, Chris Healer, Yuval Levy and Ross Shain at FIAF.
Featuring panels and networking party. Ross Shain, Imagineer Systems CMO, moderated a Visual Effects Panel with industry experts from Gravity World and The Molecule.


I also hope you made it out to the VFX Town Hall, it was a historic live event and help broaden and amplify the ongoing conversation surrounding the VFX crisis. If you didn't catch it in person, we hope you caught it streaming. We proudly support VFX artists all over the world and want to see the business improve for everyone, from individual workers to studios and production houses. It's up to both artists and studios to improve our industry.

Thanks Mexico City!

Mary Poplin troubleshoots shots at the AMTEC Booth.
Mexico City was an experience! Thanks for being so welcoming, and I hope to see you again next year! Thank you to AMTEC for hosting us!

The Webinar is Imminent!

When: Weds, June 26th at 10am PDT (Los Angeles Time)
In this live webinar, I will cover the core concepts of mocha AE and mocha Pro with a focus on face tracking and object removal for retouching and beauty.

Topics Include:

  • Planar Tracking for Beauty Work
  • Blemish Removal & skin smoothing
  • Object Remove Module and clean plates
  • Insert Module with Gridwarp
  • Blending Clean-Plates with Original Plates
  • Time saving techniques

One lucky attendee will win a node locked license of mocha Pro. A $1495 value!
Please check time zone converter:
Where: online from any computer

Register here for the webinar!

Here's a taste of the kind of beauty work you can do in mocha Pro!

Facial Reshaping VFX - Liposuction In Post Production from rousselos Aravantinos on Vimeo.

The Great Gatsby!

The creative folks at Iloura used mocha on an incredible visual spectacle, The Great Gatsby!

Check out Iloura's work on the Valley of Ashes
"In director Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, one of the more dramatic locations is the Valley of Ashes, a bleak, depressing rubbish dump that the characters pass through on their way between Manhattan and Long Island. Nearly everything there was created by Iloura, an Australian VFX company. Iloura Visual Effects Supervisor Julian Dimsey and Compositor Matt Omond speak with Creative COW about the work they did to create the Valley of Ashes."-Via Creative Cow.

More on SliceX

Pro Video Coalition reviews SliceX! A great SliceX powered by mocha review by Scott Simmons. If you know anyone using Final Cut X, please share! We think this will help speed up everyone's workflow in FCX.

Rampant Design Reviews mocha!

Would you like some mocha with that? We thought this was a great mocha blog post on Rampant Design's site. If you're new to mocha, or even if you're a veteran user, this is a great opinion piece you can use to tell other users about mocha.

Some recent mocha videos you might want to check out!

This is a great mocha breakdown from Lurival Jones!

Congonhas - VFX Breakdown from Lurival Jones on Vimeo.

mocha user Steve McLeod posted his new reel. Lots of before/after shots from shows Smallville, Battlestar Gallactica and more. I am nerding out over here.

BlueShift / Steve J McLeod Visual Effects BreakDown Demo Reel 2013 from Steve J McLeod on Vimeo.

This is what Mathias Möhl's dog thinks of the new CC news.

What my dog thinks about Creative Cloud from Mathias Möhl on Vimeo.

And this is a look behind the scenes. Warning: Contains adorable shots of man's best friend.

Behind The Scenes: What my Dog Thinks About Creative Cloud from Mathias Möhl on Vimeo.

A really well crafted title sequence from Uses lots of mocha tracking!

ADBNE 2013 – Opening Titles from BREEDER on Vimeo.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

More Travel Announcements, Webinars, and updates!

Hi guys!

Things are about to get busy again, this time I am heading to Mexico City for...

The Grand Expo Mexico!

I am leaving Monday for Mexico City to give a few workshops on mocha. Attend this workshop to learn more about mocha Pro, the popular vfx tool from Imagineer Systems that compliments compositors and animators worldwide.

Grand Expo Mexico is on Tuesday 4th to Friday 7th of June 2013 in Mexico City. The Expo Cine Video Television is aimed at professionals and will be held at the World Trade Center in Mexico City, Halls Maya 1 and 2, Ground floor, located in Montecito no. 38, Col. Naples, CP 03810, Mexico DF

Animagraphics 2013!

We also announced that I will be attending Animagraphics 2013 in Bogotá, Columbia. I am going to be coming down to present a master class on mocha. We will talk about how you can use mocha in your work flow to increase your production. What you may not know is that you actually already have mocha on your computer if you have After Effects for CS4, CS5, CS5.5, CS6, and even the next version of After Effects! See, we actually ship something called mocha for AE for free inside of that program, which means you have access to our planar tracker and may not know. So what I encourage you to do is play with that software and get your questions ready, because I will be down there to answer them. You can also go to and you can download a free trial of mocha Pro! It's unlocked for two weeks and you can use it on whatever shots you like. So I also encourage you to play with that!

New Beauty Work Webinar Coming Soon!

Retouching & Beauty Work with mocha Pro
Featuring Mary Poplin from Imagineer Systems

Retouching and using digital makeup techniques has become an increasingly popular process in film and video post-production. This process can be used to invisibly alter an actor's looks or dramatically effect performance and story. Digital makeup relies heavily on rock solid face tracking and experienced composting and paint techniques. mocha's robust planar tracking has made its digital makeup mark on notable films and TV shows such as "Black Swan", "Invictus", "X-Men", "Grimm" and many more.

In this live webinar, Mary Poplin (that's me!) will cover the core concepts of mocha AE and mocha Pro with a focus on face tracking and object removal for retouching and beauty.

Topics Include:
Planar Tracking for Beauty Work
Blemish Removal & skin smoothing
Clean up skin features, wrinkles, and bags
Object Remove Module and clean plates
Insert Module with Gridwarp
Blending Clean-Plates with Original Plates
Time saving techniques

One lucky attendee will win a node locked license of mocha Pro. A $1495 value!

When: Weds, June 26th at 10am PST.
Where: online from any computer

About the Instructor:
In case you don't already know me from this blog, I am Mary Poplin. I am an experienced visual effects artist who has worked on feature films such as The Last Airbender, Gullivers Travels, and Jackass 3D. As Imagineer Systems' West Coast Product Specialist, I consult with studios and provide hands on training to help evangelize the power of mocha and planar tracking.

Note: Webinar will be presented in passive mode. No audio input is required. We will be taking questions via live text message board and will try to answer all questions throughout.

New Video Tutorial is up!

Planar Tracking HUDs and 3D Camera Solving - mocha v3 from Imagineer Systems on Vimeo.

Planar Tracking HUDs and 3D Camera Solving; in this advanced tutorial, I show you how to make "Iron Man" style electronic Heads Up Displays or hologram style graphics on hard to track reflective surfaces using mocha v3's 3D camera solver and Adobe after Effects.

This tutorial covers:

  • Starting a mocha project from scratch
  • Tracking non-co-planar planes
  • Tracking around reflections using relative planar data and edges
  • Rotoscoping with mocha
  • Exporting shapes to After Effects
  • Compositing in After Effects

New mocha Pro master classes available now!

Master mocha Vol. 1: Production Effects with mocha Pro & After Effects 
(Instant Download)
Curious Turtle's new mocha Pro training course. An in-depth look at solving real post-production effects.
Digital training video series created for mocha Pro & After Effects users. Over 7 hours of training, which goes deeper into real-world shots that ever before. This course has been designed to give you a unique insight into the techniques, challenges and solutions facing you over a range of projects. It is an intermediate to advanced level course. You are expected to be familiar with Imagineer Systems mocha user interface.

Note: 7 hrs digital download. You will be supplied links for 17 smaller files for easier and faster download. You are also free to use download managers to speed the transfer. This is a split zip archive and can easily be opened with free expanders.

Ross Shain will be at Inside The Cutting Room - Sight, Sound, and Story

Full day event hosted by Manhattan Edit Workshop. 
Featuring panels and networking party. 

Ross Shain, Imagineer Systems CMO will moderate a Visual Effects Panel with industry experts from Gravity World and The Molecule. 

The French Institute
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

Alright, that's about it for now, stay tuned for more mocha news soon!


Monday, 20 May 2013

Catching up, public betas, and webinars!

Hi guys!

It's been a short while since we updated, but that's because there has been a lot going on! First of all, I've been doing a lot of travelling. After NAB, I went to FMX in Germany, and in two weeks, I am heading to the Grand Expo Mexico. But we have a lot of other exciting developments I have been remiss in informing you about, let's remedy that! Read on...


Mary Poplin speaking at FMX

FMX was really interesting. As a speaker at FMX I gave two mocha workshop talks to tons of eager artists.
I was very glad to have the support of those of you that came to these events. I took a week travelling around Germany through Stuttgart, Munich, and Dusseldorf and was able to visit several German studios and meet so many artists and producers. Thanks for the hospitality, and if you ask me, America needs more Biergartens.

The Grand Expo Mexico!

Come see Mary at The Grand Expo!
I will be giving a mocha Pro Planar Motion Tracking and Visual Effects Workshop at The Grand Expo in a few weeks. Attend this workshop to learn more about mocha Pro, the popular vfx tool from Imagineer Systems that compliments compositors and animators worldwide.

Tracking and rotoscoping are core foundations of all visual effects projects.  Learn how to solve the most difficult 2D & 3D tracking and visual effects challenges. Covers planar tracking, roto, object removal and more. I hope you can attend!

Grand Expo Mexico is on Tuesday 4th to Friday 7th of June 2013 in Mexico City. The Expo Cine Video Television is aimed at professionals and will be held at the World Trade Center in Mexico City, Halls Maya 1 and 2, Ground floor, located in Montecito no. 38, Col. Naples, CP 03810, Mexico DF

More Webinars!

Martin is presenting a Webinar! If you're interested in mocha's 3D Camera Solving and understanding the 3D Camera Module this session is for you. In this free, live webinar, Martin Brennand will cover core concepts of planar tracking, camera tracking and explain the finishing workflow to export and use mocha v3's "planar cloud" data in applications like After Effects, Nuke, Smoke, Cinema 4D, HitFilm and more. Attend this free online training event and learn how to effectively use the 3D Camera Solve module and export to your favorite compositing and 3D animation programs.

Topics Include:
• Planar Tracking vs Feature Tracking - understanding the surface.
• Basic 3D camera solve
• Understanding PTZ, Small Parallax and Large Parallax
• Exporting camera data to After Effects and FBX.
• Advanced solve techniques
• Using your solve data.
• Moving object solves.

One lucky attendee will win a node locked license of mocha Pro.
A $1495 value!

Last Month's Webinar!

Ross Shain and Mathias Möhl ran a "learn mocha AE" Motion Tracking Webinar on April 24, 2013. The class was all about mastering motion tracking for Adobe After Effects with mocha AE. As you know, mocha AE is a planar tracking and roto utility bundled with After Effects CS6. In this 1.5 hour webinar, Dr. Mathias Möhl of teaches the basics of understanding mocha's powerful tracking technology. For more information, please visit!

If you missed Matthias's awesome webinar, you can catch the rerun here:

Learn mocha AE - Motion Tracking Webinar Recorded April 24, 2013 from Imagineer Systems on Vimeo.

Mathias Möhl is the creator of mochaImport, an AE script designed to improve the workflow for mocha and After Effects users. Mathias also creates excellent tutorials geared for After Effects users, you can find out more about him at MaMoWorld.

The mocha open beta is live!

The Public Beta for mocha 3.2.0 Prerelease is now live, and with it comes some major fixes and improvements. Including the OS X Mountain Lion Support issue where Users experienced license issues when upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3. We have resolved this with FlexLM and now mocha will detect ALL hardware ids on the system to avoid cases where they may change.

This is a patch release with internationalization features and several defect fixes..

Since this is the beta for mocha 3.2.0, we encourage you to test it vigorously and let us know of any characters that do not look correct, or any problems you experience reading, writing, exporting or rendering files.

You can download and read more about the BETA here:

We recommend that you hold off on Beta testing if you're in the middle of a project. This is only if you would like access to the flex fix early, though it comes with basic beta warnings: we don't recommend that you switch to beta for working on real projects, this is for testing purposes only.

In closing!

We've been busy bees over here! As usual, let us know if you have any questions or comments and we're happy to help. Be sure to follow us on linkedin, facebook, twitter, g+, or here on the blog to stay up to date on the latest mocha tips and tricks and the latest mocha news.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

See you at NAB!

Tomorrow I am hopping in my tiny little convertible and zooming out to Las Vegas to see all you fine folks at NAB! Come visit us at the NAB 2013 Trade Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Meet the team from Imagineer Systems and give us your feedback, or ask your mocha questions in person.

View Larger Map

Come meet May Poplin (that's me), Ross Shain, JP Smith, Darrel Lee, Kevin Bourke, and the rest of our crew. This year we will be featuring product demos, training sessions and special guest presenters at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth #SL3329. View a map to our booth. We will be there from April 8th until the 11th, 2013

 Get a free exhibit pass! Go to: and use passcode: LV5678

In case you can't make it, I put together a quick video on mocha Pro you can check out below and we'll be releasing our new 2013 reel soon as well. I will also, as usual, be recording my demos live at NAB and putting them online for you guys to see! It's not as good as being there, but it's something to tide you over!

Check out our press release for NAB!

You can read the press release here.
  1. Imagineer Systems Partners with CoreMelt at NAB 2013 and unveils New Version of SliceX for FCP X Powered By mocha
  2. Preview new versions of mocha Pro and mocha AE during NAB 2013
  3. mocha v3.2 also adds support for Contour ShuttlePro controllers
  4. NAB 2013 Guest Presenters
  • Aaron Benitez
  • Zach King
  • Roger Bolton
  • Mary Poplin

A quick look at mocha Pro in 2013!

mocha Pro 2013 Quick Look from Imagineer Systems on Vimeo.

This video shows you a quick run through of the major features found in visual effects software: mocha Pro v3:

Planar Motion Tracking
Advanced Roto & Masking Tools
3D Camera Solver with export to AE, Nuke & FBX
Object Removal
Lens Distortion

Come see what's new in mocha Pro and where our planar tracking software is headed.

We hope to see you there!

Friday, 22 March 2013

VFX Spring, SXSW, NAB imminent, and Webinars.

I meant to post about SXSW and the rest of our news two weeks ago, but I was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of SXSW and the recovery from it.


Me, showing off mocha's planar tracking at SXSW
South by Southwest was an experience.

We had a booth for a week there, and it was insanity. Austin is a beautiful and wild city. Also, the food trucks are amazing. Is it weird that my takeaway from the show is that the food is great? SXSW is a sprawling convention for music, technology, interactive platforms, and a whole lot of other fascinating odds and ends. I think if we were to go back, it would be best to go as attendees. It's the kind of show where waiting at a booth for people to come by isn't as useful as throwing yourself into the melee and seeing who you meet.

If you got to come by and say hi, we were happy to see you. If you were unable to come by, maybe next time?

NAB is almost here!

NAB is just around the corner! Come visit us at the NAB 2013 Trade Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit the team from Imagineer Systems and give us your feedback, or ask your mocha questions in person. Come meet May Poplin (that's me), Ross Shain, JP Smith, and the rest of our crew. This year we will be featuring product demos, training sessions and special guest presenters at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth #SL3329. View a map to out booth.

We will be there from April 8th until the 11th, 2013

 Get a free exhibit pass! Go to: and use passcode: LV5678

VFX Solidarity 

Imagineer Systems stands with the VFX Solidarity movement to support both VFX artists and the VFX houses struggling to survive in this tough industry. Imagineer Systems has always been deeply a part of this industry, and we have always tried to make tedious artist jobs less tedious. In light of that, we think following the VFX Solidarity page is something worthwhile to do. If you're not following them already, check them out and see what is going on with your fellow artists.

 mocha Pro's Clip Clinic, March 21, 2013 

I sat in front of my computer today and did a huge webinar on workflow and working with mocha. If you made it out, thanks for coming! If you weren't able to make it, we have a recording for you!

This free, live training seminar showed the secrets of mocha, a leading visual effects software. The webinar has been recorded here for your convenience, in case you missed it. Presented by Imagineer Systems Product Specialist, Mary Poplin, this live training covered:

  • Advanced Planar Tracking Techniques.
  • Rotoscoping Skills.
  • Object Removal and Clean Plating 

This webcast did not use pre-optimized demos, but was an in-depth breakdown of how to think about your shots in mocha based on what you need from them. Discover the nuances that helped mocha and planar tracking recently get honored with a 2013 Academy Award! Submit your own problem footage for future demos and Mary will choose a few clips to solve and answer questions while you watch. If you would like to submit your own footage, please contact:

Until next time!

Thanks for tuning in and we'll see you online or at NAB!


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Spreading the Love!

To celebrate our recent honor from the Academy of Motion Pictures, the team from Imagineer Systems was pleased to offer a special limited discount on mocha Pro software - our flagship product. This past Oscar's weekend mocha users were able to save on upgrades! We really appreciate those of you who were able to take advantage of this offer.

Speaking of, I highly encourage you to buy support when you buy mocha Pro. Imagineer offers one year support & maintenance contracts for customers that wish to insure they are always running the latest version or need a guaranteed response time for customer support & technical issues. For more information, please contact us or your local reseller.

Thats not all to report, though. This past Thursday we hope you were able to get out of the house in Boston to meet Dan Lebental, along with filmmaker Rick Macomber, and Ross Shain of our very own Imagineer Systems, and Robin Hobart of BrickyardVFX at Salvatores. There were drinks and prizes and we heard great things from our users, as usual. Thanks for hosting, BOSFCPUG!

So now that we've spread the love there, lets spread some link love below.

Videos You'll Want to Watch

An oldie but a goodie:

What is mocha Pro? Planar Tracking and more. from Imagineer Systems on Vimeo.

If you have never seen this video, it is worth watching. mocha guru, Mary Poplin discusses Imagineer Systems' Planar Tracking products: mocha AE and mocha Pro. Showcases the features that are only available in mocha Pro v3 and upgrade options.

The Dark Knight Decends

The Dark Knight Descends from ScruffyTV on Vimeo.

From our friends at Scruffy.TV and That Post Show. Written by Kanen Flowers and Michael Morgan. Directed by Kanen Flowers. Starring: Jeremy Jones, Dixon (Scott) Phillips, Mike Guerra, Jessica Learn, Chris Snyder, Sherman Koltz, Colin Hussey, Chris Morrell, Constance Hasapopoulous, Katie Whitcraft and Michael Critz as Christopher Nolan.

Cinematography by Paul Del Vecchio and Sky Tallone. Edited and Composited mostly by Paul Congdon. Color Correction and Sound by Michael Schmidt.

Sponsored by Imagineer Systems Mocha Pro --

( Shot entirely on green screen at Beyond Pix Studios in San Francisco, CA )
Also available in iTunes - or at Scruffy.TV/tss



mocha user, Hamed Momeni of ROMOSTUDIO shared this cute animation! They did it just for fun to test with mocha, Shooting-canon 7D, CharacterDesign-Photoshop, Tracking,Remove and cleanPlate-mocha, Composite-AfterEffects.

Revengeance: Metal Gear Rising Inspired

The guys at 7SL Entertainment used mocha on their latest video game inspired short, "Revengeance." The video is a little violent, so beware of that, but it's a great example of the kinds of things you can do very simply with mocha's planar tracker and AE.

Duet with my hand (mocha tracking)

@Alvarobadmother used mocha for this cute video. Love to see YouTube videos that do more with mocha than simply blow things up! It is a jazz duet with his hand, apparently he won't dance. Composited in After effects CS3, mocha tracking and Sony vegas

Free Tracking Markers

For those of you on set, mocha's planar tracking does not often need tracking markers, but for large sets and green screens, these free markers should come in handy!

Wrapping it up!

Well, that about does it for this week. As usual, if you have any questions or comments for us, let us know!


Monday, 11 February 2013

2012 Scientific and Technical Awards | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

February 9, 2013 - Source: Valerie Macon/Getty Images North America

This past Saturday I tagged along with John-Paul Smith and Ross Shain as they went to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2012 Scientific and Technical Awards to collect Scientific and Engineering Awards alongside Dr. Philip McLauchlan and Allan Jaenicke at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was a huge honor and all of us at Imagineer Systems are still so excited about our colleagues, but more importantly our friends, receiving this award.

Watch the acceptance video here: 2012 Scientific and Technical Awards | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Photo by Jenn LaBelle
As Ross says at the end of this clip, we couldn't have done it without the widespread suport of you, our incredible users. Thank you. It was truly a night to remember, and special thanks also needs to go to the families, friends, and colleagues that supported these innovators while they worked to make the next generation of motion tracking tools.

As usual, your continued feedback helps us develop mocha into a competitive package that has enjoyed world-wide adoption in the film, television, motion graphics, and end user markets. News sites are buzzing with write-ups on our software and we'd like to be able to show off some of our incredible users work. We've had some wonderful appearances in ForbesFXGuide, The GuardianDigital Production BuzzThe Academy, and Zimbio. With that in mind, we're making a big final push to get some great footage for our reel for 2013 that we can show off at NAB, Siggraph, and SXSW. So this is the last reminder I will put on the blog! It would be great to have your work helping represent Imagineer, and time is running out to submit your shots. We can only accept your clips until the end of the month. We are specifically looking for interesting before/after examples in which mocha AE or mocha Pro has helped on a project. Our preferred Format is: 1920x1080 Quicktime - Pro Res. Please email me for the ftp upload information at
The VES Awards!

The Annual Visual Effects Society Awards

But the Sci-Tech Awards weren't the only thing going on in Hollywood this week. I was also able to attend the Annual VES Awards at the Beverly Hilton. The VES Awards recognizes and honors the most outstanding visual effects work of the year and honors the artists who created them. It was incredible to be able to mix and mingle with some of the VFX Industry's best artists and technical wizards. And while the Oscars may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, as a member of the Visual Effects Society, I can tell you that this is an event I will look forward to every year.

Congratulations to all the winners this past week. The technical innovation that pours out of these incredibly talented men and women is an inspiration to us all.

Until next time!


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

More Academy Press Coverage

Ross Shain from Imagineer here again. We've been busy since the announcement that our company will be honored with an Academy Sci-Tech Award on February 9th. Continuing with this news, I'd like to share some of the recent coverage: interviews and write ups.

fxpodcast #241: Sci-tech winner: mocha 
Mike Seymour from fxguide, recently interviewed Imagineer Systems CEO, John-Paul Smith.

Mike and J-P talk in-depth about the technology, the award and the history of planar tracking development.

Listen  Download - The Oscars Speak Early
I spoke with Mark Hughes from about the Academy news and mentioned some customers and films that have used mocha software.   Read Article

Digital Production Buzz
Editing guru, Lary Jordan interviews John-Paul Smith on the award and development history.


Digital Production Buzz
Lary Jordan also interviews Ross Shain about mocha and how to use planar tracking.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

mocha Team Wins Academy Award!

(Last Years Sci-Tech Award Winners)
Happy 2013! We are kicking this year off with exciting news. On Feb 9th, 2013 the team from Imagineer Systems will receive an Academy of Motion Pictures Science and Technical Achievement Award for mocha and Planar Tracking. In this post, Imagineer's Ross Shain, talks about the announcement and shares a brief history of Imagineer's innovation.  

Ross Shain, Imagineer Systems
Hey everyone!  I am very excited to congratulate everyone at Imagineer Systems - past and present employees - for their contribution to this award. Imagineer is based in Guildford, UK with a small and dedicated staff of developers and product specialists working across the globe in their virtual offices. Over the years we have worked with many hard working engineers, support specialists and visual effects artists who should all take pride in this special recognition by the Academy.

And of course, we thank the passionate customers and early adopters: creative filmmakers, effects artists, colorists and editors sweating over shots and using mocha daily to help solve problems. Your feedback, creativity and evangelizing support is appreciated! To see some recent customer work, view our 2012 Customer Show Reel

Motion Tracking...What is this all about anyways?
At the heart of most visual effects shots are some basic fundamental tasks: motion tracking, rotoscoping and clean plating (sometimes called object removal or cloning). The motion tracking process uses computer algorithms to determine pixel movement, saving artists from lots of manual work. Rather than go into the history of tracking, lets just say for a time there were two available technologies: point tracking & camera tracking, both good but each having advantages and disadvantages for particular types of shots. Imagineer innovated the use of a new method for capturing pixel motion and over the years has has carved out a significant place in the film and video industry.

mocha was used by Look FX for planar tracking on Black Swan. read more

Planar Tracking - A Brief History
In 1997, Dr. Phillip McLauchlan, a computer vision researcher at Surrey University in Guildford, UK created a mosaic algorithm to take multiple images and create "stitched panoramic images"

In research, McLauchlan discovered that by applying temporal filtering to overlapped images, he could not only reduce artifacts, but completely remove fast moving foreground images!

An early example of object removal: removing Stefan Edberg from a tennis broadcast.

Together with Allan Jaenicke, McLauclan formed Imagineer Systems Ltd. and in 2001 released mokey, a commercial software developed for wire and object removal. 

By 2004, with the the input of London visual effects company Cinesite, Imagineer had created the software product, monet. Designed to track "planar" motion and insert new content, for example the moving Hogwarts paintings in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".

monet and mokey were both recognized within the visual effects industry to be extremely powerful applications, but it was not until 2006-2007 and the development of the mocha interface, that Imagineer's Planar Tracking tools caught on and were globally recognized as significant time saving tools. In mocha, visual effects artists, editors and colorists could now solve the hardest tracking challenges and export the data to the system of their choice.

mocha's interface was designed to be simple, easily learned and optimized expressly for tracking and rotoscoping tasks. In 2008, Adobe licensed mocha AE to be included with every seat of Adobe After Effects software, bringing planar tracking to hundreds of thousands of users. Over the years, mocha and mocha Pro have grown to compliment and support almost every editing, effects and finishing system including popular software from Apple, Avid, Autodesk, The Foundry and many more. 

Planar Tracking Replaces Point Tracking
mocha's true innovation has been to create new paradigm for motion tracking that is faster and easier to learn than camera tracking and more robust and dependable than point tracking.  
  • Not a point tracker, not a feature tracker.
  • Uses 2.5D Planes. Tracks all pixels within search area. 
  • Uses larger area of image, more robust result.
  • Animatable X-spline layers help solve issues: avoid reflections & foreground elements.
  • Not dependent on specific features.
  • Excels at tracking smooth surfaces such as skin and clothes.
  • Excels at tracking soft focus, blur and grainy shots.
mocha and Imagineer's planar tracking technology has made its mark on thousands of films, television shows, commercials, music videos and more. Artists use this technology to help create seamless visual effects such as adding digital makeup to actors, building virtual set extensions, removing unwanted objects and now converting older films to 3D. 

To lean more, please visit