Motion tracking fail by After Effects and Mocha

I wanted to see if fast moving object, such as a yo-yo, can be tracked accurately by either After Effects or Mocha motion tracking. Not even close! They both failed after a couple of frames, so I had to track it frame-by-frame, which is tedious. Mocha, especially, was disappointing. I don’t know enough about the program at this time, but it seems to track patches of data much better than a point. Anyway, after tracking the yo-yo, I attached an AF point light to is and had it emit particles for an interesting effects. I wanted it to displace smoke, but it took too many particles (around 1/2 million), and it kept crashing AE.

Best quality/file size rendering workflow

Apple Compressor sucks! It’s nice to have it render the scene in the background while I still work on edits, but the rendered file sizes are HUGE and the quality is mediocre at best.
The better way to render is to simply “Export as Quicktime Movie” from FCP. The initial export is huge, but using an “Export” function of Quicktime player to h264 reduces the file greatly and the quality, amazingly, is retained. I am tickled pink!

Sharpening and Superflat profile

After 4 months of shooting T2i DSLR, I finally got the settings dialed in the way I want it.
1. Shoot the video in “Superflat” profile.
2. Add the color, contrast and most importantly, sharpness, back in.
Most of the videos from the beginning looked ‘mushy’ and for the longest time, I could not figure out why other people’s videos were sharp and mine weren’t. I shot mine flat, killing sharpness while recording, but overlooked sharpening the image while editing.
Why take it out and put it back in later since it seems contradictory? It’s all because I get more dynamic range.