Motion Tracking Text in Adobe After Effects, the COMPLETE CLASS | Joey Bettenbroek | Skillshare

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Motion Tracking Text in Adobe After Effects, the COMPLETE CLASS

teacher avatar Joey Bettenbroek, Filmmaker & Video Editor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Motion Tracking Text in After Effects Introduction

    • 2. Exploring AE & preparing for tracking

    • 3. Position Motion Tracking

    • 4. Position & Scale Motion Tracking

    • 5. 3D Camera Tracking

    • 6. Congratualations

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About This Class

If you never used motion tracking before, please stop what you're doing and watch this class because you will LOVE this subtle effect!

Motion tracking text, one of the first things I learned as a filmmaker. With motion tracking, you can track the movement of a certain object and add that data to another object. In this case, text.

In this class, you will learn how to do motion tracking in After Effects in 3 different ways.
1. Motion Tracking the position
2. Motion tracking the position and scale
3. 3D camera motion tracking

You will not only learn how to pull off the effect. But you will also learn the theory behind it. Because of that, you know exactly when and how you use motion tracking in your videos.

This is an effect you will love to use now and then in your videos without spending hours every time applying it.

If you're not already owning After Effects Click here to download After Effects with a free trial.

After watching this class I guarantee you can do motion tracking yourself and you will understand how and when you can pull off this effect. Also, you will fall in love with using it in different ways to give some extra details to your videos.

So I hope to see you inside!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joey Bettenbroek

Filmmaker & Video Editor


Hi, I'm Joey. I think everybody can be a filmmaker and can shoot a video. No matter where you live, how much money you have, what kind of gear you have or how smart you are. WHEREVER, HOWEVER, NO EXCUSES, JUST SHOOTTHATVIDEO!

That's why I share my tips and tricks for filmmaking. I want to share EVERYTHING I already learned and will learn in the future about filmmaking.



I've been making videos since 2011 when I started my first YouTube channel. By making silly comedy sketches on this channel I found my passion for being behind the camera and making the video itself. I went to film school but I got kicked out of it because I was already too busy focusing on video clients and following my o... See full profile

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1. Motion Tracking Text in After Effects Introduction: Hi, guys. Welcome to this new players. And today in this class, I want to teach you something that I use a love and that is motion tracking in after effects. Today will teach you all the different kinds of motion track possibilities inside after effects, and that will look something like this. Aftereffects is a software from adobe Adobe offer effects. The after effects, like the name says you can do effects. Visual effects. I use it for a very specific kind of basic things, and one off those things is motion tracking. So what is motion tracking? Motion tracking is collecting the information to stick that information off. How a certain subject in a video moves do, for example, text In this class, I want to teach you three different dives off motion tracking. 1st 1 is motion tracking a position, and that's the one I used most often, and it's also the easiest one. The 2nd 1 is emotion direct the position and skills. So, for example, when something moves in or out, the text also gets bigger or smaller. That's a little bit more difficult, and the 3rd 1 is three D camera tracking and with a three D camera drinking aftereffects, tracks the whole video and tries to find surfaces so you can stick something to a surface. So that's also recognized. Like I said, I use this effective lot, So I wanted to teach you this. Let's no talk any further and let's jump right into the first episode where I wanted to graphics and prepare everything for our tracking a subject. 2. Exploring AE & preparing for tracking: So this point we're opening adobe after effects, which is, like I said, different software than Adobe Premiere Pro, which is a normal editing software. This especially made for visual effects. I'm working from a clean new fell, but you can also, which I recommend If you just want to add this effect, do it already existing a project in Premiere Pro. If you have that, you can go to a fell in adobe Premiere Pro, and you can right click on that fell and then replace with the after effects composition. Okay, right now back to aftereffects. This is a clean foul where nothing happened. Yet you can see this composition as a clean canvas. We can make a composition right now out of nowhere. But we can also do that based on the fouls were using so for dead. We're finding the 1000 our computer, and we're just dragging that into our project. And the project is, as you can see over here right now, there isn't anything in the project, but this is the place where we're gonna drag our fouls. So bum Now the Fells are importing and the's are our video fouls as you can see. So like I said, we can now make a new composition based on the settings off our video. So for the first motion tracking effect, which is just the position motion tracking we're gonna use this fell. So if we're selecting this foul and then we had the right mouse button, we can go to new camp from selection and calm stance, of course, for composition. So if we hit that, then we have a new composition in, though we officer effect, it's a little bit different than needed. A Premiere Pro because I need a premiere pro this'll part is very important because you want to make progress in the timeline. But the after effects you make the effect in this space because here, going to stack all the layers onto each other, and over here you can see the video foul. This is a bit soon there now, because it's on a 100% but we want to see it on fit. And as you can see, this is the whole foul. Now it fits the scream. Also, the quality is now on full, which is maybe for most computers a bit hard because after effects is a heavy software for most computers. So you can put that on 1/3 maybe, or half. And then this is how the software after effects, looks here on the right side. You got all kinds off windows to change all kinds off sad eggs from effects. But we will talk about that later. First, we're gonna make the graphics because we want to stick a text to a object in this video. The first I want to make that text. We do that with text layer over here, the horizontal type toe. So we select that we click on the preview screen and we can type something. So at this point, you can release all your graphic design skills because we're gonna make something fantastic . You can put your name or something, and then we can go back to the selection to which you can do with the viewing keyboard to. But this is the selection toe, and with the selection toe, you can up. As you can see, refreshed is able to release capsule my caps lock waas still all and then he can't refresh the screen. So I have to release caps lock, and that's okay so we can direct this where we want we can make it even prettier because, Joe, you is not my name. Um, so maybe Joey and maybe my I'm YouTube channel shoot that video. Then we can select this text and we can play with the paragraph over here. Over here can make it aligns to the left or the rights, but I will keep it in the middle. And over here you have character and that character, You can change the forms. You can change the the dis ice you can change, make a stroke. You can do all kinds of things. But what if you don't see these windows, which is a very good possibility? Then you go to the top and you go to win, though, and underneath window you find all the windows there are in side off adobe after effects. So also, like I used the paragraph for the character. So you can easily check that on our off if you need it or if you don't need it. So now I can make something nice with the character to over here. I will set this on out. Um, I will make it a bit bigger something like this. Then I will play with the thickness. So something like this. Like I told you, you can release your crafty signed scales. Maybe I want to add like a drop shadow because the background is also kind of bright. Then I will search for effects, effects and presets. But again, if you don't see it, you can look it up on the window effects of presets. So I will search for a drop shadow, which you can drag onto the text layer over here. This is kind of heavy, but here are the controls kind of goods, just little bit more softness than lower the opacity. Then you can also make it bigger not only by the phone size, but you can also drag bigger over here. But remember toe hold shift. When you do, it's other proportions. We'll keep the same. So over here we got a nice, correct thick. Then the last thing we need to do to prepare everything for trekking motion is making a new layer, and that new layer will be a no object. So we do that by going to the latest and hitting the right mouse button and then go to new and then go to no object. So we're selecting no object. And what is a no object? That's a good question, Joey. That's why I'm entering it right now. And no object is a invisible layer. But you can add all kinds off information to that invisible layer. And why do you want that? Because then you can connect that invisible layer to all kinds of other objects. So what we will do with no object is we're going to track the motion and the information off that we stick to the no layer. And after that we can stick the no object toe everything we want. So in this case, the text, because we're going to track the text. But that's something I will do in the next episode. So I see you there. 3. Position Motion Tracking: Hi, guys. Welcome to the third, but officially the second episode. And in this episode we will do the promise Motion tracking. So I explained what the no object is. So now we will tracked emotion off the video. So we will select the video and then we will stick that motion to the object. But first, we're gonna track the motion. So for debt, we need a window. And that's called the Tracker. So I have it, I think here, over here. So this window, the tracker again. If you don't see it, goto window and select Trekker. So we select again, select the video, then direct motion. It's track motion. And then, as you can see, it creates a trek point. So what is a track point? You can zoom in on the picture which are scrolling wheel, and then we can also zoom in on the track point. As you can see, this is a track put. We have to stick this track point to something inside off this video through the thing we want to track the motion off. So let's have a look at this video most of the time. You off course? No. What you want to track, but in this case, we're tracking this guy because this is a video off a guy, um, correcting some eyes on a boat on a very nice catamaran cruise, actually, so we have to track this guy, but we can't just put this track points somewhere on this guy because the track point has to find something in the screen that it can follow Really well. So first of all, this truck point is, Willie's really small right now, but we can also make it a little bit bigger by just dragging, assuming in which are strolling, we'll and then just dragging this bigger. The first square or rectangle is, um, the thing you have to place it over, and the 2nd 1 is like a safe zone. So that's why the smaller the track points, the precise er it off course can track something and the more precise your motion will be. But if we said this track point, for example, and you can pick it up and drag it around and then it assumes in so you can find a perfect spot. But if we put this strict point, for example, over here this is definitely not a good spot because because inside this rectangle oh, it's exactly the same as outside. So then the track born don't know where to look or what to follow, so it works the best if you find something that is, that has a lot of contrast. So maybe black on white or a corner or something, and then the background is like, brighter or darker. Because if we can see a big difference between black and white, then also the track point can see the big difference off what he has to follow. And this is a bit off trial and error, and you will see that in the next episode's because it's not always as easy as you think. By the way, if you hit space, you have a little hand and you can move around inside off the preview monitor. But, for example, if you want to track something on him and you think, hey, right now, this little part is very contrast E. So that's a good spot. And then we will track this to Hiss Bun, his man bond. And then this is like a good contrast E spot. But before you going to try to track something you can double check if it's good sport by looking with your preview monitors in different places, because we want to track it beginning this point, and that is the right side off hiss bun. But if we look on, for example, six seconds, then the right side off his bun is completely blended in with contrast with the back of his head's. So at this point, I can already say that is not a good spot. The more you will practice did, the more you will understand what are good spots and what are in good spots to, um, put your track point on for now. I can tell you that the sea on his back is a good striking point because it have has enough contrast between the dark, she and the white shirt. And as you can see this see, we'll always be physical on the back off his shirt so we would go back to the beginning and , um, we make this bigger so it fits perfectly around to see. Then to track the motion, we will play with analyze, but before before we hit analyzed, there is a very important thing we have to do because I told you about he no object and to stick the thing we're going to track now to the new object we have toe edit the targets. So who hit at its target up? We're lucky because it's already on the No. One, but it's also possible that it's maybe on your graphic that you made. So if that's the case, you have to set it on No. One and then you hit. Okay, so then we get his analyze and there are four buttons there. We have analysed forward and analyzed one frame forward and then, of course, analyze backwards and analyzed one frame backwards. We don't have to go backwards because we're starting at the beginning so we can analyze forward. We can do that frame by frame, but you can also do it automatically, and then it will go. It's own way, and if it feels you will see it right away and you can do it again. So we put the preview screen on fit, and then we just hit, analyze forward and if we do that bum, then the video will play very slowly and then the track point will try to track on the thing you put it on. So in this case goes really well. Ah, gay. This is super nice. It still follows to see But it's this still it goes. Really? Yeah. Nice. Nice, nice, Nice. The track point followed the see almost the whole time. Only at the end it filled. But as you can see now here is the tracking bath. It followed so they and can see at the at the end. It was a little bit wild if it was not successful, you can always go one frame backwards, time at a time, and then you can see also trekking frame goes backwards and then you can do it manually. So for example, the sea was somewhere over here, so you can set it manually at the good spots. So if you find the spot it filled on, you can try it again to set your tracking point manually over there, and then you can hit, analyze forward again. But as you could see, the last 15 frames filled. So in this case, off course, I'm gonna crop off the last 50 frames and I would use the first like thousands off frames, but at this point, I'm very impressed that it worked right away. But for now, I'm happy, so we don't change anything else. At that point, we can hit. Apply over here, and if we hit apply, you see another window that's called motion trekker. Apply options, and over here you can choose if you want to follow the X and Y position. Or maybe if you only want to follow the X or Y position separate most of the time, you can choose X and why. But you can change this if you only want to follow, like the motion from left to right or demotion from up to them. But for now, X and Y's fine. So we hit OK, and then, as you can see, if you open the no layer or also if you select it, you can see the bad. If you open it, you can also see over here and you consume in by the plus on your keyboard, you can see that every frame has his own position. So then, like a torture, you can stick the text to the new layer. It super easy. How are we going to do that we select the text over here at Parent and Link. We have like a little throw or a parent big whip, and we can drag that to the thing we want to connect it with. So we want to connect the text to the no layer. So we do that. Then over here at burned and link, you can see that it's now connected to no one. You can also fall this out and selected manually. But this whip is made because if you have, like hundreds off layers, you could just visually connect it to each other. So I can talk a lot at this point. But if we hit the space bar, then we see that the text now is connected to the sea on his backside to the person and it moves perfectly with him. And that is how you track a text to a subject in a video. And at this point, you can also add some more graphic. So let's say you want toe add ah, line, too. Maybe d she you direct this to the site and then you take the pen tal de select everything and then make a line from here to here and then it makes a shape, as you can see, So you can then maybe make a stroke. So you go to content shape, then Beth and Stroke and then you can select the stroke. And then if you d select everything, you made a stroke from the sea to the text. And then, as I told you, you can pick t shape layer, and then you can parent and link it to dino object. And then the stroke will move together with the text because it has the exact same position settings. So now you learned how to track the position inside off a video, which is super nice. Maybe this video was a little bit long because I also had to explain everything around the tracking action. But in the next episode, I will go. Ah, step further show. I don't have to explain everything again. So I will see you there. 4. Position & Scale Motion Tracking: Hi, guys. Welcome back. In this episode we will motion crack not only the position, but also the scale. So let's jump right into after effects. So this is what we made before. But we go back to the project and then we find the new video we're gonna work with. And that is this video So right, mouse button and the new composition. So we have a clean canvas. So again, we first start with making the graphic thing. This is a video that will soon end so the text will be bigger. So don't make the text already super big. Keep in mind that the size off the text will change. So I made a graphic again with shooting video by Joey or something. This, of course, just as an example. But it can be like a beginning off a movie or something, so I think it looks kind of cool. Then again, we make a no object. Oh, go to the layers, go to new and go toe. No object selected. And then we have a clean, new no object. Then we're going to track the motion. And in this case that starts the same with video and then go to to record. So find that window again over here, Trekker. And then we hit trek motion. This is what I explain in the last episode. So nothing new at this point. But over here, you can not only directly position, but you can. Also, as you can see, track to scale, you can also attract irritation. But that's something I never used. So and we check skill then. As you can see, there is a new two records, and I have tracked 20.1 and track 0.2. So at this point, and this is where it gets a little bit difficult, you not only have to find one good tracking point, but you have to find two goods trekking points on a subject. And there is one subject in this frame that is really high contrast E and also moves closer . And that is off course. As you can see, this bench really good points are, of course, the corners off this bench. Um, and if you found those points, it works the same as in what I teach you in the last episode. So we drag this one to this'll point and we track this'll one to this point. And as you can see, um, I can make these a little bit bigger, but the point we're going to track it's so small and so precise that it is not even unnecessary. So we will put this on fit again, and we will just try to direct the bench right now. So we had analyzed forward bomb. And as you can see, this works perfectly. Nice. Nice. Nice eyes. Ah! Oh, stop it. You can stop the analyzing thing by hitting the button again. So getting analyzed forward again Because, as you can see, it's not tracking. Depends anymore. Because over here is the bends and the trackers are over here. So now we can find a point where it lost the bench over here. It's still goods. But then over here, this point lost it a little bit. Um, this point is still going goods, because at this point again, So we make it a little bit bigger. We put it again on the corner, and we can try to track it again. So this is not okay. Um, this point is all over the place again. I will try it again. Maybe go frame by frame then, As you can see, the left point is now not right anymore. You could set it again and just go frame by frame. But at this point it loses the point. And that's just because there's not enough contrast anymore because now it has to do with the background, which is also very dark. So as you can see, the Beth went super greats, like all the way to hear. But then it just got lost. So again you can fix this manually so you can set all these points to go in the same direction, the right direction. But this is not even precise anymore. At this points, you could spend some time to fix it. But I would recommend to just corrupt the last time frames of video. But it's up this off. We can hit, apply. We need the X and the Y motion. Definitely this time. So we hit OK, And then if you hit the target right and you edit the targets through the no object which we has, all the frames are right here on the no object. So we close this than we can go to the text and we can parent and link the text, do the no object or go with a funny screw to the metal object and then the text distract to the bench so it comes closer while we're flying closer with the drone. But as you could see, it's now really small. And why is that? That is because when I connected the text to the no object, I connected it at the point my grocer or my time indicator was at the point. It waas the size yes, we wanted. So my tax was probably when we made it this big. So I connected the text to the no object when it was this big. But But then when it starts, it zooms out. Of course. So if you did at and you want to change that, then go to the point in the video. The text is the size you want. You want to have it at the beginning. So that's probably this. Then go to parent and link and hit None again. So now the text is not linked, as you can see. Then go to the beginning and then link it again to the no object. So now the text in the beginning is this size, and now it will only assume in even more. But to Auntie's episode off, I want to show you that this was a perfect video but also tried with another video, which is a little bit harder, so I will show you debts. As you could see, this is super cool video in the forest as a graphic. I will take this horrific will hit, come and see, and that will use it again because I'm not making another graphic again. Then we're making a no object track motion. So we got to trek points. But when I hit fit, now we have to find, like I already told you, a subject where we can add two points. And as you can see, there is not much go interest in this video because with all the leaves and everything, it's super hard to find one subject with two good tracking points, and there's also what I want to tell you this episode. This is a lot off trowel and ever because right now I will try to track maybe a tree or something so analyzed forward. It's not bad. It's definitely not bad, but because the trek points are so big, it's not super precise and ran. As you can see, this track point is not even on the tree anymore. But it's kind off nearby, so you can maybe get away with its. I will give up right here, but I can still hit. Apply. You can see that the scale goes up and it's tracked when we go closer. So it were kind off. Okay, but not Esper size as as the other one way, you have to really good points you can track. So in the next episode of will explain how you can trigger the whole video and then find serve faces. Make a place, the text or pictures on, so I will see you there. 5. 3D Camera Tracking: for that example. We have this composition, and this is a really nice orbit shot. So the camera or in this case, the drone goes all the way around this rock, which is, by the way, when I shot from endure films. But to track the whole video, we're not gonna track the motion, but we're gonna attract it camera. And this is, I think, the easiest want to pull off from the three. So what are we going to do? So without making a no object or something, we're selecting the video and we're not kidding Track motion. But we're hitting track camera. And if we do that, then it's analyzing in the background because now it's trekking and analyzing the whole video. So while we're waiting, I want to ask you if you already followed me on skill share, so we have to wait Now. As you can see, we have to wait two minutes. Two minutes left and it's on 25% now. 7654321 So solving camera, that's takes about a few seconds. So at this point, it's tracks the whole feed, eo. And as you could see there all kinds off small boats now, and that's on the whole video. And those small dots are for trying to find a surfaces on, in this case, this rock. To find a service like that, he picks like three off those thoughts and because the red circle you can see what the angle off that surface should be like. So now you can find a place in the video. You want to place your texts. So, for example, this is the front off the rock. So this is dis ICT, and this is almost the other side. So what I want is I want my text in on the front off the rocks. Over here, I will find a surface. Ah, let's have a look. Um, let's just click on a surface. Maybe. Ah, this one. So I selected it just clicked once. But now if I hit with my right mouse button, I can say creates text and camera and never do that. It creates literally only text and a camera with all those points. So now, as you can see, my text is direct to that points. But the point wasn't that good as you can see, because my Texas inside off the rack Right now. We can fix that by selecting the text and then also, as you could see as you zoom in so I can grab this blue arrow and I can pull it further from the rock. As you can see from inside. The angle of this is looking down and I don't like that. But that's not like, really hard, because I can just delete this text and I can release the three D camera and then I select the video and I selected three D camera again, and then I again see all the points I have. So we're looking for another great points again. At this point, I found a nice place with the right angle. But as you can see from the site of Texas inside off the Rock, which is not a good thing, so we put it all the way to the front, and at this point, we can off course modified the text because this is just a text layer. So if we double click on it, we have all the character styles over here, and we can do whatever we want with it so I can do this again. But like with the other text, I can also put a drop shadow again on it on. Then we made this. So we stick the text literally to this rock because there was the lost way off motion tracking. I wanted to teach you in this class and I hope you liked it. But keep watching to the end because I have to ask you something, so I will see you in the next episode. 6. Congratualations: Hi guys. Con Kratch. You've finished this class on by that. It means that you learn something new. At least that's what I'm hoping for. You learned how to motion track things, do a subject in a video. I also hope you liked the whole class. If you did, please leave me a review on this class that's super helpful for potential new students and for myself. Also, I try to make something new here or skill share almost every week. So if you want to learn all kinds of new things about filmmaking but also about editing, also hear A Scotia tried to make something new almost every week. So if you want to learn more about editing or a filmmaking, definitely follow me here on skill share. You could also always hit me up on social media. If you have anything, any specific questions are anything specific you want to learn. So with that, I wanted to say, keep practicing and keep safe, and I hope to see the next time here on skill share