29 Nov 2012

Mocha Pro 3.1: Free update includes lens distortion correction

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Lens Distortion Lens Distortion Erik Vlietinck

Erik Vlietinck tries out the lens correction in this major new update with a GoPro camera

Mocha Pro 3.1 is a free update of this planar tracking and rotoscoping software. (What "planar" means is that it can track whole surfaces and not just points - so if a "surface" moves partly out of sight, it is still tracked, whereas if just the corners of the shape were being tracked, it could be lost if any of the points were to be obscured). Despite its zero price it has a few new features that would more than justify payment.

Mocha Pro 3.1's new features

Greatly improved Lens Module
Ability to import and use External Distortion Maps in all mocha Pro modules
Ability to export rasterized Distortion Maps for Nuke, Fusion, Flame, etc.
Support for export to new mocha Lens plug-in for After Effects
3D Camera export to HitFilm2 from FXhome
RED (R3D) file support
Export coloured roto shapes directly to Nuke and After Effects (or render externally)
Seamlessly export Planar Tracking data to ASSIMILATE SCRATCH 7.


Screen Shot


I tried the lens calibration export to After Effects and Distortion Maps, and the coloured shapes export feature. I took a GoPro wide-angle clip and ran it through mocha Pro 3.1. Instead of the complicated workflow I was bracing myself for, mocha Pro 3.1 presented me with a simple, but multi-step workflow.

Calibration involves selecting the most lens-distorted lines by clicking "New Line" and then clicking those lines in the viewer. Then click on Calibrate and export the Lens Data to After Effects. In the case of After Effects, it's best to copy to clipboard and just hit the paste key once you're in After Effects with the same clip in the compositing viewer.


As if by magic, all lines were straightened and the typical fish-eye effect that you get when shooting Wide using a GoPro HD Hero2 was gone. Of course there is a bit of a deformation going on in other areas, but you can control that in After Effects.

Another great improvement is that you can now export "coloured shapes" to After Effects. In mocha Pro 3, you can colorise your layers, and therefore also your shapes. These coloured shapes can now be exported to After Effects, Nuke, etc. This can serve three purposes:

It can help you identify shapes across applications, or you can use it for generating mattes. It can also be used for creative reasons. Coloured shapes can be made to look much like a cartoon rendition of the footage.

Erik Vlietinck

Based in Holland and Belgium, Erik Vlietinck is the publisher of the IT Enquirer, a pan-European online publication covering multimedia content production.

He also regularly creates online textual and video content for websites of companies across Europe and writes for Photoshop User and occasionally contributes to Post Magazine. Erik has been a freelance writer for over a dozen IT-magazines in Great-Britain, Holland and Belgium.

He has written product reports on editorial systems, superwide format UV-curing inkjets, Postscript RIPs and DAM systems. From 1998 to 2004 Erik wrote the Administrator Guides for DMPartners’ linguistic search engine for publishers and WoodWing Software’s Enterprise 7 cross-media publishing system.

Up to 1990, Erik served as a solicitor at the Antwerp Bar Association and a lecturer at Vlekho, a university located in Brussels, where he bored post-graduate students with IT contracts law.

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