How to hijack the Mocha for AE tracker for use in other apps. (like NUKE!)

Mocha is awesome. Its inclusion in the CS5 suite is amazing, and I think it has really blown open the world of what entry level vfx artists (and even amateurs) can do. One problem with the AE-only version is that it is AE-only! It prevents (or rather doesn’t enable) you to use it with other apps. It exports its data in a specific format meant for after effects and it does a great job of that.

At work I am working my way through nuke, and it is really a pain to be able to use Mocha with AE but not nuke. The simplest fix would be to buy Mocha for nuke, but the powers that be haven’t done that yet, so I had to figure out a way. I got to thinking the other day, and tracking data at it’s simplest is only x,y points, so what is stopping me? It turns out that the only thing is formatting!

I whipped up a quick applescript to strip the x,y data out of the MochAE exported text file and put it into 4 separate txt files for nuke. It’s really that simple! One thing that you need to do in nuke is to set the y axis to (frame height-curve) because the two apps have a different coordinate system.

After all of this I have a passable workflow, but I want to stress that if you have enough dough to be using nuke, buy Mocha! This app is intentionally a little rough around the edges because I don’t like the idea of taking away anyone else’s business. It also isn’t a replacement for the standalone Mocha; it doesn’t offer any of the other (quite worthwhile) features. It’s a fun little hack, and hopefully it helps someone out of a jam somewhere, but if you need this, then you need to buy the full version of mocha!
Click here to download the MochAE to Nuke converter

~ by ross on November 12, 2010.