Magic Ball Tracking

In our recent Magic Tracking Tutorial, we used a new preset to help locate a specific point on a surface tracked with Mocha AE. This technique works well to establish objects onto a specific location like a sign but you can also slide objects on the surface as well. This example shows the ability to animate that point along the surface by keyframing the position of the NULL.

For the boulder I used CC Sphere with some fast rotation and manually scaled the ball as it reaches the camera. You can even download the project and see how I did the other effects as well but I encourage you to check the Magic Tracking tutorial to see how it works. There is no 3D tracking and it was all created within After Effects and tracked with Mocha.

Watch Sample Video
Download Project File

October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:52 pm
Hehe you and indy!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:53 pm
Nice Stuff AK!!!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:55 pm
Hey Andrew, I have a new slogan for Video Copilot!

"Video Copilot, A Near Miss Every Time!"

    December 3rd, 2010 @ 5:34 pm
    lol he should
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:55 pm
Hang on lady, we go for ride!!!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:56 pm
Nice one ;) But when the ball hits poll it doesnt really seem to look that realistic :/
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:58 pm
A french sign, there?!? :)
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:59 pm
I think it's so funny how the music stops when it hits the sign, like it's such a big deal.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:59 pm
Wow I just watched the other tutorial. And the fun continues :)
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

this is freaking awesome!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:03 pm
sir thank you for this great tutorial. Because din't know that what are use of mocha. And after your last two tutorials i understood how to track motion in Mocha and export to AE.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:09 pm
Shouldn't you be able to use functions to scale it relative to a VP?
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:10 pm
you are hilarious! I love the way you think...
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:21 pm
HAHAHAHAAH!! the only thing missing is Sam runnning infront on the boulder. nice Work as always
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:24 pm
dude!!!! You crack me up! The stuff you come up with, is hilarious! How about some Halloween tuts! Vampire stuff or morph? All in all, I am verrrrrrrrrry greatful for what you have shared with all of us! Thank you for all of your help!
Leonardo Sonza
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:29 pm
Great stuff as always...
Andrew always makes everything better.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:34 pm
Props to you again Andrew
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:38 pm
Can you make one of Sam running away from the boulder?
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:41 pm
I agree too, Sam needs to run infront of the ball lol.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:46 pm
Hi Andrew!
This is what I made.. Not a Giant Ball running throught the road but I hope you Like it! :)

And Sam Running away from the boulder is a great Idea!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:50 pm
hi Andrew Kramer I like all of your tutorial and also your

your smart effects and your product too

and I make aScene that's idea come's to me so my scene

is first I have apic of aplain Aquarium and I make it real by after effects using apic of fish too and make it them moveing and I used your water Blast and I used apic of Rock too and I hope you see my idea
here what I did
thanks for your amazing tutorial
October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:53 pm
i love me some indy!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 3:53 pm
Very nice. I really like teh tutorials you do that approach a problem with a unique solution. Getting that result without matchmoving... cool!
Ben Kramer
October 22nd, 2010 @ 3:54 pm
hey instead of increasing the size like you did is it possible to move it in 3D space?
October 22nd, 2010 @ 4:01 pm
That is so real looking.

I d love to see you attempt a super slow motion effect. There are so many bad attempts out there I think it would be pretty 'WOWing' if that's a word to the DSLR community

When I say super slow, I'm meaning less than 10% speed.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 4:09 pm
Someday you'll get your point dude.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 4:41 pm
very very very very very funny!!!!!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 4:42 pm
At the end it spins a bit fast
but other than that awesome effect as always :) looked very real
October 22nd, 2010 @ 5:41 pm
Love it. Thank you so much
October 22nd, 2010 @ 5:48 pm
Haven't seen the tutorial yet; but if I didn't know better, I would say that the surface of the ball looks remarkably similar to the features found on the surface of our moon. Maybe it's just my imagination.
October 22nd, 2010 @ 5:51 pm
So COOL! Love the Indy music :p
October 22nd, 2010 @ 6:21 pm
Thank you... I was waiting for that sign to get destroyed =D
October 22nd, 2010 @ 7:13 pm
Great work mate.Man the want to be's that nit pick, get me!
Correct me if I'm wrong "Your firing ideas at people" and knocking stuff out at record breaking pace only listen to the positives .Action Essentials has taken my project to a whole new level ,Starting to count the shots I don't use it than the other way around.Without these tutorials I don't think I would pick up the labyrinth of detail you explore. More Mocha, How about a desert Heat wave tut, in your spare time. You rock. J
October 22nd, 2010 @ 8:54 pm
Very cool! I'd love to see a tutorial that shows how to export the tracking data from MochaAE to a 3D program like Cinema 4D or 3DS...
Is that a LUNAR SURFACE Texture???
October 22nd, 2010 @ 9:11 pm
Hey Andrew that's great...when are you going to show the facilities of Videocopilot, i want to see where all of these amazing things are done!
Greetings from Argentina...
October 22nd, 2010 @ 9:18 pm
I've seen this about 20 times... and I'm loving it more and more with each viewing! I love your wacky sense of humor =)
October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:49 pm
falling on the ceiling smiling
October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:03 pm
lol.. that was pretty funny. Thanks for sharing this kind of stuff!
Kevin Lee
October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:21 pm
Nice Andrew, very nice!
October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:57 pm
hey i am a BIG beginner to AE, so how did you do that destuction of the sign?
October 23rd, 2010 @ 12:40 am
i dunno how it was funny........but at the end of still made me smile stupidly at the computer....... :D
Ahmad – Ringleader
October 23rd, 2010 @ 1:17 am
Try to make an Oval (egg) so it goes all around .... lol

good work Keep rolling.....

Ahmad - The Ringleader
Vicky Shah
October 23rd, 2010 @ 1:20 am
awesome sir ji...
October 23rd, 2010 @ 1:38 am
Cool cool cool look at this
Indy J.
October 23rd, 2010 @ 1:54 am
You Guys sure had fun in NY!!! ;)
October 23rd, 2010 @ 2:07 am
HAHA! Wow Great Job Andrew! I'm sure you had a Ball while making this vid! HAHA! No pun intended...8o
Yosh Rassovicz
October 23rd, 2010 @ 4:01 am
well i think there is missing interaction of the poll, especially after collision with such a object, i would expect it move aside just a little bit :) And also how you could think that you could hide disappearing chunks on asphalt surface.. Otherwise funny seen :P
October 23rd, 2010 @ 4:31 am
Hi AK... The last tutorial was published just in time ... the "Align surface" has helped me a lot ... I thought the shot would never be properly track ... I spent about two days tracking it, the shot is so blurry and low quality and wasn't prepared so there wasn't any good track point for standart AE tracking...I tried it in Moccha but I didn't knew what's next step...You are my SAVIOR...

Here is the mentioned scene
Rodrigo Tavares
October 23rd, 2010 @ 5:36 am
Cara você é muito doido, ta de parabéns !
adorei a trilha sonora rsrs

Dude you are crazy, congratulations on the project!
I loved the soundtrack!
October 23rd, 2010 @ 5:52 am
Ironic how that looks mor real than the scene where you run away fromthe exlorion xD
October 23rd, 2010 @ 6:15 am
The movie you mentioned is called Iam Legend. Just sayin.. dont know if that was some of your typical jokes :p
October 23rd, 2010 @ 6:39 am
Andrew, thanks for your work!!!
October 23rd, 2010 @ 7:21 am
Can I use this technique whit 3D Studio Max ? Please help me because I want to put object onto the surface but I don't know how to set up the scene for tracking in boujou ?
Thanks !
October 23rd, 2010 @ 7:22 am
O the video was great !!!!
October 23rd, 2010 @ 8:02 am
Slightly annoying that videocopilot is becoming like the simpsons - it does everything thats been done/or wanted to do.
October 23rd, 2010 @ 8:26 am
Looks so real - never thought its possible with a 2.5d solution. This is an awesome update for AE. It impresses me more then all the other new features of CS5! VCP should be in the developer team of AE - I am not joking! Thanks guys!
Jim P Meister
October 23rd, 2010 @ 9:16 am
What's with the French sign ? I could see if it was in Yiddish or Punjabi, but French ??????
AE User
October 23rd, 2010 @ 10:15 am
thanks for the Tutorial andrew :)
October 23rd, 2010 @ 9:27 am
The method of planar tracking doesn't allow for proper camera solving to be able to integrate true 3d. This doesn't mean you can cheat certain type of things.

This example basically shows how moving the null will not disconnect from the surfacce. I try to show additional examples of ways to use our presets and tutorials to help give additional ideas. I just hope people aren't missing the point of the information I'm trying to share. This preset offers some great abilities that I wish I knew was possible sooner.
October 23rd, 2010 @ 11:12 am
Thank you for informations.I'm looking forward to see others examples !!I will try to integrate 3d whit this technique.
October 23rd, 2010 @ 11:51 am
Hey, this is a French sign ! However I do have a question ^^ Do you know what's written on it ? Because I'm French and it made me laough a bit ^^
October 23rd, 2010 @ 12:10 pm
Hey, Andrew, You should give some traffic sounds, to make more realestic the vid
October 23rd, 2010 @ 12:34 pm
Awesome. Where do you take all those sounds FX?
Is always something Better!
Alldin Dauti
October 23rd, 2010 @ 3:27 pm
ahahah well done! =D
October 23rd, 2010 @ 6:18 pm
Hey Andrew, Love your work very inspirational. I wonder if 3 time winner America's Strongest man Derek Poundstone could lift that massive stone rolling down the street?
I used that CC Sphere technique earlier this year in some of Derek's videos to make Atlas stones for titles and my logo. Derek and I love to use your Pro Scores in some of his videos. Gives him a Captain America feel in this training clip at 2:00 min
October 23rd, 2010 @ 8:54 pm
If you go through it frame by frame that boulder turns a bit too fast. but anyways, I didn´t see it while watching it at normal speed. always happy to not having to go 3d...nice! :)
October 23rd, 2010 @ 8:58 pm
/just thinking
maybe some math magician could write a script to extract z-space data (on a static shot) which could then be used together with sphere radiusx2Pi to do nice stuff?
/end just thinking...
October 23rd, 2010 @ 8:59 pm
Hi Andrew,
Your all the works are really praiseworthy and this time you have also done a great job again and what you try want to realize people that is, you can anything and nothing is impossible and never give up for anything and the tools are allow you to whatever you want to do.. The thing is you should have the creative concept to make it come true and then the software will always give you the opportunity to achieve the best of the best, If you will concentrate and play some trick,...
This is really great,..
Umm. but i didn't ever expect this to Andrew and i think that Our hero was lil hungry, so while doing this great work, he ate the pieces of the sign board and they aren't seen in the scene :P
Nice job again..!!!
Haitham Goldman
October 23rd, 2010 @ 11:16 pm
You'r the best Andrew i like you so much
October 23rd, 2010 @ 11:16 pm
Hey Andrew,

Is this preset works for After Effect CS5 ?
October 23rd, 2010 @ 11:24 pm
See Andrew, I always knew this whole method was theoretically possible in AE, but you were the one who figured out how to actually do it. Well done!
October 24th, 2010 @ 1:49 am
it used to be quicktime,what video format did you use here?
October 24th, 2010 @ 6:15 am
with some expressions andrew (on the position plus a bit of scale adjust) i htink its possible to have that boulder crash in bounce and roll with some very nice asphalt dents.
or is this the next test. id liek to see your take with some 3d data added to this preset if you think its possible?

October 24th, 2010 @ 6:16 am
forgive ym spellign
October 24th, 2010 @ 9:37 am
I say whit my lang!
thank u! <<<<<<<<<<<< ممنونم ازت
October 24th, 2010 @ 10:39 am
Hey Anddi, can u pls make a tutorial on rotobrush on CS5! How to create Alpha Channel for matte painting?
October 24th, 2010 @ 2:07 pm
You and Sam are my best friends and you don't even know it.
Everybody already thinks I'm a GENEYUS because of you.
This will help that along tremendously!
October 24th, 2010 @ 1:39 pm
Hey, I understand if you dont put all the blog videos onto the mobile site. But I really need the tutorials! I don't have that much time on the computer to wath them, so please, make them available on my iphone! thanks a lot! G from Hungary
October 24th, 2010 @ 3:09 pm
Hey. That was pretty cool!!!!!
October 24th, 2010 @ 3:36 pm
where i can get mocha:(
October 24th, 2010 @ 4:28 pm
Ha, was the "Traffic Ball" written with Typograph Pro? I just bought that font.
October 24th, 2010 @ 4:53 pm
nice baby tank you
October 24th, 2010 @ 7:45 pm
lol this actually was funny, when the music gets killed for breaking the sign. Its like something good is gonna happen but the ball had to ruin everything haha
October 24th, 2010 @ 8:52 pm
this is so amazing for not 3d tracking, its like ground breaking!
Bruse Yin
October 24th, 2010 @ 11:12 pm
Good Tutorals! I'll follow you all times.
October 24th, 2010 @ 11:45 pm
hi,..if u got time pls watch my video !
October 25th, 2010 @ 3:50 am
You should definitely check out this action video , made for trash film festival in Croatia. It is a parody of Rambo. Made by after effects & videocopilot tuts.
October 25th, 2010 @ 6:20 am
I like the hidden image in the background. Public Enemy. hee hee
October 25th, 2010 @ 6:35 am
super ... well, boujou delete
October 25th, 2010 @ 7:53 am
David Biederbeck said:

"...Ha, was the “Traffic Ball” written with Typograph Pro? I just bought that font..."

Yep, the 50% off did the trick for me. If you're a font junkie like I am, ("he who dies with the most fonts, wins!") you might like EBISU too.
October 25th, 2010 @ 8:00 am
isn't the moon a little bit bigger? xD
Richie Rich
October 25th, 2010 @ 11:07 am
John Williams is not happy.
Jan G
October 25th, 2010 @ 11:14 am
So first off I love your tutorials, thanks so much. I bought books and still couldn't figure out the program AE- but you really helped me. However, I have about 40 hours to put together a very short video (60 seconds) but lots is wrong with it. first off the subject is in a white t-shirt against a white background. How can I key that out?!?!!? I've tried everything I could think of (again I'm a beginner though so I'm sure what I thought of wasn't much).

I'm just getting so frusturated and running out of time. I wish I knew someone who could quickly add some super basic things and fix up my video enough to finish but alas I don't. Therefore, I'm trying to do it all myself. Please help! (Oh I'm on cs3)
October 25th, 2010 @ 11:32 am
Hey whats up ? It is awesome
October 25th, 2010 @ 1:22 pm
really nice work dear .

Morteza from Iran .
October 25th, 2010 @ 1:28 pm
Hi Andrew,
This is waleed from middle east ( Sultanate Of Oman )
actually I'm new in AE but with ur tutorials, I've learned so many and going on. I just can't wait to see ur next tut.
Good Luck,

October 25th, 2010 @ 1:40 pm
lol XD
what is the first music ???
October 25th, 2010 @ 5:55 pm
moderatedwow what a coincidence !!!!

I did something similar to that while i was trying boujou.. lool ok off course this one is better but just weird :)
check it out here
nice one Andrew
Steve Z.
October 25th, 2010 @ 7:57 pm
Thanks guys for everything. You guys always find ways to make it easier for all of us non pro's to enjoy making fun home created projects. Keep up the great work. You've got a faithful follower in me. Thanks again!!
October 26th, 2010 @ 4:21 am
Andrew, you're great, man, you're an inspiration....

andrew, please, i wanna know how do you export or render your work in a such detailed hi-res video with just few MBytes. (this video of magic ball tracking only takes 1.5 MB)...wihch video format are you using in after effect. i always render as quick time movie but a video of 5 sec takes almost 80 or 90 MB. please andrew, i'll be waiting for your reply....thanks...
October 26th, 2010 @ 12:28 pm
Andrew, the idea of the preset is really cool and usful, and it creats a lots of possibilities....
October 26th, 2010 @ 1:24 pm
Awesome! Hope you folks check out my YouTube channel :D
October 26th, 2010 @ 8:25 pm
I've started taking an After Effects class at college, and our teacher recommended your website. It is hard for a newly AE user, but I really enjoy your tutorials. Thanks, Andrew!
October 27th, 2010 @ 3:09 am
October 27th, 2010 @ 6:07 am
how did u broke the sign?
October 27th, 2010 @ 6:08 am
hei andrew, how did u broke the sign?
October 27th, 2010 @ 9:12 am
Check out the use of optical flares in this alien film, andrew you must be proud.
October 27th, 2010 @ 9:53 am
Hi Andrew, well done and thanks again for some really cool tutorials. This is a commercial I did using Action Essentials 2 and several other CG elements and stuff.
October 27th, 2010 @ 11:50 am
is that a texture of a moon?!! haha
October 29th, 2010 @ 12:50 pm
too funny mr kramer, well done
Bruce Gordon
November 1st, 2010 @ 1:27 am
This is hilarious, i just closed my eyes and laughed
November 1st, 2010 @ 12:31 pm
Greate stuff Andrew, i like it. I will try to make somthing like this, but i don't think i will have success.
November 6th, 2010 @ 1:52 pm
I've made something similar Thanks for your tutorial.
November 12th, 2010 @ 5:11 pm
Been playing with this preset. With some tweaks, you can link Particular to the null to add falling snow or dust to a moving shot. Thanks again!
December 10th, 2010 @ 7:57 am
@Salomon: that's really cool stuff, that you uploaded to your YT Channel. Thumbs up, looking forward to see more soon :) subscribed.
December 14th, 2010 @ 2:40 pm
You're very good, Andy! :D
jennifer espino
January 12th, 2011 @ 10:42 am
nice one andy! love your supremacy! more power!
soheil Sharifi
March 28th, 2011 @ 6:54 am
Hi Andrew I love it
i'm from Iran
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