Introduction to Motion Tracking

Introduction to Motion Tracking

Introduction to Motion Tracking

Motion tracking in VideoStudio allows you to track different objects in your video clips in order to add a moving title, image, or even blur or censor faces or other information. In this tutorial we’ll review the basic features of motion tracking.

Click on any of the images below to view full-size.

How to Start Motion Tracking

Open VideoStudio under the Edit tab and drag your video clip onto the Video track on the timeline. With your clip selected, click on the Track Motion icon from the toolbar.

A dialog box will pop up giving you some information on how to use this feature.

  • Drag the red tracker on top of the subject or object that you want to track.
  • A magnifying window will pop up to help you see exactly where you’re placing the tracker.

You can select from three different tracker types:

  • Set tracker as point– Allows you to pinpoint a position to track.
  • Set tracker as area– Allows you to select an area you want to track.
  • Set multi-point tracker – Used as a method to blur or censor objects.

In this example we are using Set Tracker as Area. Click and drag the area box over the object (in this case, the van window) and use the yellow nodes to adjust as required.

Adding a Matched Object

A matched object will follow along with the original object you are tracking. This could be a highlight graphic like an arrow or circle, or an image or video clip. In this example, our matched object is a family photo that we want to follow along with the van as it moves across the screen.

  • Check the Add matched object option to create a Matched object placeholder (turquoise box) for an image or video.
  • Select a preset option from the Position dropdown or choose Custom to set the Matched object placeholder wherever you’d like.
  • Use the nodes on the Matched object placeholder to adjust the size and dimensions.

Tracking a Segment

In some cases, you may want to track only a particular segment of your video clip. The motion tracking feature allows you to select a section easily:

  • Drag the scrubber to the point where you want to start motion tracking and click the Track in
  • Then drag the scrubber to the point where you want to finish motion tracking and click the Track out icon.

How to Track Motion

Click on the Track Motion button to track the motion of the object. In this example, you’ll see that the box follows the van as it’s moving.

Click on the Show Tracking Path icon to see the path you’ve created. You can drag your scrubber along the timeline to see the path movement as well.

Once you’re happy with the motion you’ve tracked, click OK to exit the Motion Tracking dialog box.

Other Motion Tracking Options

To reset the path you’ve created, click on the Reset to Default Position button below the preview window.

The toolbar at the top of the Tracker Control area offers the following option:

  • Click the Plus icon to add a new tracker.
  • Click the Minus icon to remove a tracker.
  • Click the Rename tracker icon to rename a tracker.
  • Click the Save to Path Library icon to save the motion you’ve just tracked to use in future projects.

How to Match an Image or Video with Tracked Motion

If you added a matched object while you tracked motion, the placeholder will now be on the Overlay track on the timeline.

  • Right-click on the placeholder and select Replace Clip and choose either video or photo.
  • Another option is to browse in your library and find the media you want to add to replace the placeholder.
  • Then drag it on top of the placeholder and press CTRL on your keyboard before releasing.
  • This will replace the placeholder with the new graphic, in this case a family photo.

Press Play to preview and you can see that the family photo now follows along with the van as it drives down the road.

Adding Transitions to Matched Objects

You can use transitions to add an effect to a matched object. This is particularly useful if you are motion tracking only a segment of a video clip, as the transitions will create a softer entry and exit for the matched object.

  • From the Transitions tab in the media library, choose a soft transition like Dissolve and drag it to both the beginning and end of the image or video on the Overlay track.

Now the overlay has a soft fade in and fade out as it moves across the screen.

These are just some of the ways you can use motion tracking in VideoStudio to enhance your videos in a creative way!

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comments (8)

  • bob willis Reply

    How can I avoid the tracker looking the path of a blinding football? Is it the software can not track faster moving action than the slow passage of the van in you demo?
    Many thanks Bob Willis

    April 22, 2020 at 10:28 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Bob,

      This is a sticky problem, and the reason why the old FoxTrax ‘glowing puck’ was invented!

      The ability to track motion depends on the resolution of the target, the framerate of the video, and the speed of the object. If you have a fast-moving object, higher framerates and resolution are often required for the motion tracker to get a good lock on the object’s pattern. A football could complicate this even more – not only are football passes very fast, they spin even faster! That means the apparent texture is changing as it moves, as logos, stitching, and other surface elements rotate into and out of view. Add it all up and you get a problem where the best solution may lie in the camera work, a higher-end camera, or even a mixture of both.

      Hope this helps,

      Discovery Center Team

      April 26, 2020 at 3:50 pm
  • andrew panton Reply

    Is it possible to create a smooth running moving arrow line across an image of a map to show a particular route from one location to another in Corel VideoStudio 18 Ultimate?

    October 30, 2019 at 3:47 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Andrew,

      Do you have the Ultimate edition? The tool you are looking for is the ProDAD RotoPen, which is perfect for drawing routes and other complex paths on a video.

      Discovery Center Team

      November 7, 2019 at 6:41 pm
  • Will Reply

    When tracking an object is it possible to plot its position data to output velocity/acceleration?

    September 30, 2019 at 11:00 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Will,

      The motion tracker is not currently able to output vector data like that. If it did, it might be of limited use! As it currently functions, the program plots the movement of a tracker across 2D space (the X and Y of the image), which would give you a distorted value if the target moves along the Z axis. This is a really interesting idea though! We have passed it on to the development team for their consideration.

      Discovery Center Team

      October 5, 2019 at 1:42 pm
  • Doug dolan Reply

    I am trying to make a highlight reel of a hockey player – would like to circle the player and follow them during a play that lasts 30 sec long. Can your program do that?????

    June 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Doug,

      Yes it can! The only complication you may encounter in a longer hockey play is making sure the element you select for the tracker to follow needs to remain visible. If it passes behind something you may need to either manually track during that segment (if the tracked point is hidden the program can’t follow it), or switch to a new tracker for the duration.

      June 27, 2016 at 12:02 pm

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