Lost In The Mocha Plugin

I use Hitfilm Pro 2017 and wanted to achieve something very simple.

The camera stands on a tripod and from a short distance a car approaches and stops. What I want to do is change the Dutch number plate with a American one.

Here is what I did:

  1. I put the footage on the time line and created a composite shot.
  2. I dropped the Mocha Hitfilm effect on in.
  3. I chose for Open Mocha UI
  4. I watched Axel Wilkinson's video on Youtube and ende up with a camera solve with an 99% accuracy. 
  5. I exported it and a *.hfcs file was created.
  6. I imported that in my Hitfilm project.
  7. In the video Axel said that my footage would be in the xported file, but it wasn't. However, I saw a lot of grid stuff going on in the screen and a camera layer and a lot of point layers.
  8. Because my initial composite shot seems to be obsolete now, I decided just to throw the footage in the one Mocha Hitfilm just produced.
  9. I also put the new number plate into the composite and link it to the camera layer.
  10. Instead of following the car, the number plate comes some from beneath outside the frame, makes the same movement like the car and ends up in the upper left region of the footage, while the number plate in the footage ends up being in the lower right region of the screen.
  11. I can swear that the movement is right but somehow upside down or something.
  12. Questions arise.

Here they are:

  1. Why me?
  2. Why didn't put Mocha Hitfilm the composite file out with the footage like Axel said?
  3. Why is Mocha a Plug-in if it doesn't behave like one?
  4. Would normal tracking within Hitfilm be a better solution for what I want to achieve?
  5. Does anybody know a tutorial where the new version is explained, or even better something simple like replacing a number plate is demonstrated.?

With the normal tracking in Hitfilm I managed to put blood spetters into a suicide scene where the camera was circling around the guy who'd put a bullet in his head. So it's not that I totally not know what I'm doing or what I after, but I don't know what Mocha is doing here.


  • Update: After some experimenting I managed to get the whole number plate replacement thing done. I now could make a tutorial myself.

    The only thing I don't get at this point is why is Mocha a plug-in that I have to drop on the footage as an effect? The Hitfilm manual doesn't describes and of the parameters of the plugin. All I know and understand is that I open the Mocha UI, do my work there, export the data, go back to Hitfilm and import the data. At that point there is no interaction with the original clip on the time where I was coming from and I have to feed the composite shot that Mocha created with the footage. So I don't get what the sense of the plug-in makes. I don't know if I express myself well enough.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well, let's see if I can answer.

    Mocha (starting with Hitfilm 2017) is a plug-in, partially because Imagineer built it that way. Imagineer is a different company than FXHOME and FXHOME is not responsible in any way for Mocha's coding or operation.

    As a Plug-In the major advantages come in importing to Mocha (now Mocha takes the frames of footage directly from what's on the timeline. If you'd trimmed footage, then gone into an earler version of Mocha, you'd have to reload your footage and give Mocha the correct in/out points) and in Roto splines, which are now directly applied to the layer. For camera solves this saves one step, for roto splines it saves three steps.

    Mocha, in all prior (pre-2017) versions of Hitfilm reloaded the footage when you imported Mocha data. Now, I had a project last year where I used Mocha to camera solve. And I used Mocha to track a screen for replacement. And I used Mocha to roto out hands over the screens. Since each time I imported Mocha data my footage was reloaded, I ended up with three extra copies of my footage in my media bin--and that was for one shot. Add in the other shots with similar effects and that's a lot of extra junk cluttering up the media bin. The current version of mocha doesn't do that. I'd rather have a single copy/paste of my tracking data to move it into the main comp than all those extra media files in my bins.

    So there are multiple reasons why this is a superior implementation to prior versions.

    Incidentally, FXHOME also isn't responsible for Mocha documentation. That can be accessed via the Help menu in the Mocha UI.

  • Hi @Triem23

    Thanks for the fast reply. When I have thrown the 'effect' Mocha Hitfilm on the footage of my timeline and I then have a closer look at the controls for that effect I see things like 'Open Moch UI' and 'Matte' and other settings. As this is within Hitfilm I thought this portion would be documented in the Hitfilm manual.

    I watch b.t.w. all your Youtube tutorials and of course InScape Digital. Maybe you want to make a tutorial on using Mocha for different applications. I didn't know you could use it for roto scoping. I have a roto scoping taks coming on and it's always a  hassle.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Mario I DO intend on doing a Mocha series, but, since Mocha really is a totally different program that just happens to plug-in to Hitfilm, that's going to be down the road after I get through all of Hitfilm's features. :-)

    Putting it another way, if I'm lucky I'll get to Mocha before Hitfilm 2018 comes out.

    This tutorial will give a short overview on roto with Mocha. It's for an older version of mocha, so, instead of exporting a Composite Shot with the roto splines (although you can still actually export the Composite Shot if you want) you exit mocha from mocha's file browser, then go into the "matte" controls for the mocha effect on the layer. View Matte will show you the mask you've roto'd. Apply Matte well... Applys the roto to the layer.

    You can also copy/paste the mocha effect from one layer to another, so you could (for example) roto a person then apply that roto matte to a fractal nose plane to become a force-field surrounding the person.

  • Triem23, I found some tutorials on the channel of the makers of Mocha for Hitfilm. I really have to dive a bit deeper into that.

    I look forward to all of your tutorials on your channel and can encourage everybody here to go and have a look, as you really add massive value to the Hitfilm community and I like your style.

    Thank you so much for all you do!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Glad you found those, because I forgot to post the tutorial link earlier. 

    Thanks for the kind words! 

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