Match Move Workflows

This section provides a general overview of several Match Move behavior workflows, including four-corner pinning. For a full description of the Match Move parameters, see Match Move Controls.

To use a Match Move behavior, you need a minimum of two objects in your project: a background or source element and a foreground or destination object. The source object provides the movement as either an animated object (shape, particle emitter, and so on) or a recorded track (from movement in a clip). The movement from the source object is applied to the destination object. The destination object can be a shape, text, particle emitter, and so on).

Using Match Move to Track a Background Element

The Match Move behavior is applied to the foreground element and tracks a feature in the background element. This data is applied to the foreground element so that it “matches” the movement of the tracked feature in the background clip.

To “match move” a foreground object using the Match Move behavior
  1. Play your background clip several times to determine a good track point.

  2. Select the foreground element, then click the Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar, then choose Motion Tracking > Match Move from the pop-up menu.

    A single tracker (the Anchor checkbox in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector) is activated. The Anchor tracker records position data.

  3. Determine if you need to activate additional trackers for two- or four-point tracking.

    • For two-point tracking, select the Rotation-Scale checkbox in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector (under the Anchor checkbox).

    • For four-point tracking, choose Four Corners from the Type pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector and proceed to Four-Corner Pinning with Match Move.

  4. Go to the frame where you want the track to begin.

  5. In the Canvas, drag the tracker (or trackers) to the point (or points) you want to track.

    As you drag the tracker in the Canvas, the region around the tracker becomes magnified to help you find a suitable reference pattern.

    Figure. Canvas window showing magnified area that appears when dragging a track point.
  6. Click the Analyze button in the HUD or Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    The foreground element is tracked to the background element.

  7. If you are using two-point tracking, turn on (or off) the Position, Scale, or Rotation buttons (in the Adjust row) to add (or remove) tracking parameters.

    In the following example, only Position is enabled in the Adjust row of the Behaviors tab. As a result, although the camera pushes in toward the picture frames, the white elliptical shape does not change its scale or rotation based on the position of the two trackers.

    Figure. Canvas window showing an object being tracked by Position only.

    In the next example, Position, Scale, and Rotation are enabled in the Adjust row of the Behaviors tab. Consequently, the white elliptical shape changes its position, scale, and rotation based on the position of the two trackers matching the camera’s push toward the picture frames, thereby preserving the illusion that the shape is physically attached to the picture frame.

    Figure. Canvas window showing an object being tracked by Position, Scale and Rotation.

    Note: When using four-point tracking, scale and rotation are automatically applied to the corner-pinned object.

Using Match Move to Apply Animation Data to a Project Element

You can instantly apply the animation of a source object to a destination object via the Match Move behavior, without any tracking analysis. The source object can be animated by behaviors or keyframes.

The following simple example uses a “magic wand” (made up of rectangle shapes) that is animated on a motion path. The animation of the wand is then tracked to a particle emitter to create the illusion of sparkles flying off the tip of the wand.

To apply the transformation of a source object to a destination object
  1. Select the element to which you want to apply the behavior, click the Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar, then choose Motion Tracking > Match Move from the pop-up menu.

    In this example, a Match Move behavior is applied to a nonanimated particle emitter.

    Figure. Layers tab showing Match Move behavior applied to a particle emitter.

    The closest animation data (such as position or rotation changes caused by keyframes or behaviors) beneath the Match Move behavior in the Layers tab is automatically applied as the source and is displayed in the Source well. In this example, the animated wand is the source animation.

    Figure. HUD showing Match Move settings.

    Important: Animated objects, tracking behaviors, and footage can be dropped in the Source wells.

  2. Ensure that the Type parameter is set to Transformation in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

  3. Position the object with the applied Match Move behavior in the Canvas at the location you want.

    In this example, the particle emitter is positioned at the tip of the wand.

    Figure. Canvas showing an object at its starting point.

    The particle emitter and the wand now share the same animation path.

    Figure. Canvas window showing two objects sharing the same animation path.
  4. Play the project.

    The particles match the movement of the wand.

    Figure. Canvas window showing the two objects moving together.

About Destination Object Animation

You can instantly apply the animation of an object (called the source object) to another object (called the destination object) using the Match Move behavior. The source object can be animated by behaviors or keyframes. The destination object can also be animated.

You can specify whether the animation of the destination object is ignored by the match move or added to the match move. You do this by choosing an option from the Transform pop-up menu and by selecting options from the Adjust parameters in the Behaviors tab of the destination object.

When you choose Attach to Source from the Transform pop-up menu, the destination object is anchored to the source object. If the destination object is animated when the Match Move behavior is applied, you can choose whether the existing position, scale, or rotation animation (of the destination object) is preserved or whether the position, scale, or rotation animation of the source object is applied to the destination object. This is controlled in the Adjust parameters of the Match Move behavior.

When you choose Mimic Source from the Transform pop-up menu, the destination object “mimics” the recorded track or animation of the source. If the destination object is animated when the Match Move behavior is applied, you can choose whether the existing position, scale, or rotation animation (of the destination object) is preserved or whether the position, scale, or rotation animation of the source object is added to animation of the destination object. This is controlled in the Adjust parameters of the Match Move behavior. For more information on Attach to Source and Mimic Source, see Match Move Controls.

Reordering Match Move Behaviors

When a Match Move behavior is added to a project, the closest active footage or layer with animation (transforms such as position or rotation changes caused by keyframes or behaviors) is selected and automatically applied as the source animation. This source animation is displayed in the Source well. When you move Match Move behaviors in the Layers tab, that data is reset. To retain the source animation data, copy the Match Move behavior and paste it to the new item.

To copy and paste a behavior
  1. Select the behavior you want to copy in the Layers tab.

  2. Choose Edit > Copy (Command-C).

  3. Select the layer to which you want to apply the copied behavior.

  4. Choose Edit > Paste (Command-V).

    Note: You can also Option-drag the behavior to the new item.

    The copied behavior is applied to the new item.

Four-Corner Pinning with Match Move

The Match Move behavior allows you to track four points on a background clip and apply the motion to the four corners of a foreground element. There are three possible four-corner pinning workflows. In the first example, a foreground element is pinned to a background element using the four-corner trackers. This workflow is useful when the “pinned” image is the same size as the background reference patterns to which it is being tracked. In the second example, the foreground element is corner-pinned prior to using the four-corner trackers. This allows you to position the element in the correct location on the background element prior to applying the Match Move behavior. In the third example, the foreground object is transformed to fit a background picture frame using the scale, rotation, and position parameters in the Properties tab prior to applying the Match Move behavior. This workflow is helpful when you prefer to adjust the “pinned” image prior to being tracked.

Motion offers many different tracking workflows because shots vary so greatly, and tracking success is unpredictable. Several tracking attempts are often required before a satisfactory track is achieved.

Tip: If one of the pinning options below doesn’t result in a successful track, try another option. There is an additional four-corner pinning workflow that can be performed using the Analyze Motion behavior.

Note: You can also perform four-point tracking using the Analyze Motion or the Stabilize behavior. For more information, see Using a Non-Match Move Four-Point Track for Corner-Pinning.

There are special considerations when corner-pinning groups. For more information, see Tracking and Groups.

Option 1: Pinned Image Is Locked to the Reference Points

This workflow is ideal for a four-corner pin in which the transformed or “pinned” image is the same size as the background “frame” (or reference patterns) to which it is being tracked. In the following example, a foreground image is pinned to a background clip of a picture frame.

To track an image using four trackers
  1. Drag the playhead to the frame where you want to start the track and apply a Match Move behavior to the foreground element.

  2. In the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, choose Four Corners from the Type pop-up menu.

    Figure. Behaviors tab showing Match Move Type pop-up menu options.

    Note: The Four Corners option is not available when Match Move is applied to a 3D group. To corner-pin a 3D group, select the Flatten checkbox in the Group tab of the Inspector.

    In the Canvas, a tracker appears at each corner of the foreground object’s bounding box. In the Inspector, the default track list (Anchor and Rotation-Scale), is replaced with the Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Right, and Bottom Left trackers.

  3. In the Canvas, drag each tracker to a “corner” of the background element (in this example, the corners of the picture frame provide the four-corner track points).

    As with the Analyze Motion trackers, a magnified inset appears in the Canvas as you drag the trackers.

    Figure. Canvas window showing maginfied inset that appears when a tracker is dragged.
  4. Click the Analyze button in the HUD or Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    The foreground element is “pinned” on the background element.

    Figure. Canvas window showing one object matching a background object.

    Note: In this example, a reflection is created on the table using a duplicated and transformed copy of the tracked image.

    To fine-tune the track (when Four Corners is chosen from the Type pop-up menu), you may need to make minor adjustments to the foreground element, such as modifying its scale or rotation. When you choose the Attach to Source option from the Transform pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, you cannot transform the tracked object. To transform the tracked object, choose Mimic Source from the Transform pop-up menu.

  5. To transform the foreground element after the tracking data has been applied:

    1. Choose Mimic Source from the Transform pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    2. Click the Properties tab in the Inspector and make the necessary adjustments using the Scale, Rotation, and other parameters.

    For more information on the Mimic Source and Attach to Source transform options, see Match Move Controls.

Option 2: Corner-Pin the Object Before Tracking

In this workflow, a foreground object is pinned to a background picture frame using the Four Corner parameter in the Properties tab prior to applying the Match Move behavior.

To adjust the four corners of an element and then corner-pin the element
  1. Select the foreground element you want to corner-pin.

  2. In the Toolbar, choose the Adjust Four Corner tool from the 2D transform tool set.

    Figure. Toolbar showing 2D transform tools expanded and Adjust Four Corner tool selected.
  3. Drag each corner of the foreground element into the correct position.

    Once a corner is dragged in the Canvas, the Four Corner checkbox is selected in the Properties tab.

    Tip: You may want to lower the opacity of the foreground object to better see the reference points on the background clip. You may also want to disable snapping so the image you are adjusting does not snap to the Canvas guidelines. To turn snapping on or off, choose View > Snap or press N.

    Figure. Canvas window showing an object being modified using the Four Corner tool.
  4. Go to the frame where you want to start the track and apply the Match Move behavior to the foreground element.

    In the Canvas, a tracker appears at each corner of the foreground object. In the Inspector, the default track list (Anchor and Rotation-Scale) is replaced with the Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Right, and Bottom Left trackers.

    Figure. Canvas window showing four trackers positioned at each corner of the object.
  5. If necessary, drag each tracker in the Canvas and fine-tune its position in the Tracker Preview of the Inspector.

    Figure. Canvas window showing magnified tracker position.

    Important: To adjust the trackers without adjusting the foreground image, choose Mimic Source from the Transform pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector. When Attach to Source is chosen from the Transform pop-up menu, the foreground image is distorted when the trackers are repositioned.

  6. Click the Analyze button in the HUD or Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    The foreground element is “pinned” on the background element.

    Note: If you adjust the Four Corner parameter for a layer, then apply a Match Move behavior, the Four Corner parameter is automatically applied in the behavior. If you delete the behavior, the four corner settings for the layer remain. If you reset the Match Move behavior, the four corner settings are reset.

Option 3: Transform the Object Prior to Corner-Pinning

In this workflow, a foreground object is transformed to fit a background picture frame using the scale, rotation, and position parameters in the Properties tab prior to applying the Match Move behavior. This workflow is helpful when the “pinned” image needs fine tuning, such as scaling, rotating, or cropping prior to being tracked.

To transform and corner-pin an image
  1. Select the foreground element you want to corner-pin.

  2. Using the onscreen transform controls or the Properties tab of the Inspector, adjust the foreground element’s scale, position, or rotation to its “frame.”

    Figure. Canvas window showing an object matching the position of another object.
  3. Go to the frame where you want to start the track and apply the Match Move behavior to the transformed element.

  4. Choose Four Corners from the Type pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To position the trackers without changing the shape of the foreground image, choose Mimic Source from the Transform pop-up menu, then position the trackers on the reference patterns of the background image (in this example, the four inside corners of the picture frame). In the image below, the tracker is being positioned in the Canvas, but the foreground image is not affected because Mimic Source is chosen from the Transform pop-up menu.

      Figure. Canvas window showing a tracker being positioned. The foreground image is not affected.
    • To adjust the trackers and affect the shape of the foreground image, choose Attach to Source from the Transform pop-up menu, then position the trackers on the reference patterns of the background image. In the image below, the tracker is being positioned in the Canvas and the foreground image is affected because Attach to Source is chosen from the Transform pop-up menu.

      Figure. Canvas window showing a tracker being positioned and affecting the foreground image.
  6. Click the Analyze button in the HUD or Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    The foreground element is “pinned” on the background element. Because this workflow may not yield ideal results (the foreground element may not scale or move correctly with the background image, for example), you may need to apply a mask to or crop the foreground image.

Masking and Tracking

When a mask is added to an object with applied tracking data, the data is automatically applied to the mask. In the following images, the foreground image is tracked to four points on the background clip, but still needs to be masked to fit into the picture frame (without unevenly scaling the image).

Figure. Canvas window showing a tracked object with a mask applied.

Although the mask is attached to the foreground image, you may need to animate changes in the mask’s position and scale to accommodate changes in the background clip over time.

Note: As an alternative to using masks, you can also crop an object with applied tracking data using the Crop controls in the Properties tab of the Inspector.

You can track the control points of a mask to a clip or apply existing tracking data to the control points of a mask. For more information, see Track Points Workflow.

Using Mimic Source for Four-Corner Pinning

Depending on your source footage, you may need to corner-pin an element using reference points that are in a different position from the final “pinned” size of the foreground element. You do this by offsetting the trackers using the Mimic Source option. In the basic example below, the reference patterns (the “markers”) to be tracked are located inside a frame, rather than at the corners.

Figure. Canvas window showing an object tracked by offset points.

Because the tracking reference points (markers) are not flush with the inside edge of the frame, you must offset the image from the four trackers. Otherwise, the final corner-pinned image will appear too small, as in the example below.

Note: In this specific example, you could track to the corners of the frame. However, the steps in the following section demonstrate a simple example of how to use the Mimic Source parameter in order to four-corner pin an object when your predefined tracking markers (markers placed on the objects in the physical set) are offset from the reference points to which you want to track.

Figure. Canvas window showing the tracked object smaller than the background object.
To track reference points that are offset from the foreground image
  1. Use one of the workflows above (Four-Corner Pinning with Match Move) to set up a four-corner pin using the Match Move behavior.

  2. Choose Mimic Source from the Transform pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

  3. In the Canvas, drag the trackers to the tracking markers.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a tracker being repositioned.

    The image is not affected and remains locked to its original placement.

  4. Click the Analyze button in the HUD or Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    The foreground element is “pinned” on the background element.