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How to Use Motion Tracking in After Effects

How to Use Motion Tracking in After Effects

Motion tracking after effects allow you to add a great visual pop to your creative projects across Adobe’s range of creative productivity programs. For video editors, nothing is more powerful than the tools integrated in Adobe’s After Effects, including motion tracking. Read on to learn how to use this tool in your next editing project.

Making Your First Motion Tracking in After Effect

You can follow these steps in a project you’re currently working on if you have imported all the images you wish to use already. Otherwise, start a new project and import the graphics files you want to use for practice. It helps to practice with actual assets for your project, so choose a few from your Shutterstock folder and import them into the document. Next, follow these simple steps:
  • Select the video you will be working on and drag it to the composition tab.
  • Drag and drop the image you want to add the motion tracking effect with. Put it over top of your video’s title to ensure it stays on top during this process.
  • Click on the video’s title to select it. Then create a null object by using Layer > New > Null Object.
  • Add a motion tracking animation using Animation > Motion Tracking. If the Motion Tracking option is grayed out, make sure your video is still selected.
  • Position the motion tracker where you want the object to track.
  • Record the motion trackers steps by hitting “Play.”
  • Click Edit Target at the bottom of the window and select the null object you created.
  • Click Apply Changes.
  • Position the file you want to motion track onto the null object in the window.
  • Finalize the process. In the Project pane, click and drag the spiral symbol to the right of your image onto the Null 1 object.

Congratulations! You have now set up your first motion tracking effect.

Learn to Master After Effect

If you want to be able to add a professional edge to all your video projects, you’ll want to master all the core features of Adobe’s After Effect. Check out the other great articles on techniques and processes to take control of your video’s effects, and then look at Shutterstock for the wide range of vector graphics, illustrations, and photos you can use as assets when putting together your next project. It’s a lot easier to make creative work that really pops when you have great resources to start with.
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