Tutorial: Replacing a sky using Boris Mocha Pro / Blackmagic Design Fusion

Ben Brownlee shows just how flexible Mocha Pro’s tracking data can be when paired with Blackmagic Fusion’s compositing workflow. Learn at your own pace as he guides you through how to replace a sky with 5 easy-to-follow videos. Includes project file and footage.

Boris Reaches Out ..

Following on from my piece yesterday regarding the opportunity to take this time to increase your skillsets by learning new products, Boris Yamnistky, the “Boris” in BorisFX has sent a missive to all those who use any of the products they distribute.

“Dear Boris FX customers,

During the uncertain times surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I’d like to personally reach out to you to restate our commitment to continue serving and supporting the worldwide broadcast and post-production community when you need us most. I know that many of you had to disrupt your normal working environments on short notice and move your editing, compositing, and motion graphics work to your homes. I know, because we at Boris FX went through the same ordeal last week. To help you with the transition I’m pleased to offer:

  • Free 60-day “at home” licenses for Sapphire, Continuum, Mocha Pro, and Silhouette for all qualifying Boris FX customers to replace their floating licenses locked in the office. Please read the FAQ for more details
  • The Boris FX Application Manager — a free download that helps customers easily deactivate and reactivate node-locked licenses, perfect for moving an installed license to a new workstation. More information can be found here

On our part, the Boris FX team is taking all necessary precautions to protect ourselves, our families, and the communities where we live and work. 

  • Our staff has been working remotely since last week to minimize community spread
  • Quotes, new license purchases, upgrades, and renewals are all being processed as usual
  • Customer service operations like plug-in support and license assistance are all readily available through the usual channels ( phone, forums, email, chat)

I know how hard it is to see your business disrupted by this unforeseen global event, but I feel that as a community we are all in this together and we can lessen the impact by helping each other!

Boris Yamnitsky
CEO/Founder, Boris FX”


BorisFX: How to best use Continuum 2020’s new tools and effects.

Dan Harvey, London-based VFX artist and Boris FX trainer, shows how Continuum 2020’s new tools will change how you work. Easily tackle screen inserts/replacements, add slick transitions, generate reflections and cast shadows, quickly track large search areas with Mocha Area Brush tool, and more. Boris FX live training events are sponsored by Dell/Intel/NVIDIA
Learn more about Continuum: https://bit.ly/30GkwJY


Mocha. It works in AE, Vegas, Resolve etc. But what IS it and why would you use it? Here’s why…

A brief overview and explanation of the Planar Tracking technology that drives mocha software from Imagineer Systems.

mocha is award winning tracking software built upon a renowned Planar Tracking image engine. mocha follows “pixel patterns” through the most difficult conditions including objects that go off-screen, objects that are partially obscured, even out of focus footage. This technology drives our products and is licensed to technology partners.

mocha’s innovation has been to create a new paradigm for motion tracking that is faster and easier to learn than camera tracking and more robust and dependable than point tracking. mocha compliments post-production software including tools from Adobe, Autodesk and Apple.

learn more at: wwwimagineersystems.com


CVD VFX: Compositing Power with Mocha Pro & Sapphire

CVD VFX has won 3 LEO Awards for Best Visual Effects in the last 3 years — and it’s only 3 years old. The studio, founded by industry veteran Chris van Dyck, has grown from 4 artists to 15-20 artists. The team produces high-end visual effects for film, television, and the gaming industry. Together, they’ve worked on over 100 projects, including HBO’s Westworld, FX’s Fargo, BBC America’s Dirk Gently, FOX’s The X-Files, and the video game Mass Effect: Andromeda.

CVD VFX, Chris van Dyck(CVD VFX: Chris van Dyck, Founder)

CVD VFX, Erik Jensen

(CVD VFX, L-R: Blair Richmond, Erik Jensen)

The CVD VFX team works on anywhere from 2-10 projects at one time and uses Boris FX plug-ins to streamline and add creative punch to their Nuke pipeline. “Whether it’s a complicated track that can be done a lot easier or more efficiently with Mocha Pro or a quick look for an effect that we need to build with Sapphire,” says Erik Jensen, Compositing Supervisor. “Both Mocha Pro and Sapphire save the artists tons of time.”

As Compositing Supervisor, Jensen sets up shows, keeps projects on time, and helps solve creative challenges should they arise. “I really enjoy writing tools and gizmos that help the artists or the studio in general. Mocha Pro is integrated into our Nuke pipeline in a pretty seamless way,” states Jensen. “We’ve added a hotkey on the Nuke toolbar to send a selected show to Mocha so that the artist doesn’t have to find the program or load the shot and settings. And the ability to export a Nuke Tracker or Corner Pin directly from Mocha makes this integration even better.”

CVD VDX: Mocha tracking example from film Numb

(Numb, Best Visual Effects Motion Picture, LEO Awards – Mocha tracking and masking)

CVD VFX: finished shot using Mocha to track sweat from The X-Files

(The X-Files, finished shot after using Mocha to track sweat)

The team turns to Mocha for all its complicated planar tracks (and removals) like tracking sweat to a character’s face on The X-Files and adding multiple wounds to characters on Wayward Pines or Dead Rising 2. “The main benefit in using Mocha over the built-in Nuke Tracker is the time-saved,” notes Jensen. “In a lot of instances, the adjustments that need to be done to a Mocha track are minimal or almost non-existent.” Shots that are very dark, don’t have enough contrast or shots that have a lot of movement in the foreground also get the Mocha treatment. “Mocha is great at dealing with these issues,” continues Jensen. “The fact that you can mask things out based on how close they are to the camera is great and the results are amazing.”

Sapphire’s wide variety of tools allow the artists to build effects faster. “The built-in presets are great,” notes Jensen. “It’s something we really like about Sapphire, that ability to quickly get an effect that we can slap into the shot to start a conversation with the director, and develop a look with a strong base that’s fully customizable,” notes Jensen. “In cases like the pararibulitis effect for Dirk Gently Season 2 (above), the whole sequence was built around using S_Zap as a base — and that was only possible because of how strong the base was.” The Sapphire Render Unit, which includes S_Zap and S_Caustics (recently used for “faster-than-light” effects on the E3 reveal trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda), is the team’s most used category of effects with S_DigitalDamage from the Sapphire Stylize Unit a close runner-up. CVD VFX’s use of S_Digital Damage can be seen on many projects including the The X-Files and the films First Light and Zoo.

“Overall, the addition of Sapphire and Mocha Pro into our Nuke pipeline has been one of the greatest since the company started,” ends Jensen. “And we hope to keep using these tools and everything they offer for many more years in the future.”

Learn more about CVD VFX  (Plus, check out CVD Academy, a 12-week training and mentorship program for future compositors!)

Download a free trial of Sapphire

Download a free trial of Mocha Pro

Remove person from any video with Mocha Pro

Want to learn a method for removing a person from a video?

Watch this tutorial to find out how you can remove a person from a moving video using the Mocha Pro Remove Module. Then, stay tuned to see various ways you can use the incredible VFX effects in Sapphire and Continuum.

Download the project file and footage

The Schedule

2:46 – The Mocha Pro Remove Module

16:00 – Rotoscoping in Mocha Pro

20:01 – Mocha Pro Remove Layer Fix

20:54 – Creating The Dissolve VFX

22:47 – Glow Edge with Sapphire s_RainbowGlow

28:33 – Disintegration Particles with the BCC Particle Emitter 3D

34:15 – Dealing With Camera Movement

37:06 – Tractor Beam with Sapphire s_Aurora

42:01 – Auto Tracking Flares