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What Is Motion Tracking and How to Use It

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Originally published Nov 18, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

Motion tracking makes it easier to follow the movement of objects and provide the sensed data to a program for additional processing. Motion tracking involves recording an object's movements that match a previously stored motion template. This has a wide range of uses, including in robotics, entertainment, sports, the military, and the entertainment industry. Additionally, it is utilized in the creation of video games and films. While motion tracking is frequently referred to as match movement in the film and video game industries, motion tracking is frequently referred to as motion capture in other contexts.

With that said, let's begin!

In this article
  1. Learning to Understand Motion Tracking
    1. Filmora
    2. Blender
    3. DaVinci Resolve
    4. Kdenlive
    5. HitFilm Express
    6. VEGAS Pro
    7. Adobe Premiere Pro
    8. PowerDirector
  2. Differences between camera tracking and motion tracking?

Part 1. Learning to Understand Motion Tracking

We need to ask the really crucial question now that we have a fundamental understanding of what it is. What in the world am I going to do with this? In order to do that, let's quickly review some excellent applications for motion tracking. You could,

Utilize tracking information to stabilize motion
Add text or solids as additional compositional elements
Add 3D elements to 2D footage
Use effects or color gradation methods
Replace the screens on your computer, mobile device, or television

These are just a few examples of how motion tracking might be useful. You need to be able to track motion in compositions of any complexity.

Part 2. What software do you need?

There are numerous options for motion tracking applications. With advantages and downsides, we've compiled a list of the finest motion tracking programs. The following are the best video editors for motion tracking in our opinion:


Wondershare created Filmora to enable you to fully express your creativity. FilmoraPro is the best option if you want to make some high-level modifications to your video. In addition to the pre-sets offered, it allows you to tweak the effects for a more expertly edited appearance.


Motion tracking is currently its best feature. You may track a skater as they race across the ice or follow a boat as it travels. Use the motion tracking feature to add drama to your videos. You won't have to worry about getting lost because FilmoraPro features an amazingly simple UI. Simply click on the person or object you wish to track and choose Motion Track from the Effects menu.

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Open-source and cost-free motion tracking software is called Blender. It's an excellent 3D creating tool. Modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, video editing, 2D animation, and of course motion tracking is all supported.

blender video editing


A motion tracker was recently added to Kdenlive, an open source and free video editing tool, under its Effects section. This program analyzes an object's tracking information and automatically generates a map of the object's motion. Following that, you can align a title, an image, an icon, and any other 2D elements to the moving object using this track. Motion Tracker's regularly updated algorithms are one of its key characteristics, which leads to a higher tracking success rate and faster tracking speed.

kdenlive adjust slider

HitFilm Express

The free edition of HitFilm Express is a wonderful place to start if you're learning the fundamentals of 2D motion tracking. To get superior tracking results, it offers two motion tracking types: Single Point for tracking simply position and Double Points for tracking position, scale, or rotation of an object. You can either steady the video with the tracking data or change the point with a CG object.

hitfilm express

Its optical flow tracking technique is outstanding. It successfully tracks a moving item that changes into multiple shapes or is veiled for a few frames by figuring out the brightness flow of the moving object. Beginners can therefore save a great deal of time and effort when designing settings to deal with complex frames.


In VEGAS Pro 18 and later, auto motion tracking is a freshly upgraded function. Despite its late birth, it included the Mocha masking and planar tracking technology, winner of an Academy Award. It enables you to accurately attach images and messages and even adjust for shifting perspective. You can hide faces, license information, and any private objects using this capability.

vegas pro

Adobe Premiere Pro

Because of its superior editing capabilities, Premiere Pro seems to be a requirement for anyone learning video editing. Premiere Pro, however, has a limited number of presets and automatic tools in order to provide consumers the most control.

adobe premiere pro

When masking and blurring a face, motion tracking only works with the auto option. If not, you will need to enter and alter multiple keyframes to add text or resize the video, or you will need to install an extension to convert the mask's tracks to any transformed parts.


Due to its simplicity of use, PowerDirector is unquestionably among the greatest motion tracking programs currently available. It accomplishes complex effects without having an advanced learning curve, in contrast to other video editing tools. As demonstrated in the introductory video up top, a simple interface may be used to easily track and manage one or more motion-tracked items.

powerdirector for mac

With this program, creating a simple motion track may be done in only three easy steps. This editor is for you if you want to finish the job swiftly and painlessly and are new to intermediate video editing.

Part 3. Differences between camera tracking and motion tracking?

Making the audience forget that there is a camera in the room is one of the primary goals of filmmaking. To engage the audience, tracking shots like camera tracking and motion tracking are helpful. Tracking shots provide filmmakers the chance to immerse their audience more deeply in the storyline of their characters. I discovered that there is some ambiguity around how motion tracking and camera tracking differ from one another. I'll explain where the confusion might have originated and give you examples of how to use both strategies.

What distinguishes motion tracking from camera tracking? Their differences are due to how they view the course of action. From a camera's perspective, motion tracking monitors an object's movement. The scenario is more immersive thanks to camera tracking, which detects the movement of the camera and presents it as though you are in a virtual or augmented reality environment.

We'll examine tracking's development in the movie and its significance to the business. What it is and how it affects the cinematography industry. Along with the many software used for both motion tracking and camera tracking, we'll also look at some of the popular applications for both.

Motion tracking

Motion tracking is similar to a car pursuit on the highway in an action movie. Let's use a SimCity environment as another illustration: your Sim's movement is monitored against the steady scene of your home. The frame is set on your Sim, regardless of what your Sim does.

Camera tracking

When the camera must move and the object being "tracked" must remain stationary, camera tracking might be utilized instead of motion tracking. Information from a recorded live shot taken with a live camera is used for camera tracking. Then, using this data, a parallel virtual camera is projected in a three-dimensional composition frame. fresh 3D pieces are added while scenes are recreated.

On the Internet of Vehicles, motion tracking will be crucial. IoV will project the motion of your vehicle along the 2D path. Then, utilizing the information about your surroundings, you are informed of any potential roadblocks.

The same basic idea underlies motion tracking and stabilization. Both follow a moving target. When stabilizing, you choose the location where you wish to remain concentrated and centered despite movement. You track the object you wish to concentrate on while moving when you use motion tracking.

Sports videos frequently use basketball and football and use motion tracking. wherein the player is surrounded by a circle as he circles the court or the field for basketball.


In video editing, techniques like motion tracking and camera tracking are frequently employed. Even though they are frequently compared, both employ various vantage angles to depict motion. By following the moving object's movement throughout the frame, motion tracking maintains the moving object in focus. A post-production technique called camera tracking uses data from a pre-shot movie to project a parallel virtual camera that displays a 3D perspective. If motion tracking and camera tracking have anything in common, it's the way they draw the viewer into the tale and make them feel like a part of it. This gives your audience a sense of immersion in the story and enables your movie to linger in their minds emotionally and visually long after the credits have rolled.

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Mar 27, 24
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