Have you ever been mesmerized by a video with text or emoji’s moving together with objects? That effect is produced using motion tracking and isn’t very complicated. Today, we will introduce some text motion tracking software (free & paid) tools that allow you to pin text to video with minimum effort. There will also be detailed tutorials on how to utilize each tool. Let’s get started.
The newly released Wondershare Filmora X version has added the motion tracking features, which allows you to track moving objects in a video clip, and attach images, texts, elements and videos to follow the movement path.
How to Use Filmora Video Editor To Do Text Motion Tracking?
Import the video footage to the timeline and then click the Motion Track icon in the tool bar to enable the Motion Tracking option.
In the preview window, drag and adjust the tracking box to select a moving object as the target.
Click the Start Tracking menu to start the moton tracking render, and Filmora video editor will compute the moving path automatically
Now, go to the Titles tab and drag a subtitle, titles, lower 3rd, or callout to the track just above the motion-tracked video. Customize your texts, adjust its size, position, etc. in the preview window.
Next, double click the video footage to enter the Motion Track option. Select the title as a follower. Playback the video, and you will see the text will move accordingly.
Below is a step by step video tutorial about how to use the motion tracking feature in Filmora. Keep watching.
2. Premiere Pro CC
Pricing: 14-day trial, minimum $20.99/month
Operating System: Windows, Mac
Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry-leading video editor. Premiere Pro CC has all the editing tools a pro video editor needs.
There is no automatic tracking feature in Premiere Pro to pin text to video. Therefore, you need to manually position your text and add keyframes frame by frame. But the overall effort required and the final result isn’t much different from traditional editors.
How To Do Text Motion Tracking In Premiere Pro CC? [Main Steps]
Import your video to the timeline
Add text by Pressing ‘T’ on your keyboard and clicking on the preview window (your footage)
Change the position & duration of the text layer on the timeline according to the position & duration of motion tracking
Make sure you’re on the frame you want to start tracking from
Click on your text layer → then go to effects controls
Change the position of the text to the point you want to track → click on the stopwatch icon to add a keyframe
Move a few frames forward → adjust the position again → add another keyframe
Don’t put the keyframes too close or too farther apart
Play through to check it out → adjust the position and number of keyframes if any issues arise
The whole process is relatively easy, although tedious. But the process becomes very complicated when you have more dynamic motion in your clip
3. After Effects
Pricing: 7-day trial, $20.99/month (individual)
Operating System: Windows & Mac
Adobe After Effects is an editor that focuses on animation & creative composition. This app has been developed as a companion to Premiere Pro for creating short & flashy motion graphics and visual effects for projects.
Motion tracking in After Effects can be done using the Point Tracker, which has one-point and up to four-point tracking. Other tracking options include the built-in 3D Camera Tracker that lets you reverse engineer a scene and the spline tracker that enables you to track masks on an object. There is also Mocha AE, a planar tracker from BorisFX. The Point Tracker is the most flexible and versatile in After Effects. We’ll use it to pin text to video.
How To Do Text Motion Tracking In After Effects? [Main Steps]
Create a new composition/open an old one and make sure your clip is imported
Create a null object by right-clicking on the window (screenshot below)
Select your clip → click on tracker → click on track motion
Two square boxes will appear
Move the squares to the point you want to track (make sure to select an object with relatively high contrast for easier tracking)
Position the smaller square on the object you want to track
Make the second box is big enough (not too big) so that the tracked object stays within this square in the next frame
Click on the analyze forward button (screenshot above)
If the square box fails to track the object at any frame, reposition it and move on
Make sure motion target is set to null object (e.g., Null 1)
Now add the text
While clicking on the pick whip tool of the text layer, drag it to the null object
Play through to check the result
You can manually change the position of the text in any frame by adjusting its position and adding a keyframe
We’re done. As we stated above, other types of trackers are also available for you to experiment with. The overall tracking functionality is much better than Premiere Pro.
4. Sony Vegas Pro
Pricing: 30-day trial, minimum $19.99/month
Operating System: Windows
Sony Vegas Pro is a non-linear video editor with the so-called “power of Artificial Intelligence.” It is one of the few editors out there that has acquired popularity among professionals and amateurs alike.
Text motion tracking in Vegas Pro is done using Bézier Masking FX (new update introduces a separate tab for motion tracking). The tracking process is automatic. Keyframes are created automatically frame by frame. It isn't perfect, but it gets the job done in most cases. When it fails to track objects correctly, you can manually edit the keyframes.
How To Do Text Motion Tracking In Sony Vegas Pro? [Main Steps]
Import your video
Click on your video → go to the starting point of text motion tracking
Click on Bézier Masking → drag the default one to your video
A new options tab will appear & a square box with a circle (tracking box) will appear in the preview window
Go to General options → set blend to 1,000
Go to Mask 1 → Tracking → options → set the precision to high → set keyframe interval between 1 & 5
Position the black dot of the tracking box to the point you want to track
Click on start below the keyframe interval option
After processing is complete → go to tools → extensions → add text to motion track → click on ok in the text position tab
Enter your text, edit it if you want
Play through to check the result
As we've seen above, all the editors have some kind of automatic tracking feature, Premiere Pro being the only manual exception. All of them do a reasonably good job when it comes to pinning text to video. Professionals would be more satisfied with the added versatility and control in After Effects. Filmora, Filmora, Vegas Pro and Premiere Pro, on the other hand, are better suited for amateurs.
Ollie Mattison is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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