Mocha import weirdness

Hey all,

So I'm just starting to dig into Mocha (for reference, I'm using Hitfilm 3 Pro and the bundled version of Mocha Hitfilm), and I ran into an interesting oddity just now.

I have a composite shot in Hitfilm that I want to roto a mask for.  It's in the MPEG-2(? - extension .m2ts) format, so I right-click my clip and select "Open in Mocha".  Mocha opens, I set my project paths, etc., and then instead of seeing my clip, I get a blank workspace and no timeline.  So I poke around a bit, and it looks like Mocha doesn't support that format, so I go to the Clip tab and Import a format it does recognize; first .mp4, then .wmv

What happens next is really odd.  Mocha gives me a dialog box with the clip settings in it, so I click Import, and it adds a new layer to the tab up top with the name of my clip in it, but the workspace is empty except for what looks like half a dotted rectangle in a random color.  I can't select anything and the new clip's timeline is still blank.

Eventually, I went back to Hitfilm, exported the composite into an .mp4, imported that .mp4 into Hitfilm, then successfully opened that clip in Mocha and I'm on my way.  But it seems strange to me that I can't directly import clips into Mocha.  I know I can only launch Mocha Hitfilm from within Hitfilm itself, but I'm wondering if there's any other crippled functionality, and whether my experience just now is a bug or not.

Thanks!

Comments

  • Mocha does not support a lot of file formats and MPEG-2 m2ts is one of those it does not support.

    http://www.imagineersystems.com/support/documentation/#File_Formats

    Without testing I'll assume that if file is in AVI (aka Video for Windows) or MOV (aka Quicktime) then as long as those subsystems have a codec then you are good. Codecs can be installed into those if needed. All else is direct app support.

    Unfortunately even Quicktime does not support mpeg-2 out of the box so a remux to MOV is probably a no go. To preserve best source quality transcode to DNxHD/Prores MOV or generate image sequences for the scenes you want to track in mocha.

  • edited November 2016

    Yeah, I get that I was trying to import an unselected format, originally.  But here's the thing; that .mp4 that failed to import? I was able to import it into Mocha if I selected "Open in Mocha" from Hitfilm.  I couldn't import clips directly, even if they were clips I'd previously opened in Mocha.

  • for m2t files. render it first with hitfilm to mp4 with a adequate bitrate, import this file again in hitfilm. now mocha import the mp4 without problems..

  • As already noted here, Mocha doesn't like m2t files.

    However, mocha doesn't really like compressed codecs either. You would get faster, more accurate tracking from mocha by converting the m2t file to an image sequence first. PNG works well.

  • Appreciate the feedback, guys... but my question is more about why I wasn't able to import anything - compatible format or not - once I'd failed to open the .m2ts file in Mocha.  Did I hit a bug of some kind, or is it not possible to manually import clips in the Hitfilm version?

    This is exactly what I did:

    1. Import .m2ts via "Open in Mocha" from Hitfilm (fail, blank workspace)
    2. Render original .m2ts into .mp4, Import .mp4 via Mocha's "Import" button (fail, blank workspace)
    3. Import same .m2ts file via "Import" button (error message: bad format)
    4. Import .wmv via "Import" button (fail, blank workspace)
    5. Import old .mp4 that had originally been tracked in Mocha and rendered out in Hitfilm (fail, blank workspace)
    6. Create blank Hitfilm project, import .mp4, put in comp, "Open with Mocha" (success)
    7. Import .mp4 from step 2 into Hitfilm project, Open with Mocha (success)

    So yes, it's pretty obvious that Mocha only likes certain formats.  I figured that out pretty quickly.  Steps 2, 4, and 5 though?  Should have worked.

  • From the Mocha 4 Pro documentation (Mocha Hitfilm in HF 3 and 4 is based off the version 4 kernal).

    START EXCERPT

    Movie clip formats

    • AVI files (.avi)
    • DV Stream files (.dv)
    • MP4 files (.mp4)
    • MPG files (.mpg)
    • QuickTime Movie files (.mov and .qt)
    • RED files (.r3d)

    Image formats

    • OpenEXR files (.exr)
    • OpenEXR 2.0 files (.exr)
    • Cineon files (.cin)
    • DPX files (.dpx)
    • JPEG files (.jpg and .jpeg)
    • PNG files (.png)
    • SGI files (.bw, .iris, .rgb, .rgba and .sgi)
    • TGA files (.tga)
    • TIFF files (.tif and .TIFF)

    Not Directly Supported in Version 4

    These formats are either not supported directly by mocha or require additional plugins for QuickTime or your system.

    Movie clip formats

    • AVCHD files (.mts and .m2t)
    • Windows Media files (.wmv)
    • Cineform files (without supporting codec)

    Image formats

    • RAW image files (.RAW)

    What to Do if Mocha Does Not Support Your Footage

    In the rare event that you are working in a format that mocha doesn’t support, we recommend converting the footage to an image sequence.

    If you are just tracking, you can use any compressed format such as a JPG sequence and then use your original footage when you apply the data.  If you are going to be doing rendering, such as using Mocha Pro’s remove or insert modules, then we recommend converting to a DPX or TIFF sequence.

    Make sure of the following when converting to an image sequence:

    1. The frame rate, aspect ratio and dimensions are the same as the original footage.
    2. If you are creating proxy footage, make sure the aspect ratio and frame rate are the same.
    3. If you are using a particular bit depth, make sure you convert to the same depth if you are using the footage for rendering inside mocha
    4. If using compressed footage, don’t set the compression too low, as this will create artifacts that may hinder tracking and roto.
    5. Make sure mocha supports the sequence you are converting to!

    If you would prefer to convert to a movie clip format then we recommend a standard format that QuickTime would understand, such as Animation. If you are working on OSX, ProRes can also be a good alternative."

    END EXCERPT

    So your mt2 and your wmv files would have failed.

    The question here it's what's going on with the mp4? That's a bit odd.
    Unfortunately the closest thing to an answer I can find is this post from Mary Poplin on the imagineer forums. The question is why the user can't import MOV files... The answer.

    START EXCERPT"

    "There are certain types of codecs and file types that mocha does not support, usually native, unprocessed codecs off of cameras and AVIs on Windows. You may need to convert the file to something mocha supports, such as quicktime or an image sequence. If your screen is black or white for clips but not for images, it is most likely the codec for the movie files that is causing the issue.

    View Documentation: supported file list http://www.imagineersystems.com/support/documentation/#File_Formats [I've already reproduced this list above--Triem23]

    Other troubleshooting tips (because this sounds like it may be a driver or installed codec issue instead of a format issue):

    Double-check that your quicktime drivers, codecs, and video card drivers are up to date, and that quicktime can open the file. 
    Try changing your codec to a more widespread codec. Usually any other quicktime format like animation, h.264, or JPEG compression should work, or another type of common .avi compression.
    If the footage loads in quicktime but not in mocha, try converting the clip to a file we know for sure that mocha recognizes, like a TIFF or JPEG sequence, to test and make sure that mocha is running properly.

    mocha supports most standard movie clip and image sequence formats.  In order to use clips (ie. not image sequences) you must have QuickTime installed. Level of QuickTime support can vary depending on the operating system.

    What to Do if mocha Does Not Support Your Footage
    In the event that you are working in a format that mocha doesn’t support, we recommend converting the footage to an image sequence.

    If you are just tracking, you can use any compressed format such as a JPG sequence and then use your original footage when you apply the data.  If you are going to be doing rendering, such as using Mocha Pro’s remove or insert modules, then we recommend converting to a DPX or TIFF sequence.

    Make sure of the following when converting to an image sequence:

    The frame rate, aspect ratio and dimensions are the same as the original footage.
    If you are creating proxy footage, make sure the aspect ratio and frame rate are the same.
    If you are using a particular bit depth, make sure you convert to the same depth if you are using the footage for rendering inside mocha
    If using compressed footage, don’t set the compression too low, as this will create artifacts that may hinder tracking and roto.
    Make sure mocha supports the sequence you are converting to!
    If you would prefer to convert to a movie clip format then we recommend a standard format that QuickTime would understand, such as Animation.

    END EXCERPT

    The answer isn't a simple one. I'd still recommend Image Sequence conversion.

  • @SteveKarstensen Did you restart Mocha before trying steps 2,4 and 5? When Mocha HitFilm fails to start fully because of something like an incompatible clip usually the only thing you can do is start over from scratch like you did in steps 6 and 7. 

    The first clip going to Mocha is the most important and it has to work ok before everything else will. 

  • So your mt2 and your wmv files would have failed.

    Odd that they'll let you try to import them, then.  The .wmv, that is.  I should have realized the .m2ts wasn't supported when it didn't show in the filtered list of file types.  Anyway, I know now that I have to do an extra conversion step and that, in theory, I can manually import clips.

    @Aladdin4d no, I didn't; and that's what I was thinking.

    All of that said, I finally started seriously digging into the tool last night and learning how to track shape masks for  complex roto I need to do, and I'm loving how much time it's saving me.  I wish I'd known about this when I had to mask that 7-second shot from "Gangs of Chicago" part 2.  It took days to do by hand.  DAYS!

  • Steve, mocha roto is such a timesaver, the next time you hit a shot mocha can't handle will be painful... 

    (One shot in my Ghostbusters Go! short... My Polynesian actor in black and tan on a brown, black and beige background, handheld, motion blur and all lit by tungsten... Mocha didn't have the contrast, and my eyes had trouble judging some frames. Took 10 hours to roto 63 frames! Ow! To contrast, the other 5 roto shots, over 400 frames, took probably two hours total--which also included the needed camera solves and motion tracks for other elements.)

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