Why use object tracking in video

This means, that you need to watch educational videos, record a lot and try out all the features in editing tools. For example, you can stick text or graphics on moving objects using a motion tracking feature.

This effect, in essence, means that some text or image, figure, etc. acts as a tracking sticker – it is “attached” to the moving object in the scene and “tracks” it, that is, follows the object.

For example, the scene shows a person moving along the street. Then, in the area of their head (or any other part of the body), you can place the text box and write “This is John Smith.” Now, even when there are several walking and running people in the frame, we will always know where John Smith is since the text box will relentlessly follow him. Of course, the movement of John Smith should not be chaotic, and he should not “jump” out of the frame. Otherwise, the tracking will simply be broken, detached from the object, or the end viewer will not be interested in watching the text box jump across the screen.

Motion tracking of moving objects

But this is not the only example. Motion tracking can also serve other purposes and has its uses for making both funny and more serious content.

Ways to use motion tracking

It is worth noting that motion tracking can be useful in a lot of different fields. Various statistical data can be attached to objects, which will definitely improve the presentability of a video in a popular science genre and many others. The choice of objects to follow is the widest, and the possibilities for tracking are even more.

One of the most notable motion tracking examples is when it’s used to blur someone’s face in a video, which you may have seen in the news. It was done through face tracking, where the “mask” follows the head movement, and its purpose is to keep the person anonymous. Putting stickers or emojis on the face works similarly, but it’s rather used jokingly in a more light-hearted context.

Motion tracking effect to mask faces

Another example is the pop-up messages and emails in “Sherlock”. Here, motion tracking allows the viewer not to be distracted from the main characters and stay up to date with all the facts.

It doesn’t end here, though! Why stop at tracking the movement of a person when it can be literally anything instead? For instance, in a video where two people are talking to each other, you can track the motion of an animal passing by and place some text next to it to attract viewers’ attention.

How to have motion tracking effect without actually using it

In simple video editors, this function is not available, so you should look for specialized motion tracker software, like Adobe After Effects. However, if you are a novice in video editing, you can try to achieve similar results using simpler functions.

It’s better to start with the video where the movement is slow since without the dedicated tracking function you would have to cut it into clips and manually change the position of text or image that should follow the object in each of these clips. If your video editor allows you to place files on different tracks on the timeline and the ability to freely move them in the player, you can mimic the motion tracking effect this way. If not, you may try some free online video editing tools that have such features.

Motion tracker software in video editing

Of course, it’s always better to use specialized programs for the intended result. But experimenting with video effects just for fun can also help, for example, find different ways to implement your creative ideas or better understand how some features work, which may come in handy later.