Using Motion Tracking in Avid Symphony Nitris

Motion tracking can now give more accurate results but with fewer adjustments and controls through Avid. The new interface for Avid's motion tracking tool is now cleaner compared to previous interfaces and is labeled to make it simpler to understand the function of the tools.

The tracking is done by using generating tracking data through the tracking tool that's set to a specified set of pixels. It is a very easy process to do and follow and should not be difficult even for those who have just started using the Avid interface. Here are the steps to do motion tracking through Avid.

Step 1. Apply the Effect

In the sequence where you want to do motion tracking you have to apply the effect first before setting up the tracking. Applying the effect ahead then putting in the motion tracking will allow you to have it applied to the area you want all throughout the film sequence.

An example for this would be when it's needed to blur out objects in a film sequence like a license plate. So the blurring or mosaic effect needs to be placed first.

Step 2. Apply the Tracker

Activate one tracker by clicking the tracker button on the Tracking Pane. The Tracking Window should open and a new tracker created.

Position the tracking indicator, marked by an x, on the frame where the effect needs to be placed. This should be done on the Effect Preview monitor where the first frame of the sequence is seen. Then make sure that the two tracking boxes that surround the indicator are positioned on the target area for tracking.

Step 3. Start Tracking

The tracking engine will look for the patterns of pixels where you set your tracking indicator and look for this in each frame in a segment to track its location. Click on the Start Tracking button. The tracking engine searches the patterns and marks it until the whole segment is run. When it ends the tracking data can be seen as a set of points on the screen.

Step 4. Review the Results

Click on the play button on the lower part of the Tracking Pane and you should see the results of the effect applied on the moving object. Make sure that the effect will match the movements of the object you've tracked with motion tracking. If the effect does not follow the object you can go ahead and generate new tracking data by changing the position of your tracker.


  • When positioning the boxes that surround the tracking tool, it's best to enlarge the boxes to cover a wider area than its default size. Doing this will allow for a larger area to search and will guarantee that the tracking will be done well.
  • When choosing the effect applied, there are different types to choose from and the options are not limited to only using the mosaic effect, most will also use the matte effect to replace the image with another one and cover it up from view.
  • The group of pixels you choose will be the one tracked so it's ideal to choose a group of pixels that follow the movement of the object you want to cover up with the effect.
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