How To Do Motion Tracking: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by David Morgan
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How To Do Motion Tracking: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Motion tracking is one of the most versatile video editing skills to have in your repertoire. So what is motion tracking, and how can you use it?  Motion tracking allows you to add moving images, effects, text, or animations to objects by applying tracking data to follow the object’s movement. A common example is when you see text following someone across the screen, or someone has their face blurred out. 

The primary benefit of motion tracking is that it will significantly upgrade your video's quality and production value. With the proper motion tracking software, the process is much easier than it sounds. If you found this guide while trying to learn how to motion track in After Effects or Premiere, PowerDirector is an easier option.

PowerDirector lets you create insanely awesome videos by adding animation or blur effects, floating or moving text, unique transitions, or incorporating video overlays. 

Download PowerDirector and follow the guide to learn how to start motion tracking.

How to Motion Track Using a Video Editing Software

Here's a step-by-step guide on using PowerDirector for motion tracking.

1. Getting Started with PowerDirector for Motion Tracking 

First, download the PowerDirector software on your computer and install it. Then upload and add your clip into the timeline and follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to "Tools" and select "Motion Tracker."
  2. Select "Play" and watch closely. When the object that you want to track first arrives on screen, press "Pause."
  3. Select the "Mark In" button on the tracker panel. 
  4. Drag and readjust your Selection Box to cover what you want to track. 
  5. Press the "Track" button, and PowerDirector does the work for you by automatically tracking the object's movement and adding track points. 
  6. Press the "Mark Out" button to end the motion track path.
  7. You've now successfully tracked your first object!

2. Add Text or Picture-in-Picture to Your Tracked Object

Next, you can use the tracking data to add text to your selected track. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Look at the left toolbar, where there's the font, text size, color, and other options. Adjust as desired. 
  2. Then, drag the text into the preview window and decide on your final placement and size.

Adding Picture-in-Picture (PiP) to your tracked object is just as simple:

  1. Right-click the track. This copies the tracker, the track path, and the final location of the Selection Box, so there's no need to waste time redoing a motion track.
  2. Navigate to the "Import Media" button and select what you want from the menu. Choose between your hard drive, media room, or from the video overlay room.
  3. Once you've chosen your PiP, adjust the position and size. 
  4. Hit "Play" to see the result.

3. Create and Add a New Motion Path

  1. Select "Add a Tracker."
  2. Follow the same steps as before: drag, position, resize and adjust the Selection Box. 
  3. Hit the "Track" button. PowerDirector will automatically motion track the object as it moves around. 
  4. To hone in with more accuracy, you can change the track type to manual for frame-by-frame tracking adjustments.
    1. Press the "Track One Frame Only" button. 
    2. Resize, readjust, and reposition the Selection Box frame by frame for a greater level of control and precision. 
    3. Finish with the "Track" button for auto-tracking. 
    4. Create additional trackers to the video by repeating these steps using the panel.
  5. To save and finish, select the red checkmark on the bottom right. This instantly finalizes the additional moving text, images, etc., on your video.  

Take Your Videos to the Next Level With PowerDirector

You can quickly and easily learn how to motion track using PowerDirector. It utilizes automatic tracking to promptly get a precise object path for your image, text, effects, or whatever you're adding. It's much easier than motion tracking in After Effects or Premiere.

But that's just the start—you can do precise tracking control with the frame-by-frame option. Add multiple new motion paths or edit a previously tracked clip with ease. 

No matter what kind of videos you want to make or how much experience you have with editing, this is the perfect software to help you accomplish your goals. 

Download PowerDirector today, try out motion tracking and take your video editing skills to the next level.

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