Disclaimer (2/15/2023): We're adding keyframes soon! Stay up-to-date with new features and tools to help your editing flow at the Kapwing Help Center.
Motion tracking has notoriously been known as a complicated process in video or film production. We're led to believe we need expensive equipment and physically stick a sensor onto the object we want as a target when we edit later.
I've got good news for you: there's no need for any fancy equipment. Just the right, smart technology.
Let's say you want to pin text to a moving object in a video to give a description of a person to your audience. Or, you want to pin an image in a video to add context and animation to your video. Social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram give you the option to use motion tracking for videos, there are limitations like mobile-only editing tools and time limits.
Whether your video is only 60 seconds long or a 20-minute vlog, motion tracking is useful to enhance your content. In this article, we'll delve into some examples of motion tracking and how to use motion tracking technology to pin text or images to moving objects in video.
Table of contents:
- What is motion tracking technology?
- Examples of motion tracking
- How to use motion tracking in video online
What is motion tracking technology?
Motion tracking is a way to attach an element (such as text, images, filters, or masks) to an object as it continues to move within a frame. This technology allows an element to track the motion of an object, and stick to its movement.
Examples of motion tracking
With motion tracking technology, pinning text or images onto moving objects in a video captures your audience's attention and draws it towards that object. Here are two ways you can elevate your video with motion tracking:
Pin text to moving objects
With text, you're able to directly clarify who someone is or give straightforward context in a shot. For example, you might want to pin text to a moving object (in this case below, a person walking in a video) to let your audience know what or who that target is when there are multiple objects involved.
This usually can be seen being used in videos that involve multiple people or objects. You'd feel the need to pin text to video to add a moving label over someone to clarify who exactly they are. Some example uses of this would be for prank videos, public videos, performances, etc.
Pinning text can also be used to animate other elements in a video, like subtitles. The uses for pinning text to moving objects in videos is endless. To give more substance to your video, you could even pin images to videos along with text.
Pin images or emojis to moving objects
Elevate your video by adding pinned emojis or stickers to anything in motion. This will create more depth in your video as you add other elements like images, emojis, or stickers to real-life objects.
Some cases where you would pin emojis or images to moving objects are to create animation, provide privacy, or display censorship.
There are many instances where interviews are taken place and the person being interviewed wants to keep their identity private. In the example below, YouTuber Anthony Padilla interviews "Faceless YouTubers" CORPSE, SwaggerSouls, BlackySpeakz, keeping them anonymous by pinning sticking profiles of them as they move around the frames.
Whether you want to protect the identities of people, label moving objects, or just add movement to your videos, motion tracking technology allows you to do that and more.
How to use motion tracking in video online
As mentioned before, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow you to pin stickers to your videos, but they each have a video time limit – up to 60 seconds for Snapchat and only 15 second stories for Instagram.
In the following section, I'll show you how you can use motion tracking technology to stick text or emojis to moving objects in video, regardless of how long or complex it is.
Steps to using motion tracking in video online:
- Upload your video to any editor.
- Add a layer you want to pin.
- Pin the layer to the area you want on your video.
- Export and download
Step 1: Upload your video to any editor.
Start by uploading your video to any editor that provides motion tracking technology. I chose to use Kapwing here, since it's free and I can use it in my web browser.
Step 2: Add a layer you want to pin.
After you've uploaded your video to the editor, add a layer you want to pin onto a moving object. You can choose to pin text, images, or elements where you'll find stickers and emojis.
To do this, open the “Text," "Images," or “Elements” tab in the left sidebar and add the element you want to pin to your video. In my example, I searched for the question mark emoji to add to my video of this dog in thought.
Step 3: Pin the layer to the area you want on your video.
After you’ve added an element to your video canvas, open the "Effects" tab in the right sidebar and click “Pin Layer." Here, you’ll be able to pin text layers or sticker layers to an area in your video. Kapwing will have already done the heavy lifting for you and automatically detect the areas you can pin elements to as the subject is moving.
When you’ve finished adding a pin to your video, you’ll get a preview to make sure everything looks good. Click “Pin Layer to Video” when you’re ready to pin!
Step 4: Export and download.
In Kapwing, you can edit your video more by adding animation, transitions, or GIFs to set up the atmosphere of your video. If you are satisfied with your video, click “Export” in the top right-hand corner of the editor and let Kapwing process your video.
Once it’s done processing, you’re ready to download a file of your video or share directly across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Here, you also get another preview of your video after it’s been exported for your own review.
Motion tracking can be intimidating to take on in the editing process. With the right video editor, you can find smart technology that makes it accessible and easy for you to get what you need done. I hope this helped you find ways to pin elements to things in motion!