Face Tracking Motion Graphics in After Effects (Olivia Rodrigo – Brutal)

Learn how to 3D track motion graphic animations on your face using Adobe After Effects and Lockdown. Inspired by the music video ‘Brutal’ from Olivia Rodrigo.

Face tracking

Personally I find face tracking and adding visual effects to a face super hard. Because a face has so many moving objects or parts, I find it difficult to make any effect look realistic on it. It tends to shift very quick of just look like it’s paste on.

But this is because the tracking inside after effects is more or less basic. Don’t get me wrong, it works great and you can get amazing results with it. But if you look at the Face tracking software and equipment special made for this purpose only then you understand what I mean.

Everyday face tracking

These days face tracking is booming without you knowing it. We all used these Snapchat and Instagram filters where we look old or bald or have cool glasses. Well this is all possible with face tracking.

Snapchat Face Filter
Snapchat Face Filter

Or to be precise, it collects the pixelation data from the light and dark areas on your face. With this data it can then calculate coordinates and attach stuff to it. Creating a face tracked filter.

Hollywood face Tracking

But how does Hollywood do it? Of course they have super expensive motion capture equipment for the whole body. But what about the face? Well they have different techniques for this, like a marker based facial capture. With this technique they draw up to 350 markers on the talents face, which then are recorded by one or more cameras. This data is they converted to usable tracking data.

Avatar Face Tracking BTS
Avatar Face Tracking BTS

But you also have a markerless technique, where the minute features of the face are tracked frame by frame. This means wrinkles, nose, eye, pupils, really everything that causes expressions. This markerless technique is a little bit similar to the facial recognition that is used today.

So like you can see, even with VFX heavy movies, the performance of your talent is still one of the most important aspects of the movie. Without great and convincing acting your movie will suffer and maybe even fail.

Storyblocks

Big thanks to Storyblocks for their support. If you ever need stock footage for your video head over to them! Next to the 4K stock clips, they also have After Effects templates, Premiere Pro presets, overlay effects and so much more. Download unlimited video assets for a single price per year.

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