Insider Tips: Final Cut Pro’s Machine Learning Object Tracker

Every week, Insider asks one of our expert contributors to share a tip, tool, or technique that they use all the time and couldn’t live without. This week, Reuben Evans demonstrates how to use FCP’s machine learning Object Tracker tool.

How to use FCPX’s Object Tracker

Final Cut Pro now uses machine learning to power the object tracker. In this example, if you want to blur the license plate on the yellow BMW, Just open the Effects tab and scroll down to the “Blur” section. Then, drag the “Focus Blur” effect onto the license plate.

As you drag the effect over the viewer, you’ll notice that FCP takes guesses at which object you are trying to track. You may need to slightly offset the cursor to get it to “grab” your preferred selection. Areas with high contrast and not too much motion/lens blur are great for this operation.

You can use the options in the inspector pane to adjust the parameters, such as softness. Once you have the mask looking good, it’s time to analyze the clip.

You can drag the handles to refine the selection and then click “Analyze” in the viewer. Final Cut Pro will analyze the clip, in forward and reverse,  and track the blur to the license plate.

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Laurence Grayson

After a career spanning [mumble] years and roles that include creative lead, video producer, tech journalist, designer, and envelope stuffer, Laurence is now the managing editor for Insider. This has made him enormously happy, but he's British, so it's very hard to tell.

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