How to Motion Track Text (Meme Example)

Motion tracking is a powerful feature that helps you apply a movement trajectory of any object in the video to any added object: it can be an image, a piece of text, a mask, or a shape. At VSDC, we’ve received a few questions about applying motion tracking to text (or, in plain English, “sticking text on a moving object”). To help you out with this task, we decided to publish this detailed tutorial.

If you’re new to VSDC, it is a lightweight and budget-friendly video editor for Windows with motion tracking on board. If you, for some reason, can’t afford the Adobe subscription or can’t use it because your computer isn’t powerful enough, VSDC is a fantastic alternative to rely on. It’s available for $19.99 per year and it requires as little as a couple of gigabytes of RAM on your PC.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to motion track text in a video. Then, we’ll show you how to make motion-tracked text look better by adding a perspective, shadow, and opacity.

How to apply text tracking effect in VSDC Pro

Before you get started, you need to have a clear idea of which object the text will be following in the video. Suppose you want a piece of text to be attached to a person, just like in the example above. In that case, you need to decide in advance which part of the person’s body the text should be following while moving.

We recommend watching the video version of the tutorial first and then, reading the text guide below.

Here is a step-by-step text version of the guide:

  1. Launch VSDC and upload your main video.
  2. Make a right-click on the video and select Create movement map from the context menu.
  3. You’ll be prompted to save that map on your PC. Later, when you need to apply the movement map to the text, you’ll pull it from the place on your computer where you’ve saved it.
  4. Place the tracking frame around the spot whose movement you want to track. In our case, it is a person’s head.
  5. Hit the Start analysis button and wait until the process is over.
  6. If the movement trajectory is correct, click Apply editing.
  7. Go back to the main timeline and add a text object using the toolbar on the left-hand side.
  8. Adjust the style of the text using the formatting menu at the top. Then make a double click on it.
  9. Open the Add object menu and select Movement >> Movement map.
  10. You’ll be prompted to select the map you’ve created earlier. Hit OK.

Your video meme is ready! Use the Preview feature to see if everything looks the way you expected. Below, we’ll cover a few tricks you can use to make the text look more professional.

How to make motion-tracked text look better in a video

Most video memes are made in a fast-paced style and contain very simple text captions. However, you can achieve a much better look if you do one of the following:

  • Highlight the text
  • Add a shadow
  • Increase opacity
  • Add perspective
  • Add an arrow

Notice how different the motion-tracked text looks with these adjustments in place.

You can apply just one effect or combine a few of them; below is the instructions to help you out.

How to highlight motion-tracked text

The “highlighter” effect is called “Brush” in VSDC, and it’s located in the text editing menu. To access it, make sure you’re in the main timeline tab and make a single click on the text object. Then select the Brush color and toggle the opacity control.

How to add a shadow to motion-tracked text

The shadow effect will help you add volume to the text. To apply it, select the text object by clicking on it, then open the Video effects menu, proceed to Special FX and select Shadow.

Notice that the Properties window will slide-in from the right-hand side. This is where you can tweak the settings of the effect: the size, angle, and color of the shadow, for example. You can also switch to the Long shadow option if you want it to be more prominent.

How to increase or decrease opacity of motion-tracked text

Alternatively, you may want to make the text less prominent or even opaque. To achieve that, select the text object, go to the formatting menu at the top, open Text color and toggle the Opacity control.

How to add perspective to motion-tracked text

Adding perspective to text means slightly turning or rather swaying it horizontally or vertically. To apply this effect, click on the text object, open the Video effects menu, proceed to Transforms and select Perspective.

Then go to the Properties window, select a vertical or horizontal perspective and adjust the angle.

How to add a pointing arrow to motion-tracked text

Finally, if your text is attached to a small object or if you have multiple captions that are assigned to different objects, you can add arrows pointing at those objects and moving along with the text. The best way to do that is by adding a .PNG arrow image with a transparent background to the scene and assigning the same movement map to it you assigned to the text earlier.

Time to experiment with motion-tracked text!

You now have all ins and outs of working with motion tracked text. Go ahead and try it for yourself. If you need inspiration, make sure to check out our YouTube channel.

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