Price: Studio - around £3,200 plus VAT; Soho - around £6,380 plus VAT
The first time you see Mokey, it blows you away. The application’s standard tutorial removes a skateboarding child from a piece of standard footage – leaving the background intact. More impressively, it requires only a few splines and some clicks to deliver results. Tracking of foreground, background, and camera are pretty much automatic. The user has two pieces of material to work with after Mokey has worked its magic: a ‘clean’ piece of background footage, and an alpha-channelled foreground subject with shadow. The former is great for rig and wire removal; the latter could reduce a project’s reliance on blue screens – and the combination allows the product to turn out some truly special effects. Version 2 splits the product into two levels. The first, Mokey Soho Edition, is resolution-independent. New in version 2 is the Studio Edition, which limits you to SD clips. Mokey V2 is available as a standalone Windows, Linux, or Irix application, or as a plug-in for Avid or Discreet systems, with a Mac version not too far off, according to Imagineer. Using Mokey is generally so easy that your grandmother could use it to get rid of unwanted relatives from family wedding videos. The tracker is impressive, but there are manual controls. V2 adds integration with RealViz’s MatchMover camera tracking suite, adding support for .rz3 lens distortion files. The only flaw that we could find is that it can’t work with clips in AVI or QuickTime wrappers – only frame-based formats such as TGA and TIF. Nothing that can’t be sorted in a tea break, though. Mokey isn’t going to replace bluescreens, or skilled compositing artists; you’ll still need an artist to make any composite look great. However, if you do a lot of this work, Mokey is a godsend.