Mokey magic for digital video compositing

IS Distribution is hoping that its new software will let creatives monkey around with digital video footage on a level never seen before. Its new software – dubbed Mokey – separates any foreground element from a video clip. It will ship as a plug-in for compositing systems from Avid, Quantel, Discreet, Nothing Real, and 5D. The resolution-independent tool deploys a complex motion-tracking algorithm that can track multiple points simultaneously. A pixel-removal tool automatically removes all elements of the foreground object. It then generates a moving matte from the motion data from the removed object. Mokey then searches other frames for corresponding pixels, and replaces them on the film footage. The result is the foreground object is seamlessly removed. IS Distribution says Mokey is able to automatically compensate for changes in illumination between frames. The company is also touting its ease of use, claiming that users are able to select objects for removal using a spline interface and don’t need to select individual tracking points. The company says Mokey will be available as a standalone application, as well as a plug-in – and has already met with widespread acclaim from testers. Mokey is in beta testing, says the company, although it is planned for release in September 2001. It runs on Windows NT. it will cost around £7,000 plus VAT.

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