12 Best Motion Tracking Software [Free & Paid]

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Edited by Ben Jacklin
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Motion tracking software has become an integral part of various industries, ranging from gaming and animation to sports. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a curious enthusiast, understanding the capabilities and compatibility of the best motion tracking software will help you make a more informed decision.

Quick summary

Edit your videos with advanced tools on Linux: Kdenlive

Edit and create professional visual effects: HitFilm Express

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What is motion tracking software?

Motion tracking is a technology that enables the detection, measurement, and analysis of moving objects or people within a space. With motion tracking apps, you can capture and monitor the position, orientation and trajectory of objects in a video. Using motion tracking in video editing, you can add objects to a video, highlight, or hide something in a shot.

Oftentimes, video motion tracking software is used to integrate virtual elements into live action films. By tracking how cameras move in a scene, the software can extract data and precisely apply it to virtual objects, giving them the appearance of matching real-world movement seamlessly.

Best motion tracking apps

Movavi Video Editor

  • Best for:

    editing and creating videos with various effects, transitions, and audio enhancements

  • OS:

    Windows, macOS

  • Price:

    free trial, full version for $79.95

  • GetApp rating:

    4.8 out of 5, 547 reviews

Movavi Video Editor allows users to create professional-looking videos without extensive technical knowledge. The motion tracking software offers a wide range of tools, including trimming, cropping, merging, and adding titles and effects. You can easily apply motion tracking to titles, stickers, and callouts, as well as when highlighting or hiding an object in a video (such as blurring a part). Users can also enhance their videos with filters, transitions, and background music. Movavi Video Editor supports all popular video formats and provides an intuitive interface for easy navigation and editing.

Key features:

  • Motion tracking for titles, stickers, and callouts

  • Wide range of editing tools for video trimming, cropping, merging, and more

  • Extensive collection of filters, transitions, and special effects to enhance videos

  • Support for various video formats, including popular ones

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface suitable for beginners

  • Provides lots of editing tools and effects

  • Supports various video formats

  • Fast rendering and exporting of edited videos

Cons:

  • The free trial version is limited

Kdenlive

  • Best for:

    motion tracking video editing for free

  • OS:

    Linux, Windows, and macOS

  • Price:

    free

  • AlternativeTo rating:

    3.9 out of 5, 80 reviews

Kdenlive is an open-source video-editing software that provides a comprehensive set of features for creating professional-grade videos. It offers a multi-track timeline for precise editing, supports popular media formats, and includes a variety of effects and color-grading tools. Kdenlive also offers advanced features like keyframe animation, audio mixing, and titling options. Users can get this motion tracking software for free.

Key features:

  • Multi-track timeline for advanced video editing

  • Rich collection of effects and transitions

  • Advanced features, including keyframe animation, audio mixing, and titling options

Pros:

  • Available completely free of charge

  • Works on multiple platforms

  • Powerful and feature-rich

  • Has regular updates

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve compared to beginner-friendly video editors

  • Some stability issues reported in certain versions

  • Limited availability of pre-built effects and templates compared to commercial alternatives

HitFilm Express

  • Best for:

    professional video editing and visual effects creation

  • OS:

    Windows and macOS

  • Price:

    free

  • TechRadar rating:

    4.5 out of 5

HitFilm Express is a feature-packed editor that combines professional-grade editing tools with visual effects, including 2D and 3D compositing and motion tracking. HitFilm Express also provides access to a marketplace with additional effects and packs for further customization.

Key features:

  • Extensive visual effects capabilities, including 2D and 3D compositing and motion tracking

  • Poweful audio-editing features

  • Access to a marketplace for additional effects and packs

Pros:

  • Professional-grade features and tools

  • Active community and online tutorials for learning and support

  • Free version available with a generous feature set

Cons:

  • Resource-intensive software, may require a powerful computer for smooth operation

VSDC Video Editor

  • Best for:

    non-linear video editing

  • OS:

    Windows

  • Price:

    free edition, $19.99 Pro edition

  • Capterra rating:

    4.5 out of 5, 82 reviews

VSDC Video Editor is a free video-editing software with motion tracking that provides a wide range of features for creating and editing videos. It supports various video and audio formats, and offers tools for trimming, merging, and splitting videos, as well as adding transitions, effects, and text overlays. VSDC Video Editor also includes advanced features like color correction, audio waveform visualization, and blending modes for more creative control.

Key features:

  • Support for various video and audio formats

  • Tools for trimming, merging, splitting, and editing videos

  • Advanced features like color correction, audio waveform visualization, and blending modes

Pros:

  • Generous feature set available for free

  • Non-linear editing allows for flexibility and creativity

  • Advanced features offer more control over video and audio editing

Cons:

  • Limited availability of pre-built effects and templates compared to commercial alternatives

  • Some users have reported stability issues and occasional crashes

For 3D camera tracking and matchmoving

SynthEyes
Bestseller

For simple motion tracking on a PC and Mac

Movavi Video Editor

For extensive visual effects capabilities

HitFilm Express

SynthEyes

  • Best for:

    3D camera tracking and matchmoving

  • OS:

    Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

  • Price:

    Intro version for $299, Pro version for $499

  • G2 rating:

    4.4 out of 5, 8 reviews

SynthEyes is a professional software tool used for 3D camera tracking and matchmoving in visual effects production. It allows users to accurately track camera movements within live-action footage, enabling seamless integration of computer-generated elements. SynthEyes supports various tracking techniques, such as point tracking, planar tracking, and 3D object tracking. This motion tracking camera app offers a comprehensive set of tools for camera solving, scene reconstruction, and motion capture, making it a popular choice among visual effects artists and filmmakers.

Key features:

  • Advanced 3D camera tracking and matchmoving capabilities

  • Support for various tracking techniques, including point tracking and planar tracking

  • Tools for camera solving, scene reconstruction, and motion capture

Pros:

  • Accurate and robust camera tracking results

  • Wide range of tracking techniques for different types of shots

  • Extensive set of tools for scene reconstruction and motion capture

  • Seamless integration with popular 3D animation and compositing software

Cons:

  • High learning curve, suitable for professional users with experience in visual effects

  • Relatively expensive compared to other tracking software options

  • Requires powerful hardware for optimal performance

Final Cut Pro

  • Best for:

    professional video editing and post-production

  • OS:

    macOS

  • Price:

    free trial, $299.99

  • PCMag rating:

    4.5 out of 5

Final Cut Pro is powerful video-editing software developed by Apple. It provides professional-grade features and tools for editing, organizing, and delivering videos. With a non-linear editing interface, Final Cut Pro offers advanced capabilities such as multi-camera editing, color grading, motion graphics, and audio editing. It also supports a wide range of video formats and provides seamless integration with other Apple products and services.

Key features:

  • Advanced features for multi-camera editing and motion graphics

  • Wide range of supported video formats

  • Integration with other Apple products and services

Pros:

  • Professional video-editing tools

  • High-performance and optimized for macOS systems

Cons:

  • Relatively high price compared to other video-editing software options

DaVinci Resolve

  • Best for:

    professional video editing, color correction, and post-production

  • OS:

    Windows, macOS, and Linux

  • Price:

    free, with a Studio version available for $295

  • G2 rating:

    4.7 out of 5, 181 reviews

DaVinci Resolve is a professional program that combines robust editing capabilities with color correction tools. It provides a non-linear editing interface with features like timeline-based editing, multi-camera editing, and advanced trimming tools. Additionally, it includes audio editing, visual effects, and delivery options for various formats.

Key features:

  • Advanced color correction and grading tools

  • Multi-camera editing and advanced trimming features

  • Integrated audio editing, visual effects, and delivery options

Pros:

  • Powerful and versatile motion tracking capabilities

  • Robust audio editing and visual effects features

  • Cross-platform compatibility

Cons:

  • Resource-intensive software, requiring a powerful computer for smooth performance

  • Some features may require additional plugins or the paid version of the software

VEGAS Pro

  • Best for:

    a robust and intuitive editing environment

  • OS:

    Windows

  • Price:

    $399

  • Capterra rating:

    4.6 out of 5, 128 reviews

VEGAS Pro is professional software known for its powerful editing capabilities and flexible workflow. It provides a non-linear editing interface with advanced features such as multi-camera editing, video stabilization, and 3D editing. VEGAS Pro also offers a comprehensive set of audio editing tools, including mixing, effects, and noise reduction. With its extensive plugin support, customizable interface, and robust timeline editing, VEGAS Pro is a popular choice among professional video editors.

Key features:

  • Multi-camera editing and video stabilization

  • Comprehensive audio-editing tools and effects

  • Extensive plugin support and customizable interface

Pros:

  • Flexible workflow and customizable interface

  • Extensive plugin support for further customization

Cons:

  • Only available for Windows, not compatible with other operating systems

  • Some users may find the interface less intuitive compared to other software

For 3D camera tracking and matchmoving

SynthEyes
Bestseller

For simple motion tracking on a PC and Mac

Movavi Video Editor

For extensive visual effects capabilities

HitFilm Express

Adobe® After Effects®

  • Best for:

    creating motion graphics and visual effects

  • OS:

    Windows and macOS

  • Price:

    available as part of Adobe® Creative Cloud® for $54.99/month

  • Capterra rating:

    4.8 out of 5, 372 reviews

Adobe® After Effects® is a professional software tool used for motion graphics, visual effects, and compositing in video and film production. It offers a wide range of features and tools for creating and manipulating animated graphics, adding visual effects to footage, and integrating CGI elements into live-action scenes. After Effects® supports keyframe animation, advanced tracking and masking, and offers a vast array of effects and presets. It also provides seamless integration with other Adobe® Creative Cloud® software, allowing for a comprehensive post-production workflow.

Key features:

  • Advanced motion graphics and visual effects creation

  • Keyframe animation and advanced tracking and masking capabilities

  • Extensive library of effects and presets.

Pros:

  • Industry-standard software used in professional video and film production

  • Robust motion graphics capabilities

Cons:

  • Subscription-based pricing model may be a drawback for some users

  • Interface can be overwhelming for newcomers, with a vast number of options and settings

Adobe® Premiere® Pro

  • Best for:

    providing a comprehensive set of tools for editing, organizing, and delivering high-quality videos

  • OS:

    Windows and macOS

  • Price:

    available as part of Adobe® Creative Cloud® for $20.99/month for individuals and $35.99/month for teams

  • PCMag rating:

    4.5 out of 5

Adobe® Premiere® Pro is a widely used video editor that offers advanced features and a user-friendly interface. It provides a non-linear editing environment with a timeline-based workflow, allowing for efficient and precise editing. Premiere® Pro supports a wide range of video formats and offers a variety of tools for trimming, merging, and applying effects to videos. It also integrates seamlessly with other Adobe® Creative Cloud® applications, making it a popular choice for professional video editors.

Key features:

  • Non-linear video editing with a timeline-based workflow

  • Tools for trimming, merging, and applying effects to videos

  • Professional-grade features like multi-camera editing and color grading

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface suitable for both beginners and experienced users

  • Seamless integration with other Adobe® Creative Cloud® applications

  • Constant updates and improvements from Adobe

Cons:

  • Subscription-based pricing model may be a drawback for some users

  • Can be resource-intensive, requiring a powerful computer for smooth performance

Cyberlink PowerDirector

  • Best for:

    an intuitive interface and a range of features for creating and editing videos

  • OS:

    Windows

  • Price:

    PowerDirector Ultra is available for $99.99 with other options available including a subscription-based service

  • Capterra rating:

    4.4 out of 5, 100 reviews

Cyberlink PowerDirector is a consumer-oriented video editor that offers a user-friendly interface and a variety of features for creating and editing videos. It provides a timeline-based editing environment with drag-and-drop functionality, making it accessible to users of different skill levels. PowerDirector includes tools for video trimming, merging, and adding effects, as well as features like chroma keying, motion tracking, and 360-degree video editing. It also offers options for exporting videos in different formats and resolutions.

Key features:

  • Video trimming, merging, and effects tools

  • Chroma keying, motion tracking, and 360-degree video editing

  • Options for exporting videos in different formats and resolutions

Pros:

  • User-friendly motion tracking features

  • Wide range of features and tools

  • Affordable pricing options

Cons:

  • Lacks advanced audio-editing tools

  • Customer support may be lacking compared to other software providers

Blender

  • Best for:

    3D modeling, animation, and visual effects

  • OS:

    Windows, macOS, and Linux

  • Price:

    free

  • Capterra rating:

    4.7 out of 5, 892 reviews

Blender is a powerful open-source software used for 3D modeling, animation, and visual effects. It offers a wide range of features and tools for creating 3D content, including modeling, sculpting, texturing, rigging, animation, rendering, and compositing. Blender's versatile interface and extensive customization options make it suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. It also has an active community and a vast library of add-ons and tutorials available.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive 3D modeling, animation, and visual effects capabilities

  • Support for various modeling techniques, including sculpting and texturing

  • Advanced rigging and animation tools

Pros:

  • Robust 3D modeling and animation capabilities

  • Active community and extensive add-ons and tutorials

Cons:

  • Rendering complex scenes may require powerful hardware.

  • Advanced features and add-ons may require additional learning or customization

For 3D camera tracking and matchmoving

SynthEyes
Bestseller

For simple motion tracking on a PC and Mac

Movavi Video Editor

For extensive visual effects capabilities

HitFilm Express

Tips for motion tracking video editing

Choose the right tracking points

Ideally, choose distinct and easily recognizable features that will remain consistent throughout the video. Avoid selecting areas with excessive motion, occlusions, or inconsistent lighting conditions, as they can hinder accurate tracking. 

Refine and adjust tracking

If you discover any inconsistencies in your object-tracking software results, it’s a good idea to use the refinement and adjustment tools provided by the motion tracking software. These tools allow you to fine-tune the tracked data, correct any drift or jitter, and align the virtual elements precisely with the motion of the tracked object. 

Combine motion tracking with keyframing

While motion tracking is excellent for capturing the overall movement of objects or individuals, it may not always provide the level of control required for intricate or specific motions. To overcome this limitation, combine motion tracking with manual keyframing. By using keyframes, you can manually animate and adjust the position, scale, rotation, or other attributes of virtual elements. 

Experiment with creative applications

Motion tracking isn't just limited to basic object tracking or camera motion. Get creative with your use of motion tracking and explore unique applications. For example, you can track facial features to apply digital makeup or enhance expressions, track specific body parts to add digital prosthetics or costumes, or track objects to create interactive visual effects.

Summary

Now that you have a better idea of how motion tracking works and which paid or free motion tracking software you should use, your next steps should be to try out various video motion tracking programs to see which one best fits your style and level of experience. Many of these programs offer motion tracking video editing for free so you can download and experiment before you decide to purchase an app.

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*The free version of Movavi Video Editor may have the following restrictions depending on the build: watermark on exported clips, 60-second video or 1/2 audio length limit, and/or some advanced features unavailable when exporting videos.

Frequently asked questions

What is a motion tracker app?

A motion tracking app is a program that tracks the movement of a person or object using specially designed sensors or cameras. Video motion tracking is often used in animation, gaming, healthcare, filmmaking, and even sports analysis.

Why do we use motion tracking?

Video-editing software with motion tracking allows you to make movements look more precise like their real-world counterparts. By combining movement and camera motion with a motion tracker video editor, you can make more realistic and eye-catching videos.

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