I am an animal behaviorist and AfterEffects (CC) may be the key to solving my unique problem. Let's say I have a video of six small animals housed individually in circular arenas.

Can AfterEffects:

  • Track each animal simultaneously in real time or track them when the footage is sped up. The latter bit is important since I have hours of footage to track and it would be nice if I could expedite this process.
  • Export or copy/paste the 2D positional data (x,y) to a spreadsheet.

I know that AfterEffects is capable of tracking a fixed point when the camera is moving. However, I am interested to know if the app can perform the inverse of that scenario: static camera position with multiple moving objects.

Thank you!

  • You might want to investigate openCV, it's used a lot in scientific applications. opencv.org
    – stib
    Sep 4, 2017 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


After effects can definitely track 2D motion and allow you to export x,y coordinate pairs, but it does not work in realtime. You would have to import the videos, then track each object (and correct for any mis-tracking) then export the tracked data as text.

This probably isn't the best tool for the job - I'm guessing there are better realtime motion tracking systems for what you need.

You can read about how 2D tracking works here: https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/tracking-stabilizing-motion-cs5.html

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