Four Corners

Complex Tracking

As the final node graph in Figure 5 shows, tracking and projecting is not all that complex in Natron – it can be sorted in six nodes, including the Viewer. Admittedly, there are quite a few parameters to fiddle with to get it right, and creating the trackers can be a pain, especially with low-quality footage. All that said, it is not crazy hard, just a little tedious.

Then again, the example I have chosen is pretty straightforward: The markers the trackers follow are on screen all the time, and there is nothing in the way covering the projected clip at any moment. If you want to go the extra mile and learn how to have objects occlude your projected video for extra realism, look into rotoscoping, which is the technique where you "cut out" an object and then follow it in a similar way to trackers, but using a silhouette instead.

Be warned that rotoscoping is very laborious, but it can produce some really impressive results.


Natron is an amazing piece of software, that could help transform GNU/Linux from a system for amateur film-makers into a viable platform for professional video processing.

However Natron is in danger. Nobody has been in charge of developing Natron since August, and the funding from Inria has dried up. This could mean the end of Natron; a demise made ever more tragic by the fact there are no other free and open source software applications like Natron. The closed proprietary alternatives can cost thousands of dollars and tie you into opaque formats, proprietary online services, and predatory agreements.

If you can help Natron or know someone who can, please take action before it is too late.


  1. "Tutorials – Natron" by Paul Brown, Linux Magazine, issue 220, March 2019, pp. 90-94:
  2. Natron:
  3. Tears of Steel:
  4. Notebook clip:

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