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Startup Tools: Video Analysis Tools

What is Tracker?

Tracker is a free video analysis and modeling tool built on the Open Source Physics (OSP) Java framework. It is designed to be used in physics education.

Tracker video modeling is a powerful new way to combine videos with computer modeling. For more information see Particle Model Help or AAPT Summer Meeting posters Video Modeling (2008) and Video Modeling with Tracker (2009).

Installing and using Tracker

Tracker requires Java 1.6 or higher. Tracker also supports QuickTime 7 (Windows/Mac only).

Supported languages: english, arabic, español, finnish, français, italiano, dansk, deutsch, greek, indonesian, simplified chinese, traditional chinese, korean, portuguese, slovenščina, svenska. Interested in translating to another language? Please contact .

If you're new to Tracker, see Help Getting Started for a step-by step beginner's guide. For general help, use the built-in help files in Tracker, the online help in english or slovenščina, or the downloadable pdf help files in english, español, italiano or portuguese.

Another option is to Web Start Tracker without installing it. However, you will be restricted to opening still images and animated GIFs unless you have Xuggle or QuickTime installed. (Note: Open Source Physics is an "UNKNOWN publisher" to the Java WebStart system and you will be warned of potential security risks which you must formally accept before you can run Tracker. Rest assured Tracker is not malicious and you can safely accept the risk--but be aware the entire WebStart system may be abandoned in the future due to these vulnerabilities...)

Tracker has been independently tested by Softpedia and found to be 100% clean.

Recent Versions

For Developers

  1. Tracker Source Code on GitHub
  2. Tracker 4.81 Javadocs online or download (2013/07/29)
  3. Tracker 4.81 Eclipse workspace (2013/07/29)

Tracker Features

  • Manual and automated object tracking with position, velocity and acceleration overlays and data.
  • Center of mass tracks.
  • Interactive graphical vectors and vector sums.
  • RGB line profiles at any angle, time-dependent RGB regions.

  • Model Builder creates kinematic and dynamic models of point mass particles and two-body systems.
  • Model overlays are automatically synchronized and scaled to the video for direct visual comparison with the real world.

  • Free Xuggle video engine plays and records most formats (mov/avi/flv/mp4/wmv etc) on Windows/OSX/Linux.
  • QuickTime video engine also supported on Windows and OSX.
  • Video filters, including brightness/contrast, ghost trails, and deinterlace filters.
  • Perspective filter corrects distortion when objects are photographed at an angle rather than straight-on.
  • Radial distortion filter corrects distortion associated with fisheye lenses.
  • Export Video wizard enables editing and transcoding videos, with or without overlay graphics, using Tracker itself.
  • Video Properties dialog shows video dimensions, path, frame rate, frame count, more.

Data generation and analysis:

  • Fixed or time-varying coordinate system scale, origin and tilt.
  • Multiple calibration options: tape, stick, calibration points and/or offset origin.
  • Switch easily to center of mass and other reference frames.
  • Protractors and tape measures provide easy distance and angle measurements.
  • Define custom variables for plotting and analysis.
  • Add editable text columns for comments or manually entered data.
  • Data analysis tool includes powerful automatic and manual curve fitting.
  • Export formatted or raw data to a delimited text file or the clipboard.

Digital Library resources:

  • OSP Digital Library Browser provides easy access to online collections of videos and Tracker resources.
  • Use the DL Browser to find resources by name, author, keywords or other metadata.
  • Use the DL Browser to create, edit and share your own video and resource libraries.
  • Use Tracker to export self-documenting ZIP resources ideal for the DL Browser.

  • Full undo/redo with multiple steps.
  • Page view displays html instructions or student notes.
  • User preferences: GUI configuration, video engine, default language, look and feel, more.

Sample videos

The Tracker installer includes some videos. Use the following links to download these additional collections:

  1. (7.3 MB) A collection of mechanics videos suitable for analysis and modeling.
  2. (0.6 MB) A collection of spectroscopy videos suitable for line profile analysis.

Conference Presentations

  1. Sharing Video Experiments with Tracker Digital Libraries (AAPT, Winter 2013 at New Orleans)
  2. Simulating What You See: Combining computer modeling with video analysis (MPTL16 - HSCI 2011, Fall 2011 at Ljubljana)
  3. Video Modeling with Tracker (pdf) and accompanying jar file (AAPT, Summer 2009 at Ann Arbor)
  4. Video Modeling: Combining Dynamic Model Simulations with Traditional Video Analysis (AAPT, Summer 2008 at Edmonton)
  5. Modeling Air Resistance (AAPT, Summer 2007 at Greensboro)
  6. Video Spectroscopy Experiments (AAPT, Summer 2005 at Salt Lake)