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 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
To install Tracker, download and run the appropriate installer using the links at the top of the page. Tracker comes with its own Java VM and Xuggle video engine. For help see Installer Help.
Supported languages: english, arabic, czech, danish, german, greek, spanish, finnish, french, hungarian, indonesian, italian, hebrew, korean, malaysian, dutch, polish, portuguese, slovak, slovenian, swedish, thai, turkish, vietnamese, simplified chinese, traditional chinese. 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 or Getting Started with Tracker for a video tutorial. For general help, use and search the built-in help files in Tracker, the online help in English or Slovenščina, or the downloadable pdf help files in English, Español, Ελληνικά, Italiano or Portuguese.
You can run Tracker from a USB drive without installing it on the host computer. See Installing Tracker on a USB or other portable drive for more information.
Tracker has been independently tested by Softpedia and found to be 100% clean.
Recent Tracker Versions
- 6.0.1 (Aug 2021, uses new Xuggle): jar |
- 5.1.5 (May 2020, uses older Xuggle): jar |
For Developers and Testers
- Tracker Source Code on GitHub
- Tracker 5.0 Javadocs online or download
- Tracker Eclipse workspace
- Beta Tracker installers:
- 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.
- External models animate and overlay multi-point data from separate modeling programs such as spreadsheets and Easy Java Simulations.
- 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.
- Video filters, including brightness/contrast, strobe, 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.
- Data include units (SI metric units by default, settable length and mass units).
- Protractors and tape measures provide easy distance and angle measurements.
- Circle fitter tool fits circles to 3 or more points, steps or tracks.
- 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.
- Display measured values using custom number formats if desired.
- Tracker saves Tracker projects as TRZ files ideal for the Library Browser.
- Browser shows recently opened Tracker projects in a "recent local file" collection.
- Browser opens both local and online collections of videos and Tracker projects.
- Browser opens any Tracker file path entered directly into the URL field.
- Search for projects and other resources by name, author, keywords or other metadata.
- Build and share your own collection of Tracker projects, videos and support docs.
- Integrated searchable help and diagnostics.
- Full undo/redo with multiple steps.
- Page view displays html instructions or student notes.
- Annotate videos with colored line drawings and labels.
- User preferences: GUI configuration, video engine, default language, font size, more.
Tracker Video Tutorials
These video tutorials can help extend your knowledge of Tracker. There are many more Tracker tutorials on YouTube--some are quite good.
- Tracker Quick Start A quick demonstration of how to use Tracker to measure the acceleration of a falling ball. If using Tracker for the first time, watch both this and Getting Started with Tracker.
- Getting Started with Tracker A more extended explanation of how to use Tracker to track and analyze a moving object in a video.
- Tracker Autotracker Tutorial How to use the autotracker. This starts out with the basics but also explains in detail how the autotracker works and how to control it for best results.
- Saving and Sharing Tracker Experiments How to (a) save Tracker experiments by exporting Tracker zip (TRZ) files and (b) share them by building Digital Library Collections.
The Tracker installer includes some videos. Use the following links to download these additional collections:
- mechanics_videos.zip (7.3 MB) A collection of mechanics videos suitable for analysis and modeling.
- spectroscopy_videos.zip (0.6 MB) A collection of spectroscopy videos suitable for line profile analysis.
- Sharing Video Experiments with Tracker Digital Libraries (AAPT, Winter 2013 at New Orleans)
- Simulating What You See: Combining computer modeling with video analysis (MPTL16 - HSCI 2011, Fall 2011 at Ljubljana)
- Video Modeling with Tracker (pdf) (AAPT, Summer 2009 at Ann Arbor) Note: the accompanying jar file no longer runs with current Tracker installations; please see instead the Tracker Sampler collection in Tracker's Digital Library Browser.
- Video Modeling: Combining Dynamic Model Simulations with Traditional Video Analysis (or original poster version) (AAPT, Summer 2008 at Edmonton)
- Modeling Air Resistance (AAPT, Summer 2007 at Greensboro)
- Video Spectroscopy Experiments (AAPT, Summer 2005 at Salt Lake)