“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.”

Workshop details

Date: 14th March 2012 (Wednesday)

Time: 9:30 am to 11:30 am

Venue: Computer Lab 1, River Valley High School

Why video analysis in Physics? How to use in lesson?

Important information on Tracker

  • Straightforward technical stuff on the software can be found at here.
  • Internet help can be accessed from here.
  • Installation file can be downloaded (Win, Mac, Linux). The installation file includes some videos. Further mechanics videos are found here.
  • For deployment without raising a change request or TA, download an older stable version (4.05) and put on your desktop. As long as the Java Runtime is version 1.5 (1.6 for Mac) and above, it should work nicely.
  • Professional development videos (video 1, video 2)
  • Resources from Loo Kang under OSP (Resource 1)
  • There are many schools who are using Tracker in multitude of ways. Loo Kang (ETD) and Tat Leong (RVHS) were among the pioneers in Singapore schools. Loo Kang’s blog (http://weelookang.blogspot.com/) on use of open source tools is rich in information and lesson ideas, do make a bookmark on your browser 🙂

How to film videos for Tracker

If you like to film your own videos for students to use in Tracker or you would like your students to film some phenomena for a project, please instruct them the following:

  • Any video camera or digital camera capable of filming decent resolution videos can be used. The better the visual quality of the object being tracked, the easier it can be used in Tracker.
  • The output format should be the in the format available in major OS such as mov/avi/mp4/wmv.
  • A visible standard length (a metre rule, measuring tape, etc) serves as a reference for Tracker to determine the position of the object. It must be placed parallel to the plane of motion of the object and if possible it should lie along the same plane or very close to it to avoid parallax.
  • The camera must have its sensor parallel to the plane of motion of the object. It should not be too close to minimise the error due to lens distortion.
  • The camera should not be panned (shift left or right) or moved or zoomed during the entire filming process.
  • For high speed camera footage, it should be indicated at the opening frame of the video. User should check the video setting in Tracker to determine that the framerate setting matches the video.

Material for sharing

Instructions (pdf version, word version) to guide you through the basic functionalities of Tracker (screen captures are from version 4.62, however almost all info should be fine in the slightly older version of Tracker).

If you want to conduct a similar activity with your students, you may want to use the following resources:


Your feedback is important for the workshop to be more constructive in the future. Thank you.