The webcam-based method
for tracking spherical motion
and generating fictive animal paths

FicTrac is an open-source software library for reconstructing the fictive path of an animal walking on a patterned sphere. The software is fast, flexible, easy to use, and simplifies the setup of closed-loop tracking experiments.

FicTrac was originally developed by researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia for tracking honeybees and fruit flies during closed-loop tethered walking experiments, but it has since proved useful for tracking a wide range of animals with different movement speeds, track ball diameters and patterns, and stimuli.


FicTrac v2 is now released with support for Windows and Ubuntu (Linux)! Everything you need to get started is available at the new download page.

For FAQs and troubleshooting tips, check the FicTrac forum.

Consider signing up to the mailing list for version updates and other useful information.

Happy tracking!


Please see the new download page.

If you're looking for older versions of FicTrac, pre-compiled binaries are still available via the FicTrac dropbox folder. Note that these versions are no longer supported.


Instructions for installing and setting up FicTrac v2 are provided at the new download page. Updated documentation is still in progress, but you should find enough information there to get you started :-) If you run into issues, you can always check the FicTrac forum.


For a detailed description of the FicTrac algorithm and its scientific relevance, please consult:
RJD Moore, GJ Taylor, AC Paulk, T Pearson, B van Swinderen, MV Srinivasan (2014). "FicTrac: a visual method for tracking spherical motion and generating fictive animal paths", Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Volume 225, 30th March 2014, Pages 106-119. [J. Neuroscience Methods] [preprint].
List of citing works (Google Scholar link).

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© 2018 Richard Moore.