Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video What is rotoscoping?, part of After Effects Compositing: 5 Rotoscoping & Edges.
- Rotoscoping or roto for short, is generally the process of using manual means, often hand-drawn masks or paint strokes, to select or clone footage over time. This process goes all the way back to the early days of animation, when rotoscopers traced over live action footage to create hand-drawn animation. Nowadays, the process of roto is mostly used to relocate or remove an element in a scene in cases where there's no way to get the computer to do it automatically.
In another course we looked at color keying, where a green or blue background is placed into the scene specifically to be made transparent in After Effects. This can definitely make life simpler post-production. But green screens aren't always practical, particularly on location. For this shot, we had a 20 by 20 foot green screen ready, but not only was it not nearly wide enough to cover the action in the scene, the wind that day made setup complicated and dangerous. In order not to fall behind schedule, we decided to use roto, which is basically always an option, given skills and patience.
If it sounds like hard work, it definitely can be, which is why in this course, I'm not only going to show you how to do it, but how to plan it so that you don't have to do more of it than is necessary.
- Selecting a target
- Applying a mask
- Starting a mask with a shape
- Breaking down shots of clean plates
- Creating points and Bézier curves quickly
- Building articulated rotos with in-between frames
- Adding soft edges and motion blur
- Working with the clone brush
- Getting the most from the Roto Brush