What is Rotoscoping Technique?
By definition, Rotoscoping is an animation technique where a live or animated subject is traced across one frame at a time to create a cutout of that subject, or a “matte”, which may be combined with the different background. That act of adding a different background with foreground elements is called “Compositing“.
Click on Below Video: Intro to Rotoscoping
Reason Why do people dread Rotoscoping?
If you talk with someone who works in the post-production or production, rotoscoping is one of the subjects that will bring about a groan as memories of a projected flood back to their minds.
The reality of that moving pictures uses a heck of a lot of frames. Shoot 10 seconds of video at 24 frames per second, and you have got a 240 frame roto project on your hands.
In many cases, the process is a fundamental wrong, but often a creator can avoid a rotoscoping work by working with video shots that have been carefully shot using green screen. The high-end software can easily recognise the screen color and remove it, designing a matte for the duration of the shot, saving having to create the matte one frame at a time.
Use of Rotoscoping Technique
Even in the best projects with the latest professionals, things can happen. One potential problem is when an actor’s leg, arm, or other body part moves outside the area of a green screen or blue screen. To create it a clear matte, the single option would be to rotoscope out the errant extremity and use software to do all the other work. In utmost cases, there should only be a couple of seconds with this problem, but if a producer is careless, then this could be a huge issue.
In another case, if the producer is flawless, but the set member didn’t set up properly green screen or light the thing correctly, then rotoscope can play a part in the post-production. Fabric-based backgrounds can wrinkle, creating shadows that the software program won’t remove, and poor lighting can do the same thing. In this case, even a shot that should have been a wind to work with can create a roto nightmare.
There are differences between to remove a green screen using software and manually to rotoscope out a subject. When software clips out a matte it remove pixels that meet criteria set up by the creator to “key” out a green screen or blue screen and nothing more. Manually rotoscoping leads to hard edges, as clipping a particular line. Effects can be added later to soften the lines and to blend the subject into a background.
Best Practices of Rotoscoping
Rotoscoping technique is cutting out a subject in each frame of the clip. While that’s straightforward enough, some techniques make life simpler and bring a better result.
To start, instead of merely choosing a random frame in the clip and tracing the body of the subject using the pen tool (creating a “mask”), give the project some thought before selecting anything. Depending on the movement or motion of the subject, the tracing points could vary pretty drastically throughout the length of the clip.
It would work to select the outline of the whole subject, but if the motion is moving, body parts will pass in front and behind one another, and many body parts will bend, dip and sway.
Instead, consider how the body moves and try to look at the body as a handful of basic shapes. Now instead of creating a large mask, make use of multiple masks for body parts, including separate masks for joints. As the subject moves from a frame by frame, then you have a great construct of masks to reposition and tweak.
Many of the artists place their masks on their layer, separate from the footage so that they turned on and off without affecting the other layer. Depending on the software you choose this might be an option.
Getting clear instructions of which portions of the footage are going to be used can save tons of roto work. If you have received 25 seconds of footage at 30 frames per second, but the project requires 4 seconds of the clip, ask which exact 4 seconds need to be roto. Rotoing 120 or so frames is much better than 750 of them.
Click on Below Video: Rotoscoping: Behind the Scenes
Easier Way to use Rotoscoping
The brilliant After Effects team created a tool called “Rotobrush” to simplify rotoscoping. The idea behind that is the After Effects designer has a tool to use similar to the “Quick Select” tool in Adobe Photoshop to trace over a subject. This tool can select anything that stands out slightly from a background and can be tweaked to find out subjects accurately. Once the tool holds the subject, it can track forward and backwards through the footage, and the tool adjusts to keep the subject selected throughout the entire clip. It doesn’t always work flawlessly, but, like any rotoscoping job, there are best practices.
Click on Below Video: How to use the RotoBrush in Adobe After Effects
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