E3.4: Rotoscoping


Find a short piece of found copyright free footage from video sites such as archive.org ( https://archive.org/ ) or use your own footage as the basis of a short rotoscoped animation. The duration of your sequence is up to you. Choose a rotoscoping technique you would like to try such as: using a projector, drawing by observing footage frame by frame, tracing paper over a screen, printing out frames and drawing on them or digitally drawing directly on each frame using computer software. Work fast and loose and be playful – see how far you can depart from the source footage and where the process can lead you.

I have been doing a lot of work on rotoscoping methods for other OCA modules.

  • Frame by frame digital rotoscoping in TV Paint for Visual Research
  • After effects and non-digital rotoscoping for Visual Communications Advanced Practice.

This is a very time-consuming process and also problematic for my RSI – even if animating on 8-10 frames per second – without access to professional software like Mocca Pro.

For this project I explored some some options indicated from a Linked In learning course on Rotoscoping that produce a similar stylised effect, but are less time-consuming and more RSI-friendly than frame by frame methods.

For source footage I chose a short clip of a skateboarder I had made of a skateboarder on Jesus Green, Cambridge.

Creation Effects

Creation Effects are customisable After Effects Template files created by Noel Powell (https://creationeffects.com/index.html). These can be used to stylise footage in much more natural ways, using complex combinations of AE filters and expressions to produce some very organic-looking effects.

Footage is imported into these files, normally at 10FPS, and each of the template effect layers can be animated and adjusted to produce a wide range of effects, including different papers. Other AE effects can also be added and stacked in different ways for full customisation. I am only just beginning to explore all the different options.

Coloured Pencil
Coloured Ink
Half tone patterns