. rotoscopy – VFXADDA | Online Training For Autodesk MAYA, Photoshop, Houdini and Other Editing Software


VFX ADDA welcomes students who possess creative skills, a thirst to do something different with their lives and a burning passion towards their work. Excellent marks or name in the merit list is not our criteria to grant admittance to our institution. We are in search of a mind full of imagination and hands full of creative strokes.

Course Outline

Rotoscoping is a most commonly used animation technique to trace motion picture footage, frame by frame, when realistic action is required, when we would like to avoid taking the shots repeatedly. Rotoscoping has often been used as a tool for visual effects in live-action movies. We would trace an object and create a silhouette that can be used to extract that object from a scene for use on a different background. \ Our team has its expertise in motion tracking as well.

The most common kind of rotoscoping these days is tracing a path around an object in a movie and using that path as a mask to separate the object from its background.This allows you to work with the object and the background separately, so you can do things like apply different effects to the object than to its background or replace the background entirely.

Many additional tasks and techniques make this job easier, such as using motion tracking on the object before you begin drawing masks, and then using the motion tracking data to make a mask automatically follow the object.


In the visual effects and Stereo Conversion industry, the term Rotoscoping refers to the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate.

“In the visual effects and Stereo Conversion industry, the term Rotoscoping refers to the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate”

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course syllabus


Introduction to the Philosophy of Roto. It’s important to establish the set of principles we will be working with throughout the course. What constitutes a “good roto”? What are the main tools and why do we favour a certain approach with some shots? In this session we will be creating rotoshapes to use for a beauty retouch session.


Beauty retouch. Continuing from the last session, we put the shapes to use to do some beauty retouch work. We look at natural looking skin-smoothing techniques that do not compromise texture or create a plasticky surface. We repurpose last class’s work to reshape the features of our subject.


Dissecting a roto. Simple roto requires simple shapes. Complex roto requires lots of simple shapes! Managing these is a challenge and the basis for huge time-savings. We look at a mixture of soft and hard objects, and how to approach edge consistency, motion blur and out of focus elements.


Building a depth map – rotoscoping buildings. Rotoscoping still objects should be easy. Camera movements, perspective changes and lens distortion all help to make these jobs harder. Again, planning and using the right tools to fix these problems, makes a painful shot a lot easier to handle.


Car pack shot – Bringing things up a notch now and pushing our planar tracking forward. We’ve got a moving subject, a moving camera and a tight deadline. Where are the best places to spend our time tracking and at what point do we decide to get in to manual rotoscoping work? We also take a look at stabilization and how to effectively use it.


Background enhancement. Following from the previous lesson, we look at 3D tracking and how this can speed up certain roto tasks. We also put these results together with the car shape to add more impact to an ordinary background.


Background cleanup. This is another two-part lesson. In the first section we look at creating cleanplates, simple wire removal and some more complex motion tracking.


Wire removal – Some wire removals are relatively straightforward. In this lesson we take a look at how to handle a wire removal through semi-transparent fabric, motion blur and hair. We start in NukeX and the Furnace Wire Removal effect to do the heavy lifting, before moving on to finessing the fine details.


Cleanplates – In this lesson we discuss grain management strategies for cleanplates, including how to create a smooth cleanplate from noisy footage. The second half of the lesson looks at generating larger plates from B-roll video footage and when we can cheat a bit with rig removal.


Procedural mattes, the shortcut to avoiding rotoscoping. In this session we finish off the shot from the previous lesson, improving on the track and bringing our character back over the removed rig. We explore different types of procedural mattes, including regular keyers and channel combinations. For the ultimate roto avoidance technique, we move back to SilhouetteFX and work quickly in the Power Matte node and see how easy it is to tweak the results in After Effects. To finish off the course, we take a final look at how frame-by-frame Paint is an unavoidable tool in some circumstances but how we limit its use.

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