Rotoscoping Techniques
5 Sep – 16 Nov 2011

10 Day Course
Date: Anytime
Times: 10.00am to 5.00pm
Price: £150.00
Instructor: Self-Learning

Course Setup
This course consists of 10 video-based lessons. Each lesson is approximately 30 minutes in duration and most include supplementary files and footage.
This course can be taken at any time - for instance every day for 10 days, or once a week for 10 weeks.

“We’ll fix it in post.” No doubt you’ve heard the phrase before. And while it may get thrown around more than it should, the challenge of ‘the fix’ often falls to the paint and roto artist. From removing pesky crew members or production rigging in frame, to altering background environments or clothing on actors, this class will focus on the approaches and techniques of this invisible art using standard tools like After Effects, Photoshop along with supporting apps like Mocha AE and software from The Pixel Farm.

Examining real-world production shots from recent TV shows as well as newly acquired RED footage, you will be walked through the completion of full shots, and gain a solid grasp on the fundamental concepts of paint and roto and hopefully learn a few hard-won tips and tricks along the way. After Effects will be used as the finishing tool of choice, but the techniques you will learn are applicable across many different applications.

Course Content
Lesson 1: An overview of the kinds of paint shots that often come up in a production situation and approaches on how to think about removing unwanted elements in the frame.
Lesson 2: Removing crew members from the frame. Creating patches in photoshop and tracking them in After Effects with hand tweaks using null parents and 'reverse tracking’.
Lesson 3: Using track mattes in After Effects to single out objects in the frame to block or hide unwanted elements in the shot. An intro in Mocha AE for tracking and using its data inside of After Effects.
Lesson 4: Using RED footage, you will learn simple methods for removing rigging cables, in this example supporting a model helicopter. Using simple roto shapes, still frames, and colour keys to get the job done.
Lesson 5: Using blurs and different blending filters inside of After Effects to remove unwanted elements.
Lesson 6: Part 1 of 2. We’ll start upping the ante with a fairly difficult shot of another crew member walking straight through the middle of the scene. A look into some serious tracking with a zoom and handheld camera using PFTrack.
Lesson 7: Part 2 of 2. We’ll finish out the shot by exporting the track into a 3D app to generate a full background using the patch we created in the previous class. We’ll also look into the roto involved in completing the shot.
Lesson 8: A look into a collection of shots that are “the same but different”. Each shot needs us to remove objects off in the distance, but we’ll take different approaches with each one to illustrate some of the choices you can make when tackling shots.
Lesson 9: In this lesson, we’ll take a fast-moving handheld shot out on the ocean and clean the distant shoreline of any distracting buildings, ships, or evidence of civilisation. A look at stitching several stills from different times in the frame into one giant patch. We’ll track it into the shot, and then briefly look at the roto involved with finishing the shot.
Lesson 10: In the last shot of the course, you will remove an entire crew on a grassy hillside. We’ll look into 3D tracking and ways to rebuild elements of the grassy hillside in 3D and merge them back into the shot.


0208 525 4330