Advanced Rotoscoping Techniques for Adobe After Effects

Let's face it: rotoscoping is a drag. You can put countless hours of work into cutting elements out from even a few seconds of your footage, and it comes out badly more often than it doesn't. You want to scream and rip out your hair, not to mention kill the guy who shot the footage and said "We'll fix it in post."

But don't sweat it. We've got you covered! VFX and compositing expert Pete O'Connell shows you advanced techniques for rotoscoping in After Effects that will change the way you think about one of the most challenging tasks for any compositor. Pete uses his unique style to show you the tricks he's picked up and created for big-budget Hollywood features including Stranger Than Fiction, The Fountain, Just Like Heaven, Across the Universe, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, and the highly acclaimed Transporter 2.

Over the course of over 2 hours, you'll learn how to use the entire AE toolset in a whole new way. When it's over, you'll wonder why roto work ever gave you the night sweats.

You'll learn advanced rotoscoping but you don't have to be an advanced AE user to learn these techniques. Pete will show you how to let AE's motion tracker do much of the work for you, how maximize results with expressions, how to set up your comps for the most accurate track, how to find and correct bad roto while you work, how to integrate your masks into your primary footage, and much more.

Beyond roto, you'll learn advanced techniques for precomposition, tracking and stabilization, project organization and keyboard shortcuts to dramatically speed up your work.

Chapter Listing

  1. The basic steps used to set up a roto comp in AE. Useful keyboard shortcuts.
  2. Preference settings. Moving mask points using the keyboard. Moving groups of points using the transform box.
  3. The advantages and disadvantages of having your mask layer's visibility turned either off or on.
  4. Tracking Fundamentals: how to motion track and what to watch out for.
  5. How to set up your tracking comp to get the most accurate track. Precomposing and color correcting.
  6. Examples of motion tracking a few points, from easy ones to difficult hand tracks.
  7. Stabilizing foreground objects for easier roto.
  8. Rotoscoping accurately with a minimum of keyframes.
  9. Matching roto masks with the original footage.
  10. Choosing good track points. Applying transforms to a solid.
  11. Making a shape to follow motion, without applying keyframes.
  12. Adding basic detail to roto masks.
  13. Using keyboard shortcuts to speed up the roto process.
  14. Finessing and finishing the roto mask.
  15. Incorporating the new right arm mask into the main matte comp.
  16. Bad roto alert!
  17. Using multiple masks and the transform box to roto out a complex object.
  18. Preparing to rotoscope by stabilizing the footage rather than the masked solid
  19. Inverting stabilization to align a mask with the original footage
  20. Using a secondary solid to avoid scaling distortion.
  21. Rotoscoping details.
  22. Using a secondary solid to avoid composition bounds problems.
  23. Rotoscoping using a 2 point track.
  24. Setting up an expression for 4 point cornerpin based roto.
  25. Using a 4 point cornerpin track.
  26. Saving mask shapes and transform keyframes as a consolidated .ffx file


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