Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rotoscoping - The Basics

Mike Seymour @ fxguide has written up a great article on Rotoscoping.
It covers the history, the process and the list of the various roto tools available.

I'm glad he spoke to Tom Bertino and Jack Mongovan. Both of them worked in the ILM roto department and there have been countless unsung heros there that did and do fantastic work. Dragonheart is an example of an all roto show. Quite a bit of the successful work you see today has to credit the hard working roto and paint teams. And as pointed out in the article, good roto requires good artists. While roto is considered a starter position it requires real skill and experience to do it well. Many people at ILM continued to work for years in roto because they enjoyed it and did it very well. I can't say enough good things about what they brought to vfx production. Many starting in visual effects now take all of this for granted.

I'm interviewed about Commotion, a roto/paint and compositing tool I developed and that was used around the world until purchased by Pinnacle (and then by Avid)

Links here related to Rotoscoping:
Rotoscoping - Part 1 video
Rotoscoping - Part 2 video
Rotoscoping Hair article

In real production:
Walking pants breakdown - Part 1 video (approaching a vfx sequence)
Walking pants breakdown - Part  2 video (actually rotoing and compositing)

Commotion article  (I'll try to expand this in more detail in the future)
I've gotten many emails and tweets about restarting Commotion since there's still a lack of some of the tools and techniques that Commotion had over 15 years ago. As flattering as it is I'd probably prefer to focus on new challenges. Thank you.


  1. Quite interesting and informative post. Thanks for you said in your blog this roto field is realy interesting.


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