Rotoscoping is a technique in which animators trace over live-action footage, frame by frame. It’s often used to create more realistic animation sequences for the big screen and what you see on TV.



What is Rotoscope Animation?

Rotoscoping is a technique for creating animation by tracing over motion picture footage. The word roto comes from the abbreviation “rotate.”

When an artist rotoscopes a character, they trace around it to create the illusion that their drawings are moving with the objects on screen.



What Is Rotoscoping?

Have you ever seen a video that is animated with drawings? In order to create these animations, an artist will trace over frames of live-action footage.

This process is called rotoscoping and it’s been used in everything from old cartoons like Tex Avery’s Droopy Dog or the original Star Wars trilogy.

This can be accomplished through the use of a projector that casts an image onto a glass surface or tablet, called a “stroboscope,” and then tracing each one with pencils or pens.

The animations are typically hand-drawn but sometimes features can be created using 3D modeling software as well.

Rotoscoping is the process of tracing over a film frame by frame and matching it to create an animation. It can be used for creating realistic movements, or as a way to animate scenes that were never filmed.

What Is Rotoscope Animation

History Of Rotoscoping To The Modern Day

Blocs of color and shapes overlap on top of each other, the shaky lines following them as they move. The music is oddly soothing for a video recording.

It’s not until you focus on one specific shape that it becomes clear: this is an animated film, but not like anything you have seen before.

The word “roto” is a shortened form of the word “rotoscope”, which is an animation technique that was used in early films. It involved tracing live-action footage frame by frame to make it appear as if the animated film were a cartoon.

In essence, rotoscoping is not new at all. The first usage of this technique dates back to 1877 for the short film La Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (The Exit of the Lumière Factories in Lyon).

This was done so because they did not have enough money to create every frame and wanted to save time on hand-drawn artwork since they were unable to animate them. It wasn’t until many years later that this process became popular

It was first used on Walt Disney’s 1928 animated film Steamboat Willie to create the illusion of movement.


However, since then it has evolved and expanded into other areas of filmmaking and video game design.

Notable Rotoscope Movies

Some notable examples are “Waking Life” and “American Pop.”, “Cinderella”, “Fantasia 2000”, or a true classic – “Anastasia”.

You may have seen this technique used in old cartoons, such as Bugs Bunny and Road Runner, or even more recently on TV shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Rotoscoping Examples In The 20s

The technique was invented in 1915 and became popular in the 20s with films like “The Jazz Singer” and “Fantasia”.

While rotoscoping can easily be done on paper or with digital software, it was traditionally accomplished in a special effects lab using an optical printer to project the original footage onto one half of a piece of clear film and then trace those images onto another sheet of film which would be developed after its exposure.

The animation effect most famously associated with rotoscoping is Max Fleischer’s 1928 Betty Boop short “Poor Cinderella.”

The 20s were a time of invention and discovery. The decade saw the rise of automobiles, airplanes, radio broadcasts, and talking motion pictures.

It was also a time when filmmakers experimented with new techniques like stop-motion animation or rotoscoping to create some of the most innovative films ever made.

Types Of Rotoscoping

When it comes to animation, rotoscoping is the process of tracing over live-action footage frame by frame.

This technique was first used in Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” back in 1937.

It has since evolved into many different styles including traditional, digital, and photorealistic.

The most popular types of rotoscoping are traditional black & white; digital with a pencil-drawn look and photorealistic which uses beautiful textures that mimic real-life visuals such as water, hair, or skin.


How To Rotoscope

To learn how to rotoscope, first you need the right tools. This includes an appropriate drawing program (such as Photoshop), a digital pen tablet with pressure sensitivity, and of course your animation software of choice.

Once you have all these things set up properly, there are two main techniques: tracing over live footage or using still images as reference material.

Tracing over live footage will require some editing out any imperfections from your drawings – so this technique might not be ideal if the footage isn’t perfect already!

Rotoscoping is the process of creating a frame-by-frame animation by tracing over an original film. It can also be used to create 3D animations with 2D drawings and has been around for nearly 100 years.

Rotoscoping is the process of taking a video and tracing over the frames in order to create an animation. This is done by using software like After Effects or Adobe Premier Pro.

The reason that rotoscoping has become popular lately is due to social media platforms (like Vine) becoming more mainstream. It’s been found that while most people have heard about rotoscoping, they are unsure how it works or why it would be useful.


Which Movies Have Used The Rotoscoping Technique?

The roto-scoping technique was used in a lot of movies that have come out recently such as “The Lion King” and “Space Jam.” The roto-scoping technique is an animation process.

The first movie is called Waking Life and it was released in 2001.

Another movie I found was the Adventures of Prince Achmed, which came out in 1926. There are many more movies on this list so you can check them all out and see if your favorite movie made it onto my list!

Why Is Rotoscoping The Process That Every VFX Artist Should Learn?

This technique was first used in the early 20th century, but it has been a key component for many VFX artists since then.

It’s also a process that every VFX roto artist should learn, as it can be incredibly useful when creating complex 3D tracking shots from filmed footage or for removing objects from video clips.

There are two main types of roto: rotoscoping for visual effects (VFX) and digital fine art. Rotoscoping for VFX usually involves erasing or painting over unwanted elements from an image, such as wires that might show up when an actor is wearing a harness or anything else that doesn’t belong in the shot.

It’s an essential tool for any VFX artist, but it can take years to master!

How Long Does Rotoscoping Take?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to rotoscope a video? If so, this blog will answer your questions.

In the process of taking a video and separating out elements in order to create an animation, It’s no easy task as there are many steps that need to be taken before any work can begin.

First, the background needs to be tracked which can take up to 60% of one’s time on any given project.

The next step would involve tracking the foreground objects with usually around 50%.

After all these steps have been completed, you’ll finally get down to animating which only takes about 10% of the time spent on a project like this…

For example, In the case of Disney’s Aladdin, it took two years to rotoscope all 24 minutes of the film. That’s 960 hours!

The average person works about 8 hours a day, so that’s over 16 months (or almost 3 years) dedicated solely to rotoscoping Aladdin…

For example, if you have an hour-long video with 24 frames per second (fps), that would be 720 frame changes.

Disney Rotoscoping

Disney’s early use of rotoscoping in films like Snow White and Peter Pan is a technique where animators trace over live-action sequences frame by frame, which can be painstaking work.

The result is a lifelike animation that often looks more realistic than traditional hand-drawn animation or CGI.

I can’t quite remember my first experience with rotoscoping, but I do know that it was in an early Disney film. The movie itself is a bit of a mystery to me, as the only thing I can recall about it is the use of this technique.

What fascinates me now is how far computer graphics and animation have come since then.


Nowadays we associate the term ‘roto’ with computer-generated graphics but in 1928 it referred to tracing over live-action footage frame by frame where each frame is drawn onto an illustration board.

The process of roto-scoping takes hours and hours so Disney would often use stunt doubles for their characters since these were not just any actors: they were pioneers!

Partial Rotoscoping

Partial rotoscoping is a technique that animators use to create the illusion of movement.

It’s a skill that requires patience and precision, but it can be applied in many different ways depending on what you want your final product to look like.

Beginner’s Guide To Rotoscopes In Autodesk Softimage

When it comes to rotoscoping, there are a lot of different ways that you can go about doing the work. Some people prefer to use their own markers and draw every single frame by hand.

For others, they might use Photoshop or After Effects for some of the more tedious tasks like removing wires from an image.

One of the best tools out there for rotoscoping is Softimage’s Roto Brush toolkit which includes several brushes with preset shapes and sizes that make clean up easier than ever before!

Rotoscoping In After Effects

The first time I ever heard of rotoscoping was when my friend told me that the new movie she saw, “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” used this technique to make it seem like Scott and his friends were playing a video game.

I was intrigued by how much work must have gone into making something so realistic looking but had never seen anything like it before.

I wanted to find out more about what is actually involved in the process of rotoscoping so you can create your own footage using this method!

Rotoscoping in After Effects is a great way to create high-quality animations.

It creates an animation that looks like it was hand-drawn, so can achieve a more whimsical or organic feel than traditional 3D modeling.

The process of rotoscoping can be broken down into 5 steps:


1. Trace the footage,

2. Create shapes for each frame,

3. Fill in the shapes with color,

4. Preview and refine the rough work (optional step),

5. Clean up any excess lines left behind.