The Power of Rotobrush 2 in After Effects
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Rotoscoping is a necessary skill for motion designers, but can be a time-consuming task if you’re out of practice. However, with the update for After Effects, the barrier for entry has never been easier.
In this tutorial, Roto Rockstar Zeke French is going to show you a bit about rotoscoping, and how you can unleash the power of Rotobrush 2 to level up your workflow.
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Auto-Generated Transcript Below 👇
Zeke French (00:00): Are you worried about rotoscoping? Do you not even know what that means? Let’s go over some of the basics so that you can level up your VFX game.
Zeke French (00:15): Hey, I’m Zeke French, a content creator editor and longtime after effects user. If you’re looking at working on visual effects, you’ll need to learn how to separate and composite footage and images. One of the first steps to this is learning the time consuming technique known as rotoscoping. The task of rotoscoping is fairly simple, but it definitely takes some time. I’ll walk you through the basics of rotoscoping, as well as some common mistakes you might make when first starting out. Here’s what you can expect from this tutorial. A brief look at what rotoscoping is, why you would want to use. Brodo scoping how to use the rotoscoping tools that aftereffects provides and how to creatively use your rotoscoped assets. Also make sure to check the link in the description so you can grab the project files for this and get the most out of this lesson. Let’s check it out.
Zeke French (01:00): Okay. So what is rotoscoping rotoscoping started as an animation technique in the early 19 hundreds, where animators would draw over real life footage as reference to get realistic motion for their characters and objects while the technique hasn’t necessarily changed. Uh, we now use it for a myriad of different purposes and our context specifically, we’re kind of using it like a manual green screen. So say I want to add a glow to this car specifically because he just got hit by this other car here. So what we need is to isolate the car from the background, and once it’s isolated, we can go in and add a glow or whatever, and it only affects the car. That’s what we’re using rotoscoping for. So in our context, rotoscoping allows us to affect the specific parts of our video that we want to apply our effects to, or maybe exempt those specific parts from applying effects too.
Zeke French (01:51): So I can also add a blur to the background, say if I want everything, but the car in focus and it works. So how do we do it? And after effects, there are a couple of ways the tried and true method is just masking an object. You take one of your mask tools. You trace the object, refine your mask a little bit, and you have your object isolated. I can now add, you know, anything I want to the, to the top layer. The problem with doing this manually is that it’s manual. So I’ve, I’ve created the mask for this one frame, but if I scrub forward the mask doesn’t track the object. So I have to manually go in key frame the mask, follow along with the ball, and it’s a time consuming process. So this it’s not that complicated for just this ball. However, once you start trying to mask a more complicated object like this car, the time quickly adds up.
Zeke French (02:47): So up until this most recent after effects update, this was really the only consistent way that we could wrote a scope and after effects. However, with this new after effects update, they have added the rotor brush to tool, which has changed my workflow for all this stuff. It’s not perfect for every context, but it does a pretty great job specifically for this context. So how do we use it first? You want to come up here and select the rotor brush tool next you double-click on the layer that you want to work on also quick to make sure your composition frame rate is the same as your footage frame rate. Otherwise you can run into some issues. Okay. So first thing I’m going to do is hold control and hold down, click and scroll my mouse to the right and left. And you can see that changes the size of my brush.