Best Way to get into Rotoscoping (AE CS6, Mocha)


my last projects didn’t have any kind of real-world footage in them. Everything was made with Particle Systems and etc. . Now I want to manipulate footage which already exists and want to learn Rotoscoping. I looked up some techniques via Google, but most of them are really basic and don’t give me the result I want (Many just use Rotobrush, which is a cool tool but it doesn’t do all. It still flickers and the edges are rough).
So I wanted to ask you, if you have any tips for Rotoscoping.
If you want to share a link, it doesn’t have to be a video tutorial, I am not a lazy person, I can read :eek: .
I am using AE CS 6 (and if needed Mocha). I use the CS 6 Production Suite.
Thanks in Advance :thumbsup:


Useful script:
Interesting plugin:
A tutorial you can adapt to CS6’s native camera tracker
As for Mocha it is quite straightforward. You will find tons
of tutorials in youtube and Vimeo.


Roto isn’t a terribly complicated thing to learn, although it definitely takes some practice and time to become good at it. Here’s a book that I found useful:

I never finished it; I think I got about halfway through before I had learned enough in production that it was no longer telling me anything new.

My tips:
-Never roto something you can key instead.
-Use just enough points, and no more. The more anchors you place, the more you’ll have to manipulate. Learn to create the mask with as few points as possible.
-Find the key frames—extremes of motion, where things change direction or reach their limits. This is thinking like an animator, and it’s why we call them “keyframes.” Start from those frames, and work inward.
-Isolate parts of a subject that are rigid. If you have separate shapes for the upper arm, forearm, hand and wrist, and each finger, you’ll have to do far less point-by-point manipulation than if you try to make the entire arm one big shape.
-Try to avoid moving a shape a point at a time. Select the entire shape and translate, rotate, and scale it to best match the subject. If necessary, make sub-subselections and move groups of points before trying to move an individual point. This will do a lot to reduce chatter.
-Find out what actually needs roto before you start. It’s boring, mind-numbing work, and it’s terribly annoying to spend a couple hours isolating something only to find out that the effect doesn’t reach that guy.
-Tracking is your friend. The computer is much better at matching motion from frame-to-frame than a human is, so if you can get a good tracker, make use of it. That being said, Mocha is a brilliant tool for roto and tracking both. Learn to love it.
-Like anchor points, keyframes should be used judiciously. The more you set, the more likely errors or inaccuracies will become visible. If you don’t have an obvious place to being setting them in the fashion I previously described, it’s a good idea to start by setting them in an interval that is an exponent of two: 8, 16, 32 frames. That way, it’s very easy to subdivide: 16 -> 8 -> 4 -> 2 -> 1.

Probably a lot of that knowledge came from the book I recommended. I honestly don’t remember since I’ve internalized much of it.

Best of luck to you!


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