Rotoscoping – Yesterday and Today

The Rotoscope is a device that allows animators to design images for animated films. It can be used to encourage, following a filmed live reference. It can be considered a precursor of the art of digital motion capture. The rotoscoping is to draw each frame of an animation film on an original drawing. This picture…

The Rotoscope is a device that allows animators to design images for animated films. It can be used to encourage, following a filmed live reference. It can be considered a precursor of the art of digital motion capture. The rotoscoping is to draw each frame of an animation film on an original drawing. This picture is transmitted to the natural and sequential movements, expressions, lighting, shadows and proportions typical of a film.

It was invented by Max Fleischer, who used it for his series “Out of the Inkwell” from 1912. Fleischer was helped by his brother Dave Fleischer, who used it for his series “Out of the Inkwell” from 1914.

The rotoscoping was subtly used in a wide range of cartoons, the most notable “Cab Calloway”, “Betty Boop” at the beginning of the decade of the 30's, and the animation of “Gulliver's Travels.” Walt Disney used it in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” for animation of Prince Charming. Ralph Bakshi repeatedly used it in his version of “The Lord of the Rings” in 1978, but due to lack of budget the result was not desired and criticisms taken umbrage with it.

A clear example of the use of this technique was the video for the song “Take On Me”, the Norwegian group A-ha, which was inspired by the art work of a student, with the rotoscoping system. The vivid scenes (not animations) were taken at Kim's Café and a sound studio, both in London, England. Tells the story of fantasy in which a girl (played by actress Bunty Bailey) is a dreamy romance with the hero of his favorite comic (played by Morten Harket).

For the film “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King” in 2002 and 2003 respectively, the engineers were forced by producers to use the technique of rotoscoping 3D for actor Andy Serkins all virtual character animations Golum, as the result of motion capture animation or simple vectorization of the character was rejected by incomplete and unrealistic required for this characterization.

The rotoscoping was frequently used as a tool for special effects movies. As an example, light sabers of “Star Wars”, which were drawn on the previously filmed scene with actors carrying sticks.

The term “rotoscoping” is now widely used for digital processes that are redesigned images on digital film. The technique used is still quite special cases, where a blue cloth chroma-key effect can not be used effectively.

The rotoscoping, digitally speaking, is aided by “motion tracking” and “on-skinning software.”

Some movies that have this technology.

These are some movies that have the rotoscoping technique, sometimes used only in a few planes film (The saga of “The Lord of the Rings” or the classic Disney) and sometimes used as an animation technique throughout the film (Anastasia)

Tron

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Gulliver's Travels (1939 Fleischer Studios)

Superman (late 1940)

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King (2002-2003)

Tygra fire and ice

The Little Mermaid

Peraustrinia 2004

Beauty and the beast

Aladdin

Pocahontas

Atlantis

Lilo & Stitch

Anastasia

Waking Life

A Scanner Darkly

Heavy Metal

American Pop

Games that use this technique:

Prince of Persia

Another World

Commander Blood

Flashback: The Quest for Identity

The Last Express

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

The World Ends with You

Programs that use this technique:

Owner Software Rotoshop

Rotoscope Free Software

Music videos using the technique of rotoscoping:

The One That Got Away, Tom Waits song.

Take on Me, A-ha song.

Heartless, Kanye West song.

Save me, Queen song.