19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 6, 2013 7:48 PM by MXMXVR RSS


    MXMXVR Community Member

      Hi people, I need a hand. Get a look on the picture of the first link.

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-E6eOI_A94d4/UQmTs5dkyOI/AAAAAAAABVg/XY5NeJBopkk/s1600/Shot110.jp g

      Well, I'm rotoscoping this lady and this work was hard to do.

      I have used the eraser tool to get rid from the background.

      I exported the AVI file and placed it on adobe premiere...just like that!

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3DP_A6BfO9Y/UQmW5-_soaI/AAAAAAAABVo/hM-uEhKGMLs/s1600/Shot111.jp g

      The point is..Why I can't see the file below the girl layer as a new background? Understand what I want? Do u know why I can't?

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vDPER5T7gp8/UQmW8lHADdI/AAAAAAAABVw/yAtI1HSPHZA/s1600/Shot112.jp g

      What I want is exporting the lady to Adobe premiere and use another image on her "background."

      Thanks a lot...

        • 1. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
          Dave LaRonde Community Member

          You need to render a file from AE.  You need to select a video codec that supports alpha channels so you get transparency.  If I was doing this, I'd make a Quicktime movie using the PNG codec.


          When you put the comp in the Render Queue, click on the Output Module settings.  Select quicktime movie, millions (or trillions) of colors+, RGB+Alpha, and Straight (not premultiplied).



          But there's something else, too: AE's Rotobrush feature.  It can really speed up the roto process. 

          Here's a boatload of information about Rotobrush.


          And remember: don't try to use it intuitively.  You need to get trained up on it.  If you blow off the training, you're only hurting yourself.

          • 2. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
            MXMXVR Community Member

            Excellent gentleman! Now it works perfectly! I don't have quicktime, so I choose FLV with Alpha.

            http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RaPC8Am2Z2k/UQm9Bz9dz6I/AAAAAAAABWU/Um8fQlMDK2o/s1600/Shot113.jp g

            ...but I have another problem now..

            It seems like the changes that I do on frame A, go to frame B, C, D, E...How can I work with each frame separatelly? That was not happening before!

            • 3. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
              Rick Gerard MVP

              If you have installed after effects, you have QuickTime. I would never use an FLV in the production workflow. It is just way too compressed.


              If you are using Roto brush, you need to go through the tutorials to figure out how to keep it smooth. Roto brush is not intuitive. You will most likely never figure it out without some instruction.


              If you are doing your Roto by hand, then you need to learn how masks move between keyframes. The best procedure there is to Make your position changes several frames apart, then split the difference, then split it again.


              The whole idea is to use as few keyframes as possible. It's also a good idea to draw your initial mask where the shape is the most complex. Masking by hand does not perform very well if you change the number of vertices between keyframes.


              There are plenty of tutorials available for both procedures.

              • 4. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                MXMXVR Community Member

                I guarantee you there is no quick time on my AE! See this link below.

                http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-91ljM8bCw8Q/UQpwxDbuClI/AAAAAAAABW4/DkAFY052-4s/s1600/Shot116.jp g

                I remember now there was an error during instalation process. This error was about quick time. It happened twice.

                I guarantee you the mask from the first frame moves until the last frame from the movie. If I change frame Z, the changes go until frame A. No matter which frame I choose, it is always the same!

                Another thing. I use the book "Classroom in a book."...step by step!

                • 5. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                  Mylenium MVP

                  Refer to this and the linked posts:





                  • 6. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                    MXMXVR Community Member

                    Well, I went through the tutorials and that made some points clear! The first mistake I was doing It's about using eraser tool to get rid from the background; that really doesn't work: the cleaning in the A frame, goes to B, C, D, E, F...You got to use roto tool pressing alt.Ok! But I am not satisfied AE rotoscoping results, so I thought about this: I place the movie on Ad. premiere timeline > I export the whole movie as JPEG images > Each frame becomes a JPEG image > I import all the JPEG files to ad. premiere again > PROBLEMS! > Get a look in the link below.

                    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sgzF4WTrcio/UQ0WnAG6ChI/AAAAAAAABXc/LpCvPJsETwI/s1600/Shot118.jp g

                    The stil image default duration is one frame! Right? Buuut when I drag the whole JPEG files to the timeline...

                    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6VQd7lgR8Bs/UQ0X5-eLdvI/AAAAAAAABXk/3nneeJwmb9I/s1600/Shot119.jp g

                    See? Each JPEG file lasts pratically 5 seconds or 150 frames! Right?

                    Ok, I can solve this problem doing that for each JPEG file!

                    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hzi0XHQqpnM/UQ0Zl_gs2XI/AAAAAAAABYI/_8BiP1f9Ji0/s1600/Shot121.jp g

                    I've tried 00:00;00;01 many times, but after ok AD Premiere turns it to 00:00;00;03...i don't why. Ok I can live with that...But it's a hard, hard, hard work!

                    After all  JPEGS files are on the timeline; duration 00;00;00;03, bla, bla, bla...I edit each one of them on Ad.Photoshop > I use the pen tool to isolate background from the foreground > save each edited JPEG > import this edited JPEG to Ad. premiere > place it on timeline and...voilá! The perfect rotoscoping!


                    Is it possible to use another tool but pen tool  on ad. photoshop to obtain the foreground? My hands are hurting a lot!

                    Do you think my rotoscope movie, with frames edited on photoshop, will work good in the movie? Will I get disappointed in the middle of the road?

                    • 7. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                      Rick Gerard MVP

                      First, you don't need an image sequence to rotoscope.

                      Second, when you use an image sequence you just select one of the images in your sequence and then check the box that says import as a sequence. Your frame length problem will go away.


                      Fourth, if we actually saw even a single frame of your sequence we could make better suggestions. There are so many things that determine the best approach to a problem that without a reference we're shooting blindfolded from the hip.


                      I'm compressing a YouTube movie that I made of the process for use in some training that I'm preparing. There's no audio yet but it should give you an idea of how to do this kind of work. It is pretty straight forward once you get the hang of it. It should be live in a few minutes:


                      • 8. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                        MXMXVR Community Member

                        I have imported all the JPEG pictures as a sequence; yes it works! But it happens the very same problem: the pen tool selected area on frame one, goes to frame two. Well I can edit the area on frame two, but the changes go to frame one. Where is my mistake? Shall I create a keyframe for each single frame? Is something like that? Well, waiting your "how to". Good evening.

                        • 9. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                          Rick Gerard MVP

                          I don't think you watched the tutorial video and listened to the audio. You simply find a point in the action where the action seems to change direction.That is where you draw your first mask and set a mask path keyframe by opening up the mask properties (press the letter M or hold down the Alt/Option key and press the letter M). Then you move to a place in the footage where the motion seems to change direction again. You move the mask points. I know the video is very quick, but if you watch it a couple of times and listen to the sound track you'll see what to do. You should only have a few keyframes in your roto work. The more keyframes you have the more likely it is that the roto will be jumpy.


                          It is also almost always better to do your roto masking on a solid layer placed above the footage. I like to pick a color like red and set the blend mode to multiply. That way I can see through the layer and judge the edges of the matte much better. When you complete the matte you can use this solid as a alpha track matte for the footage.


                          It is also a good idea to Lock you footage layer so that it doesn't accidentally get moved. You should also lock your mask layer to keep it in the center of the comp. I use this simple expresison for locking a layer to the center of the comp but still giving me access to edit it. Just add the following expression to the Position property: [thisComp.width/2, thisComp.height/2];


                          There is nothing hard or complicated about creating a roto mask. It is a bit tedious, but it is not hard to do at all.


                          Also, you don't need an image sequence to do roto work. You can use any footage. If your camera has a bunch of motion in it you should stabilize the footage first. There is no way you should ever have to set a mask keyframe for every frame in the footage.


                          I just had a thought. You might be trying to use RotoBrush... If sho please tell us. The procedure is much different.

                          • 10. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                            MXMXVR Community Member

                            Look at this!


                            PS: when the background is white (AVI file exported from AE) I cannot see any backgroun if I place another movie/picture in the layer below (Ad. premiere) / When the background is black (PSD files placed as frames on the timeline) it works perfectly.

                            • 11. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                              Dave LaRonde Community Member

                              If you continue to use a mask to isolate the subject from the background -- which is what you are currently doing -- you will need to keyframe the layer's maks path, then adjust the mask vertices frame by frame.


                              You're trying to isolate a subject from a VERY busy background, and Rotobrush may or may not work for you.  You'll have to try it, but you will first have to KNOW HOW ROTOBRUSH WORKS, and you have links to the training materials.


                              There isn't anything that it automatic about this process.  You have to put the time in on it.

                              • 12. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                Rick Gerard MVP

                                The problem with your masks and the animation is that you're adding points to the mask between keyframes and the mask points are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. . move in a straight line between the two keyframes. That's what's fouling up everything...


                                You didn't watch the tutorial closely. Find the most complex part of your scene. Set up the first mask and then just move the points. The mask will then track just fine.


                                I'm not sure what you are getting at when you are talking about black or white background.... You have to generate an alpha chanel and bring that into your NLE or use it in AE to reveal the bottom layers. I'm assuming that you used the pen tool in Photoshop to remove the background and then rendered JPEGS. First of all, jpegs do not support transparency so even if you did a perfect job of removing the background in Photoshop you would not have an alpha channel. Secondly trying to roto in Photoshop a frame at a time is a very poor technique because there's no way to tween the mask position. You'll end up with jumpy edges. The first rule of roto is to use as few mask points as you can and to use as few keyframes as you can. 


                                The same thing goes for black background. You can remove a black background kind of if you use the screen mode but JPGS and MOST AVI formats don't support alpha channels.


                                Your video also talks about Rotobrush. Rotobrush is not a tool you can just jump into and use. You have to go through the training because it is not intuative. It's also probably not a good tool for this shot because there are a bunch of same color elements in the background. I didn't see any Rotobrush work in your demo video.


                                So let's go through this one more time. Draw a simple mask around the girl's head and shoulders. Use the minimum number of mask points you can to draw the mask. Move to a point where the action changes direction and move the mask and then re-adjust the points. DO NOT ADD vertices. Once the basic mask is complete go back and add masks for detail areas. Don't add points to the existing mask, add another mask path.


                                It's as simple as that.

                                • 13. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                  MXMXVR Community Member

                                  Considering that I'll have to do this frame by frame, I'll keep doing it on Photoshop /Premiere. If I knew that I could use pen tool to rotoscope on AE, I would have used it since the first frame; now it's too late and I won't come back at all!

                                  About Rick Gerard's technique: how do I isolate foreground after "masking" each frame?

                                  PS: how stupid I am! My AE has no problem, the problem is that I don't read before asking! I really can export my composition as a Quick time file after I place the composition on render queue!

                                  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Tm61pXoN_0w/URLF3sTABEI/AAAAAAAABZQ/4tl1v4kQ5DU/s1600/Shot142.jp g

                                  Buuuuut: neither Quicktime files, nor PNG sequence are "alpha channel" on A. Premiere timelline: they don't work. Whick files from the link above work?

                                  • 14. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                    Rick Gerard MVP

                                    I'm telling you it will take just a few minutes to do this short shot in AE using the pen tool. You are just not using the tools correctly. She is a simple shape. Your attempt in AE would have worked perfectly if you had not added a bunch of points between keyframe one and keyframe 2. Go back to your AE project and delete the second keyframe then move the existing mask points and make adjustments to fit her shape and your mask should transition almost perfectly between the two keyframes. It's hard to tell from your sample footage but you may only need to make a couple of small adjustments along the way.


                                    There may be a need for a couple of additional masks to pick up some hair detail, but the footage you showed me could be easily rotoscoped with about 15 mask points and 5 or 6 keyframes. It will take hours in Photoshop and it won't look as good. Trust me, I've been doing roto on computers for 20 years. Just take another look at the video I made. Do your roto in AE and render with an alpha channel. EZ as PIE.


                                    I tell you what, put up a clean copy of the footage on YouTube and I'll make you a screen cap movie of exactly how I'd go about it. It will take me about 15 minutes to roto 10 seconds of your movie.


                                    As far as rendering with an alpha channel you just have to read the instructions in the Help File. Pick a codec that supports it and render millions of colors plus with the alpha set to straight matte. EZ as pie if you read the book....

                                    • 15. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                      MXMXVR Community Member

                                      I don't use JPEG files on the timeline; the JPEG pictures are opened on photoshop, I use the pen tool to get rid from the background, I save each picture as a PSD file, I put each PSD file on the timeline ( the black background against the lady on the demo movie is an alpha channel from PSD files and they work good). Anyway, I'll try your technique again. "My way" is working good but my fist is aching a lot.

                                      As I reported on the other post above, when the girl is against the white background, those images are from an AVI file...and that's why I cannot see the background...cuz AVI don't support Alpha channel! But which file supports it?

                                      I have already tried quicktime and PNG sequence: total failure!

                                      • 16. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                        Rick Gerard MVP

                                        Set the output to millions of colors plus alpha. Pick png or QT animation or render to a TGA or TIFF sequence. EZ as pie....

                                        • 17. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                          Szalam MVP

                                          To get an alpha channel, you have to specify in your render settings that you're rendering RGB+Alpha and not just RGB.

                                          • 18. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                            MXMXVR Community Member

                                            I outputed the composition as PSD files (just like it was on my timeline) > million of colors > RGB + alpha...BINGO!

                                            Now your chanllenge.


                                            It's all yours.

                                            • 19. Re: ROTOSCOPING AE CS5.5
                                              MXMXVR Community Member

                                              I'm oblied to admit I was loosing my time; your technique is miles away ahead! I've avoided placing new vertices on the mask shape and it followed the lady like a ghost. Look at this: it was made in half an hour; I can still improve the outline but I still think the results amazing.