22 Replies Latest reply on Aug 31, 2016 2:41 AM by Roei Tzoref

    Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span

    TC5 Level 1

      I'm looking to add base frames to a roto brush span that has gotten too long. How do I do this without losing the roto brush work I already done? I need to chop up the span into shorter segments to make base frame propagation quicker to process.

        • 1. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Have you gone through the rotobrush tutorials? Basically rotobrush works only in one direction. Pressing the space bar or the escape key will stop propagation. If you need to go back and fix something then you have to go back to where the mask needs correction and start propagating again. Once the mask is calculated it does not calculate again unless you go back. I'm not sure what you mean by base frames. Every time you stop and add or modify the roto on a frame the propagation of all brush strokes starts again. You can't go back and add one frame and not prevent a new round of calculations.

           

          Maybe this will help. Here's my standard workflow:

          1. Trim the layer or split it up so I have a layer with just the frames that must be rotoscoped
          2. Open the layer panel for the timed layer
          3. Start the rotobrush with the default span
          4. Adjust and perfect the path by stopping and adjusting until I reach the end of the span
          5. Add a little more to the span and continue on from the last good frame
          6. Repeat, adding a little each time until I have the entire span adjusted
          7. Change the tool to the refine matte tool first then move the CTI to the first frame of the roto
          8. Apply and adjust the refine matte tool as needed working my way to the end of the layer
          9. Freeze the roto
          10. Double check the roto in the composition panel
          11. If everything is OK I render a Digital Intermediate (DI) using a lossless production codec and replace the rooted layer and delete the rotobrush effect
          12. The rest of the composite is now made using the DI.
          • 2. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
            TC5 Level 1

            I've looked at several video tutorials, but haven't found info on placing a base frame within an existing span to help make the propagation processing more efficient (not that I understand exactly what that entails other than I'm now stuck with a project that takes forever to open).

             

            I've got a span that is now 15 seconds long because I was not aware how to create base frames as I go. A couple of base frames were created automatically (first frame and the first frame of the second time I opened the project) an nothing else after.

            • 3. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The project that takes forever to open is exactly why I trim the shot that needs roto to the minimum required length, roto, then render and delete the rotobrush effect. Start with a short span, when you get close to the end extend it, then repeat, then do your refine matte, then freeze. If you don't freeze then everything must be recalculated from the beginning and it takes forever and if the video has a lot of compression, motion or color artifacts the results may be different. As soon as you freeze - render and be done with it. If you end up with a few bad frames in the middle then just roto those frames. I'd never start with a span of 15 seconds, and in fact most of my roto work is less than 4 seconds because most shots in most of the projects that I cut are 4 seconds or less, and some roto work I do is only 7 or 8 frames where I need to put a CGI element behind something like an actors arm. In that case I only roto the arm. The trick in all roto work is figuring out exactly what parts you must have and only working on them.

               

              Once again, rotobrush really needs to be started at the first required frame, stopped every time the roto needs to be adjusted, then refined, frozen and a DI should be rendered and the footage replaced in the project. There is no other efficient way to use this tool.

              • 4. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                TC5 Level 1

                Thanks for the insight. That is what I will be doing as soon as I can load the project fully again so that I can go ahead and freeze then render. It'm my first time with AE and roto brush so didn't know what to expect, until I tried to open the project and it's taking ages to open.

                • 5. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                  TC5 Level 1

                  What happens when you freeze do you get a beachball? If so how long does the freeze process take per second of video? (after the frames have initially been loaded presumably).

                  • 6. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                    TC5 Level 1

                    I've loaded the project though I'm not sure if it fully loaded but the last frame of the roto work is displayed in the layer. As soon as it displayed I hit the freeze button and then i get the beachball.

                    • 7. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      It can take a while. That's why I only roto the frames that are required for the effect. It's not very normal to have a 15 second shot in an edited movie unless it's a talking head. Even then, that's an awfully long shot. See if you can cut it up into smaller pieces.

                      • 8. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                        TC5 Level 1

                        Problem is, it may be that I'm maxing out my machine at this time so since the last edit session I haven't been able to do much of anything in the project because I can barely open it. Trying to do anything after it opens seems to get nowhere. so the most I did just now is hit freeze as soon as it looked like the project preview had loaded. now I got the beachball. No idea if it's working or just stopped responding.


                        AE CC current version. Computer is a Macbook Pro 2012, 2.3GHZ intel core i7, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512 MB. 103GB available on the local drive.

                         

                        AE gives you no advance warning if you're running out of ram or disk space?

                        • 9. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                          TC5 Level 1

                          oh i finally got a progress bar saying it's freezing. at least something's happening!

                          • 10. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                            TC5 Level 1

                            right so i manage to freeze 31% of the file then got a whole lot of warning message saying i was out of ram. Not i got a blue bar saying the roto is frozen, but am having trouble playing the composition i get error message "preview needs 2 more frames to playback".

                             

                            how do i get out of this mess and not lose the roto work i've done?

                            • 11. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                              TC5 Level 1

                              Any way I can copy short segments of the roto layer to a new project so I can save the work there? Would appreciate tips on how to do that.

                              • 12. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                TC5 Level 1

                                Alternatively, can I freeze only short segments of the roto layer at a time (set by the in and out point) and export those sections? Is it correct that roto layers must be frozen before they can be exported?

                                • 13. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                  TC5 Level 1

                                  I exported a short segment of my footage and found the roto layer is not being applied on the footage. Since freezing the whole 22 seconds of roto footage failed at 31% I'm not sure if the freezing worked on the first 31% of footage or not. Any way I can re freeze only a short segment set by in and out points and then try again to export?

                                   

                                  I don't see a razor blade tool to cut the footage. I need to cut this thing in smaller pieces since I'm out of RAM to process the whole thing at once.

                                   

                                  I assume freezing a track is necessary before exporting through media encoder? I'm stuck here.

                                  • 14. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Place the CTI where you want to split the footage then press Ctrl/Cmnd+shift+d

                                    • 15. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                      TC5 Level 1

                                      Thanks for your help. I've split the roto layer and copy to paste in a new project but I get a "original source deleted" indication when pasting it in a new composition in the new project.

                                       

                                      I'm looking at video settings in the new composition and would like them to simply conform to the clip I'm pasting (1080p 59.24fps).

                                      • 16. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                        TC5 Level 1

                                        I'm trying to salvage some of the roto work I've done so I'm splitting the footage in small segments and trying to copy them to a new project but it doesn't seem to work properly. I need to chop up the roto footage in small clips because the current project has got too big and has maxed out my RAM so is not workable.

                                         

                                        Any tips to copy and paste a roto layer to another project? Does the clip need to be frozen or not before it can be copied and pasted? Splitting the footage and freezing short segments doesn't seem to work as it doesn't apply the roto mask correctly.

                                        • 17. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                          Ashley7 Level 3

                                          TC5 wrote:

                                          I'm trying to salvage some of the roto work I've done so I'm splitting the footage in small segments and trying to copy them to a new project but it doesn't seem to work properly. I need to chop up the roto footage in small clips because the current project has got too big and has maxed out my RAM so is not workable.

                                          I was looking to do the same thing. I tried to split the layer and adjust the spans accordingly but no dice. Since the base frame for a span cannot be re-established and/or derived anew (i.e., from frames leading up to said new frame), I notice the one cannot adjust a span length from one side of the original base frame to beyond that same base frame (i.e., you cannot drag a span length adjustment from the left side to the right side of the base frame, and vice versa). So this didn't work, nothing else occurs to me.

                                           

                                          I think my own ability to plan spans will improve over time as I use the tool, though it does not yet seem inconceivable to me that, despite such gained experience, I might not always like to have that ability to split a span up after the fact to work in smaller parts.

                                           

                                          For example, let's say there's a 15 second clip, but I discover that 10 seconds from the base frame is a particularly troublesome set of frames... where motion or whatever, coupled with apparent Roto Brush "anomalies" I tend to see, are giving me issues, where I now might see the wisdom in working on that area as a separate span, not touching the existing span. In that case, the ability to then split the spans (with new base frame establishment capabilities) would be wonderful as my mind could then simply work on that new span knowing it has been removed from affecting my original span, and all properties would then pertain to that one section, not the entire original span.

                                           

                                          It seems difficult to predict exactly how things will look until rendering and reviewing, where one might see a roto brush issue well into roto'ing, even issues with initial segmentation later in the game than is optimum... issues you're supposed to theoretically avoid by getting initial segmentation right before moving beyond that step. I'm finding it's quite possible to see initial segmentation issues after refining edges... I just hadn't caught them earlier... not caught until rendering a daily. Will experience help me definitively avoid that? I can't say yet.

                                           

                                          As mentioned, the prescribed roto brush protocol is to avoid such issues, plan so well it doesn't happen, but that doesn't seem realistic to me. In my case, I have a large span and it is connected with troublesome areas I had not foreseen... I'm stuck... I either lose hours of work by dropping some of my roto work, or deal with the large span.

                                           

                                          Likely the implementation of such features is involved so evaluating the need is probably correspondingly involved. Does the need only happen for newbies, or experts as well? I gather over time such management would be seen as a positive by all but that's just because I would like that ability now, as a relative newbie to roto. LoL.

                                           

                                          In the end, even with my massive span, it's a great feature, so happy it's there... so no complaints here, just community discussion on my leaning toward the idea of liking such span management features. I realize though they'd likely be involved to implement.

                                          • 18. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                            Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional
                                            For example, let's say there's a 15 second clip, but I discover that 10 seconds from the base frame is a particularly troublesome set of frames... where motion or whatever, coupled with apparent Roto Brush "anomalies" I tend to see, are giving me issues, where I now might see the wisdom in working on that area as a separate span, not touching the existing span.

                                            The workflow suggest that when this happens you should create another span from that frame forward (or backward) - and yes it means drawing all over again a shape that's already there. this is what you are supposed to do, and sometimes no matter how planned you are - this will happen. sometime even that is not enough since the same Rotobrush settings apply to all spans and you are having problems with keyframing the changes, then by all means - split the video and create a fresh span with a new rotobrush setting.

                                            I have a large span and it is connected with troublesome areas I had not foreseen... I'm stuck... I either lose hours of work by dropping some of my roto work, or deal with the large span.

                                            Now you know you should split to 2 or more if needed. live and learn

                                             

                                            Here's the way I see it

                                            Rotobrush is magic. but it can also be a pain and time consuming. you could find yourself fighting hours for a shot you could do in another way that involves more hard labor, but pays off and in the end takes less amount of time. it takes time to know when to leave Rotobrush and try something else. because it's such a resource hog it's crucial to work by the steps and not miss one. make sure you have read all of this: After Effects Roto Brush, Refine Edge, and Refine Matte.

                                             

                                            Here's a good course that deals with complex rotobrushing with 2 spans by one of Ae's Titans Chris Meyer: Screen Replacement with After Effects and mocha AE. and here is another great course about Rotoscoping from one of the greats Mark Christiansen: After Effects Compositing 05: Rotoscoping & Edges. notice that only 2 videos out of more than 20 deal with Rotobrush, and this is an advanced course by one of the top men in the field of VFX in Ae. one of the two is just a video that tells you to watch out! hence the name: Don't get bogged down with Roto Brush this is a reminder that this is only one tool out of an arsenal of tools for Rotoscoping. as the saying goes If Your Only Tool Is a Hammer Then Every Problem Looks Like a Nail.

                                            1 person found this helpful
                                            • 19. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                              Ashley7 Level 3

                                              Roei Tzoref wrote:

                                              Don't get bogged down with Roto Brush this is a reminder that this is only one tool out of an arsenal of tools for Rotoscoping. as the saying goes If Your Only Tool Is a Hammer Then Every Problem Looks Like a Nail.

                                              All very well said! I've scoured the docs, several times over. Same with tutorials... they're great, but mostly to get started. I was left with a number of questions largely answered through trial-and-error and revisiting the docs etc.

                                               

                                              So your response above inspired me to post an update to my original discussion on what I'm trying to do (link is below in the Premiere area because that's where I started... my first use of AE is in this endeavor, actually) ... my new post includes a restatement of my goals and info about where I'm at currently in my attempt to use Roto Brush.

                                               

                                              If you think I'm missing an easier alternative, it would be great to hear. What you say about the arsenal of tools makes me want to go over the options available. I'm glad I learned Roto Brush, and it may well be the right tool, I don't know yet, just that it's working but it's also a labor.

                                               

                                              Following is a link to the thread where I pose my question in case you have a sec to comment...

                                               

                                              Re: Best way to blanking out writing on stationary object in static (tripod) footage?

                                               

                                              Thanks again.

                                              • 20. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                                Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional
                                                Same with tutorials... they're great, but mostly to get started

                                                I disagree. there are advanced tutorials out there. the courses I showed you on Lynda are intermediate level and I think users at even advance skill level should watch each and every video. if you are into tracking and rotoing - mocha is also a very advanced tool and definitely not for beginners. Mary Poplin's tutorials are super fast you have to pause it to catch a breath she is so skilled it's amazing to watch. take a look at this: mocha AE Creative Cloud Rotoscoping Demo with Mary Poplin at SIGGRAPH 2013 - YouTube

                                                 

                                                Youtube just does not cut it. there are dedicated sites with very advanced tutorials. also the problem is that users, especially beginners, are tempted to go right at it without the basic that may seem slow and boring but are essential.

                                                 

                                                about the other thread I will take a look.

                                                1 person found this helpful
                                                • 21. Re: Adding Roto Brush Base Frame to Existing Span
                                                  Ashley7 Level 3

                                                  Roei Tzoref wrote:

                                                  Mary Poplin's tutorials are super fast you have to pause it to catch a breath she is so skilled it's amazing to watch. take a look at this: mocha AE Creative Cloud Rotoscoping Demo with Mary Poplin at SIGGRAPH 2013 - YouTube

                                                  Mary Poplin's tutorials are awesome... I got a great intro into Mocha... I'm impressed by it... though I ended up going back to Roto Scope because it seemed to fit my needs, after all, when considering efforts to truly learn Mocha further coupled with limitations of Mocha AE versus Pro in connection with object removal. Thank you for directing me to her tutorials.