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Thread: Rotoscoped Animation using photoshop

  1. #1

    Default Rotoscoped Animation using photoshop

    I'm trying to achieve a similar effect to that used in the Beastie Boys Video for the song "Shadrach", directed by Nathaniel Hornblower (AKA Adam York).

    Hopefully I've attached a few frames of the style of animation to this message to give you an idea what I'm trying to achieve.

    I want to have a layer of animation of a figure leaping across the screen while my edited DV plays in the background, In the video the animation looks like about 8 frames a second, would I be able to do this in Photoshop and export as a filmstrip or something? In a similar way to that described in other threads (light-sabres etc.)

    I know the frame rates will be totally different but I'm going for a dreamy, jumpy, leapy effect for the animation anyway, so I don't think this will matter.

    I'm using a PC with Photoshop 7.0 and Premiere 6.0.

    Any advice appreciated.
    Panasonic SD9, Panasonic NVGS-75, Canon MV600i

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    In truth, I really can't work out what you're trying to do from either your description or from the 3 frames posted. Can you elaborate as I have no intentions of watching a Beastie Boy video on purpose ?

    If you want to have someone leap across the screen in front of other 'work' then just film them jumping across screen in front of a flat coloured background and chroma key the background out showing the other movie clip behind it, froma different layer in Premiere.

    Also, if rotoscoping your effect in PS7 is the way you want to go then you will most certainly have to have the same frame rate. Basically the process is to import your footage and then 'paint' your effect onto every single frame. If you want to paint the same still on two frames before making any change then this will effectively halve the frame rate in the animation part I guess. But they must be the same framerate by definition.

  3. #3


    I ws planning on having a drawing in photoshop, not a piece of video, and animating the drawing, then overlaying that on top of the video, the animation will be in the same style as the attached frames from the video. I will have the same image in a few frames in order to make the lower fps effect.
    I'm going to try it soon, then I think it will be clearer what I'm trying to do, so I'll post an attempt soon.
    Panasonic SD9, Panasonic NVGS-75, Canon MV600i

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    In that case then Photoshop will be a good answer. A couple of bits of advice and a warning to follow though, if I understand what you are intending to do...

    When in Photoshop always work on a new layer. Do not change your background layer i.e. original footage you are adding to. In this way you can always just start again. If you do this and save as a photoshop image as an intermediate step though you might hit the aame problem I did. Once you flatten your image you cannot save it as an FLM file. Get around this by opening up a copy of your original FLM and cut and paste over the top. remove the original layer (or flatten) and then save. FLM will be an allowable option now

    I take it you have a small graphic to cut and paste into ever frame. IF so then you will need to be VERY careful to make sure you positions it exactly within the frame to the pixel or your resulting video will be very jittery if your animated image is not poerfectly positions in each frame. Not sure if this is clear but I had to work very hard to get around this in one of my efforts.

  5. #5


    I think I've gotten the hang of this rotosciping lark now. What I did was to export as a series of Targa files, then used the polygon selection tool on each frame, saving the select area as a new layer and calling it alpha. This gives you a white area for the selection and black for the surround. If you add a feather, you get the grey area. Import back into premiere as a numbered sequence and hey presto!
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  6. #6

    Default thanks

    Thanks for the tips, I had a go at it last night, but I think I was being a bit ambitious, I can see (with your help) how I can achieve what I wanted to do, but I don't think I'll be able to do it in time for my proposed finish date for the current project.

    I'm probably going to use a different idea which should give a wierd effect but take less time to do. I'm going to use after effects to superimpose a mouth onto an image and then just animate the layer in premiere afterwards.

    I plan to use Rotoscoping in my next big project though, so thanks for the help.
    Panasonic SD9, Panasonic NVGS-75, Canon MV600i

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