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Roto Scoping in Motion 5

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Lawrence Diggs
Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 8, 2013 at 8:07:26 pm

How does one rotoscope in Motion 5?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 15, 2013 at 10:00:17 pm

I'm only in Motion 4, but I expect it might go like this:

Import your original movie and set it as the back plane.
New layer, use the freehand bezier tool to trace around the subject in the frame. Choose if the inside or outside of the election is filled with black or whatever.

Advance one frame, repeat.

If I have to do roto, I export the clip as a series of targas or a tif sequence, and do it in photoshop, using the "extract" filter to roughly go around the outline and then fill it. If you combine this into a batch action that will save the frame and advance the next one, you can power thru a short shot relatively quickly. Then export the stills back to the timeline.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:38:45 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Advance one frame, repeat."

The general consensus among roto artists is that this is not the best way of doing it.

It is preferable to do frame 1 then advance say 20 frames (more or fewer depending on the speed of the movement) and do that frame and so on. The software does a smooth interpolation between these major keyframes, and you can easily go back over and add intermediate keyframes as necessary where the results are not as accurate as you'd like. A good way is to check at the half way point between those two major keyframes and correct as necessary, and keep subdividing by half, always with the view to getting the software to do the best interpolation.

The reason not to go frame by frame is that there will be no interpolation smoothing at all and the roto will "boil" dramatically. The bottom line is that the software is much better as creating a smooth result than can be done entirely manually.

For more details see Ron Brinkmann's compositing bible The Art and Science of Digital Compositing which has a good rundown of the basics of rotoscoping.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:45:37 pm

I actually knew that, and that's my flow when keyframing an animation, but in the classic actual film rotoscoping in pre-digital days, they had to do it that way, frame at a time, in order. I was referring to it in shorthand, guess I should have been more precise.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:52:05 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I actually knew that, and that's my flow when keyframing an animation, but in the classic actual film rotoscoping in pre-digital days, they had to do it that way, frame at a time, in order"

Absolutely - it's amazing they achieved the quality of roto they did back in the day.

Apologies for picking you up on this. I thought you probably knew the official way to do it, I just thought I'd make the point in case anyone was trying to do it the frame by frame way and didn't know any better.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 7:56:10 pm

I am happy you made the point about doing it every 20 frames or so. I would not have known that.

What soft ware are you referring to? Motion5? Are there people doing this in M5? Any examples?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 8:56:44 pm

[Lawrence Diggs] "What soft ware are you referring to? Motion5? Are there people doing this in M5? Any examples?"

Yes, you can do manual roto in Motion just as well as you can do manual roto in After Effects, though not as well as you can do it in the high end compositing packages.

Every case of roto is a bit different so it's a bit hard to give general instructions.

One other key tip that I didn't mention is that before you start keyframing individual control points, it's a good idea to go through and keyframe the overall mask shape (again at regular intervals), as this will save a huge amount of effort and generally make for a smoother result. You can then go back and fine tune the control points once that step has been done.

And a further tip is that if you've got a complex object to cut out - humans beings and their various body parts are a prime example - the way to go about it is to break the complex shape down into component parts rather than trying to do the whole thing in one go. That means that you'd do the arms separately from the body, and even the fingers separately from the whole hand (depending of course on how far you are away from the subject). That may seem like more work to start with but it really pays off in the long run - you'll only end up kicking yourself if you try to do a shape that's too complex because it will be so much harder to control, and it just won't look half as good.

The bad news is that roto is mostly very, very slow and time-consuming - and just downright hard work - and that's the same on pretty much whatever system you're trying to do it on, although the top end stuff does have a few tools to automate certain parts of it.

At the budget end of things After Effects gives you RotoBrush which does do a pretty decent job of automating the task to some extent if you're not too pedantic about the results. RotoBrush does depend on the subject being reasonably distinct from the background, which of course is not always the case. This is why the human element will always come into play to some degree - you will instinctively know what is foreground and what is background much better than any software can currently manage.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 9:35:59 pm

OK, so here's one more really important general roto tip that is well worth remembering before you start.

Always try and get some kind of procedural matte before you jump in and do a complete roto.

In other words, see if you can get part of the way there with either a luma key or a chroma key (these are the commonest types of what are known as procedural mattes).

Procedural mattes will almost always give you a better edge than you can get with roto, plus they can of course save you a ton of work which is an even better result!

Add a roto (or several) to tidy up the bits that you can't separate from the background with the procedural matte and combine the results into a single matte.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:15:50 pm

Are these all available in M5?


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Chris Northcross
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 2:31:13 pm

Lawrence,

The tools used to create procedural mattes (i.e. chroma and luma keyers) are available in Motion. Procedural mattes aren't a stand alone filter or tool that you apply, they're the process used to create a matte. Not so much the "what" as the "how you get to the what."

Barend Onneweer did a tutorial a while back on the cow explaining how to go about creating a procedural matte. It was written with After Effects in mind so you might have to do some fiddling if you're working in Motion and haven't opened the keyer but it should translate simply enough with a little effort. Link can be found below.

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/onneweer_barend/keyingtut.php

"Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:16:29 pm

Thanks a lot. I will check it out.


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:33:05 pm

I am not sure If I should start a new thread at this point or not but.....

I think I may have used the wrong term to describe what I want to do. The effect I want was called rotoscoping to me when I first saw and inquired about it so tht is what I started calling it. so let me describe what I want to do and some one here can perhaps give me another name for it and give me some advice on whether it should be moved to a new or different thread.

There are many filters in Photoshop. Those filters can be expanded with plug-ins like Topaz Adjust and Topaz Simplify. I want to take my .mov files and run them through these filters and get these hyper cartoon effects. I can do it in Photoshop to some extent but PS seems to choke, crash and burn on anything longer than about 10 seconds.

I see that Motion5 has filters but they seem quite limited, compared to Photoshop. For example I don't see a way to get a cartooning effect or watercolor effect. But, maybe I am missing something.

Is there a way to expand the filters in Motion5? Can anyone suggest a low cost, under $100, solution to get this effect?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:53:29 pm

[Lawrence Diggs] "There are many filters in Photoshop. Those filters can be expanded with plug-ins like Topaz Adjust and Topaz Simplify. I want to take my .mov files and run them through these filters and get these hyper cartoon effects. I can do it in Photoshop to some extent but PS seems to choke, crash and burn on anything longer than about 10 seconds.

I see that Motion5 has filters but they seem quite limited, compared to Photoshop. For example I don't see a way to get a cartooning effect or watercolor effect. But, maybe I am missing something.

Is there a way to expand the filters in Motion5? Can anyone suggest a low cost, under $100, solution to get this effect?
"


There are definitely ways of doing this effectively in Motion but without seeing the exact look you are aiming for it's hard to know exactly what techniques to recommend.

There are also third party plug-ins that "cartoonify" your footage though whether they are worth the investment I cannot comment not having used them - my guess is you can probably get as good a result using Motion alone ...

Maybe you could post an example of what you're trying to do so we can advise a bit better.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Stephen Smith
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 5:58:47 pm

The newest version of Photoshop will now let you bring in videos so you can add Photoshop filters to them and then export them out. If you have After Effects it comes with a Cartoon filter that works great. I used it in parts of this book trailer.

A free plug-in for Motion that I have never used is Fordee TV Cartoon Effect for FCPX. Look for it on the bottom of the page that I linked.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 6:10:30 pm

Thanks. These seem to be for FCPX which I do not own. Do they work with Motion5? Do all FCPX plug-ins work with Motion5?


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 6:11:31 pm

Thanks. These seem to be for FCPX which I do not own. Do they work with Motion5?


Also your trailer link just takes me to a still, not a movie. Did I miss something?


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Stephen Smith
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 6:17:25 pm

Take a look at Livetoon. I have not used it but you can try it out first to see if you like it before you buy it. It will work in Motion 5. It is the program on the bottom: http://www.dvshade.com/

For my book trailer you need to click on the play button. If it still is not working I'm not sure why. Maybe flash isn't installed? Here it is on YouTube:





There is a free plug-in for Motion 4. I'll try to find it but I'm not sure if it will work in 5.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 6:29:57 pm

Great video! I want to be you when I grow up :-).

Are there other plug-ins like LiveToon, that render other effects, that will work in Final Cut Express 4?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 8:42:30 pm

If you have Motion I really would recommend that you try and see what it can do - you'll be astonished at how powerful it can be. Of course you can go out and buy a one-stop filter that wil make your work look just like everybody else's work but you probably don't want that in the long run.

Take a look at this Photoshop tutorial for instance:

http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/Photoshop-blog/give-your-photos-a-retro-com...

All of these effects can be achieved in Motion - it's all about building up the layers and filters and adjusting the blend modes to get the look that's just right for you. (In fact in that tutorial the filters are really simple: levels, grain, halftone, blur, etc.)

There are many filters in Motion that - in the right combination - will give you some pretty amazing looks.

Try any of the following: Color Reduce, Hatched Screen, Line Art, High Pass, Edges, MinMax, Posterize.

The key thing is not to expect one single filter to do everything in one go.

Experiment with how you layer everything up. Who knows you could come up with a look that no-one's ever quite thought of before. The experimentation process is a huge amount of fun and can teach you so many new tricks that you'd never have thought of.

Or you could just buy a plug-in.

It's up to you ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 8:59:56 pm

I agree.

Do you know of galleries with material people have done entirely in Motion5?

I don't have M5 yet. I still have cold feet. I know it is a very reasonably price piece of software. But my engine just blew and I am a bit short on money right now, so I am struggling to make sense of this purchase. However, the greatest cost for me is the learning curve, i.e. the time it will take me to learn M5. And if after the reasonable cost and expense of time I find out it is not designed to do what i want it to do, it won't be a good value in my case.

So I am just asking for help to make the right decision.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:05:15 pm

[Lawrence Diggs] "I don't have M5 yet. I still have cold feet. I know it is a very reasonably price piece of software. But my engine just blew and I am a bit short on money right now, so I am struggling to make sense of this purchase. However, the greatest cost for me is the learning curve, i.e. the time it will take me to learn M5. And if after the reasonable cost and expense of time I find out it is not designed to do what i want it to do, it won't be a good value in my case.

So I am just asking for help to make the right decision."


OK, so I'll be the first to admit that it's not the most fully featured graphics program the money can buy. On the other hand there is very little room for argument that it quite simply the best value graphics program you can buy by a very, very large margin :)

I find that there are tasks that I'm doing in Photoshop these days (not everything of course but quite a few) that I'd far rather be doing in Motion - which I think tells you just how good it actually is.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Stephen Smith
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:30:37 pm

[Lawrence]
Do you know of galleries with material people have done entirely in Motion5?

Here are some videos that I did entirely in Motion 4. Motion 5's price is unbeatable.

- Kinetic Typography open

- Virtual Stage

- Moving photos 2K spot

- Motion Training DVD commercial

- Band open

- TV Show open

Hope this is what you are looking for.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:29:51 pm

I was able to watch the ones on Vimeo. But I could not find the play button on the others.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:38:25 pm

That's strange. Here are links to the Vimeo ones:

- kinetic typography open

- moving photos 2K commercial

- TV show open

The other ones are only on the COW. I would recommend updating your Flash player. Hope you find this of help.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:46:46 pm

I understand the confusion:in the days of film, the old fashioned rotoscope machine enabled people like Ralph Bakshi to trace live-action models as a shortcut to animating line drawn conventional animation. This was what he used on his Lord of The Rings animated film, etc. Richard Linklater uses a digital roto technique for "Waking Life" and "Thru A Scanner, Darkly".

There are programs that will let you trace live action to make drawn animation, like the onionskin feature in Boinx iStopmotion... but it sounds like you're looking for a shortcut method to directly convert live action to a painted or drawn look.

One of the best pieces of software I ever played with for this was called Synthetik Studio Artist

http://www.synthetik.com

it can do the frames for you automatically, or let you paint on each frame with the procedures interactively, which looks far better since you leave white space around the edges of the frame.

Try it out and you will be hooked.

But if you can't swing StudioArtist, then there are plug-in filters from Nattress
http://www.nattress.com/Products/set2/set2.htm

and Sheffield

http://sheffieldsoftworks.com/looks/tam/instructions.pdfthat can help make video look cartoony.

Red Giant also has something for you:

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/toonit/


Good luck!


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Chris Northcross
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:52:47 pm

I don't really have a feel for what your needs are outside of creating a cartoon look Lawrence, so I can't speak to how valuable Motion would be to you in the long run. I can say that learning Motion (or After Effects or any compositing/Motion Graphics package) ultimately pays off even if the package itself might not be your cup of tea.

Things learned in one package-the fundamentals of compositing-work no matter what software you use. If you really want to do this kind of work, then that's the sort of knowledge you will need to acquire. Fortunately its pretty much the same approach regardless of which package you use. Blending modes, masks, keyframes, these concepts are ubiquitous. Doing it in After Effects is similar to doing it in Motion. Some features in After Effects (like the puppet tool) don't exist in Motion and can be indispensable depending on the type of project you're working on, but similar effects can be achieved in Motion (just takes some ingenuity, creativity and trial and error.)

What do you want/need your software to do?

"Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:30:25 pm

I am trying to get effects like these. I dumbed down the resolution a lot but I think you can see what I am trying to do.

5490_spinningbluemoon3desktop.m4v.zip

5491_spinningbluemoon.jpg.zip

5493_rezcommute3.jpg.zip


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Mark Suszko
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:33:53 pm

People are afraid to download zip files, try using the posting tools in the commenting interface to put in a link.


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:36:26 pm

I loaded these through the file up load link on this site. The last button on the right. What should i have done?


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 12:06:37 am

Let try this.

http://reels.creativecow.net/film/spinning-moon


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Chris Northcross
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:22:02 am

Mark, I absolutely LOVE Studio Artist. I'd recommend it to Lawrence except for the fact that a) it definitely crosses the less that $100 threshold and b) it can have a very steep learning curve to master. It does have a demo and pretty good support community but it takes some time to wrap one's head around.

Lawrence, I'd say Motion is capable of creating something like that, especially if you're already generating elements in Photoshop.

"Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:26:45 am

Does Studio Artist ever go on sale? Do they have an academic discount? I am not a student now but i might take some classes in the near future and might get it then.


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Chris Northcross
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:21:54 am

I'm not sure. They have in the past, not sure if they still do. Best way to find out is to contact them through the support page on their website.

"Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 11:47:00 am

Looking at the moon example you have given, this is just very easy to do in Motion - you don't need to buy a dedicated app/filter/plug-in to do it, although all the suggestions in this thread are good ones. (I guess you're not really in the market for Studio Artist at $399 though even though it's a really good solution.)

Here's a very quick example of what you can do in Motion - here's before and after.





And here's a more painted look using blurs on some of the layers.



(OK, so it's not the most exciting shot in the world but it's just to give you and idea.)

I used Color Reduce to limit the palette to just four colours and a combination of Edges, Line Art, High Pass and Threshold applied to separate clones and blended in different ways.

I'm not saying that this is great art or that I'm especially happy with the result, but it only took a few minutes to knock up without thinking too hard about it. It's really not hard to do and there are an infinite number of ways you can go about combining these different techniques.

Any filter or plug-in you buy is only going to be using the same kind of things under the hood at the end of the day, some more cleverly than others.

Sorry to keep banging on about this but if it's convenience you're after, then go ahead and spend your precious pennies on a dedicated app or plug-in, but if you want a world of infinite possibilities then go for Motion which is probably going to cost you a whole lot less in the first place.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:24:31 pm

And here just for the fun of it is a more obviously painted example (before and after):





Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:30:47 pm

I don't mind the banging, You're ringing my bell. Thanks for the example. That's what I was looking for.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:52:15 pm

[Lawrence Diggs] "I don't mind the banging, You're ringing my bell. Thanks for the example. That's what I was looking for."

Glad to hear it :)

Now let's see if Apple are going to pay me ny commission ...

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Lawrence Diggs
Re: Roto Scoping in Motion 5
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:31:50 pm

I don't mind the banging, You're ringing my bell.


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