Project Intro: Rotoscope Effect over a Photo


Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over video footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films.

We won’t be creating an animation, but we will create an artwork with a rotoscope-inspired effect by tracing over one of our photos.

Some examples of rotoscoping

(All featured examples were created by the design studio Smith + Lee design)

Juno Title Sequence
Journey 2

View the title sequence (and learn how it was created) here.

Girl Rising (Short Film)

View the entire film here.

Cover Art for A Working Theory of Love

Project Requirements

  • Draw over a photograph your have taken yourself. Variations:
    • Use a photograph taken by a classmate who has given you permission
    • Combine multiple photos (the final product must look like one scene)
  • Draw over at least 50% of the photo
  • Can use either Photoshop or Illustrator
  • 11×14″ or 14×11″ at 300 DPI

Today we will:

  • Discuss rotoscoping and how it is used in motion graphics and design
  • View examples of rotoscoping
  • Brainstorm ideas for our rotoscope-inspired artwork
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • The photo or photos we might use in our artwork
    • A paragraph describing our plan for our artwork
      • What parts of the photo will you draw over?
      • What parts will you keep as a photo?
      • Will you use any filters on the photo? If so, which ones?
      • What colors will you use? (For best results, limit your palette to tints and shades of two colors. If you need ideas, the Design Seeds website is a great place to start.)
      • What software do you plan to use?

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