Easy rotoscoping

Utilise Auto-trace tool and rotoscoping your video footage is easier than you think. JJ Johnstone reveals the best way to import your layered Illustrator files to composite eye-catching 3D visuals without a 3D app.

As time and money are very limited in the design world, most designers can't afford to buy the latest 3D applications and rotoscope every shot, so this tutorial will demonstrate how to create rotoscoped video clips and composite them in 3D without touching a 3D application.

The monologue on which this tutorial is based incorporates rotoscoped characters in a three-dimensional framework, accented by coloured streamers and typography. The monologue is based on personal experiences and is intended to convey emotions through a combination of audio and visual elements.

While the rotoscoping process enables the motion graphics designer to add unique components to visual compositions, traditional rotoscoping practices can be time-consuming. The unwary designer could easily squander hours or even days staring at a monitor, tracing frame by frame. Using footage shot on a blue/green screen you can quickly and easily rotoscope using After Effects' Auto-trace tool. It's then easy to combine the rotoscoped footage with The Foundry's Keylight plug-in.

One of After Effects' key assets is its strong 3D compositing toolset, which you can use to add a whole new dimension to otherwise flat motion graphics. This process allows for the addition of camera movements and layered Illustrator files, bringing depth and pacing to any project.

This tutorial will provide new avenues to experiment with motion graphics, so feel free to use the download files as a template. You'll need After Effects and The Foundry's Keylight plug-in, a demo of which can be found here.

Click here to download the tutorial for free