Adrian Jensen recently created this Pro VFX Course teaching you his techniques for rotoscoping in Adobe After Effects and Mocha AE. Here are some highlights from his course, Pro Users can view the entire roto-series here. If you’re rotoscoping to place video effects behind your subject or to integrate Motion Graphics into your project then this course is for you.
Rotoscope with Masking in After Effects
This is the most common technique for rotoscoping in After Effects. Some think it is antiquated, however we utilize it all the time.
When you’re using masks to roto in After Effects don’t try to use one mask. This may seem like the correct approach at first, but you’ll quick realize how complex and messy it will become. Instead, break up your subject(s) with multiple masks, this will speed up your workflow tremendously.
A lot of tutorials suggest a fixed number of frames to move before keyframing. Adrian suggests keyframing your masks at the point of most-motion as a better approach.
There are two different kinds of masks you can use, Adrian prefers the Auto-Bezier mask option.
Remember, you can double click your masks and rotate them, this will save time, especially for rigid body objects. You don’t have to move each mask point by point every time.
Color code your masks. This will help distinguish them from one another, and will help if your mask looks too similar to the subject you are trying to roto out.
Rotoscoping with Mocha AE
Adrian’s preferred method for rotoscoping is Mocha AE.
Mocha AE comes with After Effects and is a terrific tool for motion tracking and rotoscoping work.
You can track multiple masks (or ‘layers’) at one time with Mocha AE. Adrian still recommends multiple masks for your subject, instead of attempting one mask.
When using Mocha AE set your spline up and let it track all the way through before making any adjustments.
Lock your mask when you are done with it, you can turn off the Gear icon to disable processing.
Want to learn more? Visit Adrian’s Pro Rotoscoping Course and get your roto-game leveled up. Adrian covers masking, Mocha, the Roto Brush Tool and even techniques to avoid rotoscoping entirely.