How to do Rotoscoping in blender ?

I have a match moved clip with syntheyes, now i want to mas a person.

I dont want to do this by hand, is there a technic to do this faster ?

How is it done normally ?

Ah, the chore of rotoscoping.

I do that chore in After Effects. There is a free script called “TrackerVis” that will take a series of track points and create a mask in a clockwise fashion around a person or tracked object. Then you have a rough mask of a person automatically.

I don’t even bother trying to mask in Blender until the vertex pick tools are updated. When you are dealing with clicking the mouse over a thousand times or more to accomplish a task, all those extra click you have to do in Blender will really add up to a lot of hand/wrist strain.

My biggest gripe with Blender is the concept that when you RIGHT-CLICK on a point, it “STICKS” to your mouse until you LEFT-CLICK to drop it. This is so annoying and creates additional hand strain. Iv’e said it before and I’ll say it again. It should work like After Effects. You LEFT-CLICK to pick up a point and when you let go of the mouse button it drops the point. This uses only one finger, not constantly switching between two fingers.

i was just thinking that yesterday, it would be great if we could switch between this 2 types of selecting, im sure somebody can make a script for it.

Anyway, so you reccoemend me to use AF for this task right ? its faster right ?

Could you make a short video, showing me the process ? please ?


You got to start using your keyboard. Trying to do this Adobe style (Click + drag) is tedious, both in blender and afterFX.

  • Click to select the point (This can be done with the LEFT-CLICK if you set it that way in your preferences)
    -Press “G” to move it instead of trying to drag it.
    -Click to drop the point
    -Click to select the next point OR press “A” to deselect.

Your hand stress comes from holding down the mouse button. You should only have to do clicks is you use the “G” key, which is far less stressful than Adobe style Click+drag.

you dont get it man, in this case the adobe clicking is better.

look :

Blender: Right click, G, Leftclick to leave : 3 steps
Adobe way: Left click and move dragging(one step) release dragging(second step)

And this is for rotoscoping,

I am trying to integrate keyboard shortcut into my workflow in both programs. It does help out a lot. I use G-X, G-Y and G-Z more often these days.

Tweaking Knobs,
The TrackerViz author already recorded video tutorials here:

great ! i’ll check them outwhen im at home, i’ll have to install AF.

No, you’re not getting it, bro…drop down header at top of screen>“Views & Controlls” button>Select With: “Left Mouse” / “Right Mouse” radio buttons. Try doing that with AE and see how far you get.

An enormous (yes, ENORMOUS) ammount of effort has been put into allowing customization of user preferences within this softeware which is far above and beyond that of most other softwares so put this to good use and have it the way you want it. And if this isn’t already good enough for you then do a little research to find out what’s going to be possible when Ton’s vision for v.2.50 gets realized…it’s totally f%$#@!g amazing!

No room will be left for anyone to gripe about Blender’s interface because absolutely every thing and every way of doing things within this program will be customizable.

yes , but with AF when you select you also drag, with blender no.

there is a problem, i had an old cracked version of AF, but it doesnt work in vista, im not buying AF, i own syntheyes , does anybody knows how to use syntheyes rotoscoping ?

Is rotoscoping in the year 2008 a frame by frame job still ?

is there a just rotoscoping software out there ? not so expensive like silluete pro (1000)

@TweakingKnobs :
Yes, in Blender, try to select a vertex or a dot on a curve with the right mouse button, don’t release the button and move your mouse, and you will drag.
In object mode, you can do the same thing with the left button. But there is more fun :
In object mode, click with the left button an move your pointer in round on the screen : the object is rotated.
Draw a V on your screen, and you enter in resize mode !
Rotoscoping in Blender can be done using animated curves in camera view. You animate curves frame by frame. Bezier curves are more acurate than Nurbs for this use. I have used this rotoscoping method to map the panel in the foreground in the 3D space in my short match moved video “Louisa is driving” visible on my site. It is a tedious work, but it can be done.
There was a video tutorial about Garbage painting usig this method on the Elephant dreams site some time ago.
Wax 2.0 is free and includes a rotoscoping Plugin, but I have never been able to use it correctly. It is not easy to use at all, and seems to have bugs (exiting the soft).
For SynthEyes : I am a SynthEyes user, but I have never had enough time to dive in depth into all its features. Though, If I remember well, the rotoscoping feature is done to allow the soft ignore some trackers, by making animated masks. I’m not sure that these masks can be rendered as alpha masks. I think they can’t. I believe that they act like blockers in Particle Illusion. It has to be checked.
In Particle illusion 3, it is possible to do some rotoscoping. You have to create an emitter with static particles (not moving) in a black color (or white), and size them to cover the whole screen. Add a background layer white (or black), or use the white (or black) background color and apply a blocker. You can animate the blocker shape frame by frame and render the result in an alpha mask. The background color is enabled only at rendertime. You work with your video on a layer as background during the rotoscoping process.
Yes, Rotoscoping is still a hand done job,and rotoscoper is a full job in the cinema industry.

This is even easier in Blender 2.48. Just go into User Preferences, on the “Edit Methods” panel and select “Drag Immediately”. Now click on a point and drag. It sticks to your mouse until you release the button. Sounds to me to be exactly like AE in this case. This works for points, objects, curve handles, IPO’s, etc.

Whats up guys ? i just found a software called Claxa, its actually very good, you draw around the shape you want to mask and it "Automatically " does it in all frames, is not that easy but it saves alooooooot of work, i just tried it today , but i think if used well it can be the one.

Try it out, and please contact the guy to encourage him to improve it and if posible make it an open source proyect, why not ?

Claxa looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing. When I downloaded the example files and docs, I realized I had seen the “foreman” images before. It turns out that it is also used an an example for the “Old Cinema Filter” produced by the Compression Project which is also done in Russia. Of course, it could just be a coincidence, but if Claxa is related, it could be very good indeed. Those guys make great AviSynth and VirtualDub filters. And many of them are freely available. I don’t think they release source code, however.

No I get it. You’re missing MY point. Having to hold down the key while dragging is what causes stress on the wrist. Your finger pushing down creates force that your wrist has to counter. Doing for long periods of time will make your wrists hurt. The point I was making is that if you use the keyboard to initiate moving a point rather than dragging, you will have a less physically stressful workflow than what the origional poster was describing.

Well, I have downloaded Claxa. I couldn’t read the ClaxaGuide-eng.doc file, but after installing the last Word viewer, it opens. So, I will dive into the doc !
Thank you for the information about Claxa !

Edit :

I have done some trials with SynthEyes : It is perfectly possible to do rotoscoping in SynthEyes, and export Black and White masks, as well as sequences of images or video with an alpha layer.

The spline curves can be converted in alpha mattes.

SynthEyes users will find the infos in the section named “Writing Alpha Mattes from Roto Splines”.

Just an advice : do not load too long sequences a one time, because the more frames you’ll have in memory, the slowerSynthEyes will be and it can crash if you trespass the memory limit.