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4: Animation Strategies: related posts Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping Styles and Methods

‘Rotoscoping’ is the process of frame-by-frame tracing of recorded movements of actual humans or events. It involves drawing and painting on and manipulating video or photo sequences to produce animated frames.

This can be done using natural media on tracing paper or cinema film or digitally in any professional 2D animation software.

Rotoscoping is not an easy option to avoid drawing freehand. Producing dramatic animation requires in-depth understanding of keyframing and movement to select the frames, and good drawing/painting skills to select and reproduce elements on each frame. Drawing mechanically on top of photographs and video produces robotic and uninteresting animation – unless that is the effect required.

– rotoscoping limits possibilities for creating imagined worlds and narrative
– real actors and objects do not have line, so tracing often results in lines being too prominent and sharp, too flaccid or too stiff.

But it is possible to produce very beautiful work this way that also plays on distinctions between fantasy and reality. With good drawing skills and an understanding of ‘boil’, keyframes and dramatic abstraction, different degrees of replication and fidelity of line and/or shape can original produce a range of effects from mechanical to chaotic.

Visual experiments January 2021
Mary’s Cow: Rotoscoping as reference for line animation
Pig Lament, India: Rotoscoping as line and shape animation
!! To be done. The airplane, Pakistan: Rotoscoping as video effect.
Rotoscoping Overview

History
Techniques

Contemporary Inspiration

Zemni experiments

1: Rotoscope as Reference: Mary’s Story, Uganda: Cow Walk
2: Rotoscope as line animation and Effects: Pig Tales, West Bengal
3: Rotoscope as impression: Airplane, Pakistan

History of rotoscoping

Rotoscoping was developed in 1915 by animator Max Fleisher who used this technique as a way to create a seemingly more ‘realistic’ (or photorealistic) style of movement. Disney and other studios used this technique as one way of enhancing ‘realism’ in animation through the mimicry of live action.

The first software to do digital interpolated rotoscoping, ‘Rotoshop Software’, was developed by computer scientist Bob Sabiston in the 90’s which he used to make his film “ Snack and Drink ”. Subsequently this software was used by director Richard Linklater for the production of his feature films Waking Life (2001) and Scanner Darkly (2006).

Rotoscoping techniques

Digital rotoscoping: Filmed or live media are used as a reference point for the creation of digital animated movement: motion capture, interpolated rotoscoping, mattes and frame by frame rotoscoping.

Motion capture: Uses live actors and the signals of their movement is interpreted by a computer.

Mattes/Masks/Stencils: Similar to motion capture but uses two dimensional sources to create a silhouette (called a matte) that can be used to extract that object’s shape from a scene for use on a different background. This extraction is often aided by green screen technology, motion-tracking and/or digital onion-skinning. Then images are composited in layers these in much the same way as a stencil or cut out shape would work in analogue collage/layering. Digital rotoscoping plays a large role in the production of visual effects and animation.

Interpolated Rotoscoping: the digital equivalent to the pose-to-pose approach. The animator sets a particular style, line weight and colour. They then link key drawings to anchor points in the source footage. The computer then ‘interpolates’ all the in-between movements according to the action on screen.

Digital Frame By Frame Rotoscoping does the in-betweens by hand – either in physical or digital media. Each frame of the video footage is drawn or painted over, one by one. Done digitally the technique requires import of the source video, but can be done in most professional animation programmes. In physical media every source frame is printed out and manipulated before being rescanned and played in sequential order.

Key Inspiration

Jonathon Hodgson here uses video as references for very expressive line drawings.
Tommy Pallotta, Snack and Drink (1999)
Gianluigi Toccafondo mixes rotoscoped video footage with very expressive painted shapes and background.

Babiston
Elizabeth Hobbes, Finding My Way (2014)

Zemni Experiments


Rotoscoping for reference: Experiment 1, The Cow, Uganda

7 Woman gets a cow
Woman Walking with Cow 3 with Stop Start animation. TVPaint
Woman Walking with Cow 4 Red Eyes
TVPaint. Refining the Stop Start animation with the cow running off the screen.
Cow Walk Cycle 3D animation video source from You Tube.
Cow Rotoscope 2 keyframes only TVpaint
Woman Walking with Cow 1 The different image planes were layered and used motion tween to move them at different rates across the screen TVPaint
Cow Walk Cycle 1 Rotoscope overlay with notes
Cow Walk Cycle 3 in-betweens
Woman Walking with Cow 2 Walk cycle overlaid on rotoscope with pose marks

Rotoscoping as animation: Experiment 2: Pig Fight, India

Rotoscope Pig Fight

Rotoscoping over an edited version of the Kadiri pig fight video in TVPaint. These are not so successful and not as dynamic as I would like them to be.

The line drawing would be better as a gesture drawing from live video. The coloured version would be more interesting painting into that digitally or on acetate using printouts from the line animation as underguide.

Pig fight 1: Line rotoscope of edited version of pig fight video. TVPaint. This would be more dynamic as a gesture drawing from live video.
Pig fight 2: Coloured version of line rotoscope. TVPaint. This would be more dramatic painting into the gesture line digitally or on acetate using printouts from the line animation as underguide.
Pigfight Rotoscope 4 Pencil
Pigfight Rotoscope 5 Vector Blur 4
Pigfight Rotoscope 5 Rough Sketch
Pigfight Rotoscope 8 Vector Blur 5
Pigfight Rotoscope 6 Charcoal
Pig Fight Rotoscope 9 watercolour grunge 1
Pig Fight Rotoscope 10 watercolour grunge 2 original colour

Rotoscoping as animation: Experiments 3: Domestic Violence, Pakistan

Key Issues and Conclusions

https://viscom4dev.zemniimages.info/richard-linklater
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3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration: 15 contemporary animators Physical media Rotoscoping

Gianluigi Toccafondo

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3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts 4: Animation Strategies: related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration: 15 contemporary animators Visual Storytelling

Genndy Tartakovsky

Genndy Tartakovsky (born 1970) is a Russian-American animator, director, producer, screenwriter, storyboard artist, comic book writer and artist. He is the creator of the animated television series Dexter’s LaboratorySamurai JackStar Wars: Clone Wars, and Primal on Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim.

He co-created Sym-Bionic Titan and directed the animated Hotel Transylvaniafilm series. Additionally, Tartakovsky was a pivotal crew member of The Powerpuff Girls and worked on other series such as 2 Stupid Dogs and Batman: The Animated Series.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genndy_Tartakovsky

analysis of simplicity of visual narrative without dialogue.
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3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration 4: The Airplane, Pakistan Inspiration: 15 contemporary animators

Peter Millard

Peter Millard, Since the Better (2015) This animation starts with a blank screen that shimmers with slight variations in white/cream while a shrill cild/female/robot/alien? distorted voice sings a vaguely familiar melody. This creates tension and anticipation waiting for something to happen. Then the voice suddenly changes to the more familiar deep male opera voice as the childlike simple pencil drawing of a man’s face moves slowly at the same speed and horizontal position across the screen. This drawing ‘boils’ with slight apparently random changes in the drawing as a whole – size and shape of the face circle, eyes and pupils and length of the line of the mouth. This creates a real poignancy of sameness, thinness of the line and blank expression in contrast to the heavy emotion of the ‘we will overcome’ vincera aria that also references the masculinity and tribalism of football matches as well as the operatic strength itself. The title ‘since the better’ then adds a layer of loss and past ‘glory’.

https://lectureinprogress.com/journal/peter-millard

Peter Millard is a London-based animator. He creates his absurdist animations on paper (all recycled) with oil bar and paint. Then he scans the large images in with a large scanner, sizes them up in After Effects before using Premiere Pro to edit. 

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3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts 4: Animation Strategies: related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration: 15 contemporary animators Inspiration: global animation cultures Visual Storytelling

Gottfried Mentor

Gottfried Mentor is known for his powerful tragi-comic social/political allegorical animations using CGI animals. These are very expressive in terms of visuals, dramatic narrative and sound effects/music and fully comprehensible without text. He works with the German animation studio Film Bilder.

How has Gottfried Mentor influenced my own animation?

His tragi-comic narrative style, and use of bright colours and anthropomorphic animals has influenced my animation in Pig Tales, India.

https://viscom4dev.zemniimages.info/portfolio/2-pig-tales-india
Oh Sheep! 2012. Two flocks of sheep are searching for companionship. But their shepherds, being at odds with each other, do everything to keep them separated. The final solution that satisfies them through making them look different leads all the sheep to all fight and kill each other.

!! This is the most interesting. Do detailed narrative analysis of why this is so funny and serous at the same time. Use of dramatic timing, sound, framing, similarities and differences – and lots of blood.

Head Up 2013. Story of an old goat who tries to teach a very young one to behave ‘properly’. But when they get to a big crevasse, it is the young goats who takes risks and takes a creative approach who can get across. The old goat learns that he does not know everything and needs to be flexible to learn also from younger kids.
Lambs (2013). The lamb’s parents are shocked, because their little lamb doesn’t sound like the other sheep: It’s making „moo” instead of „baa” and insists on having coloured pom-poms instead of plain white fleece. But they finally see that all the other young lambs are defying convention with new fashion.

More about Filmbilder animations. See also Andreas Hykade.

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Jonathon Hodgson

Jonathan Hodgson is an internationally renowned animation director based in London, he has twice won BAFTAs for Best Short British Animation in 2000 and 2019. He studied animation at Liverpool Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. After spending 25 years directing commercials he moved to academia, setting up and leading the Animation degree at Middlesex University where he combines teaching with making personal films. He is the animation director of Wonderland: The Trouble with Love and Sex, the first full length animated documentary on British TV. 

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0: Zemni Animation: related posts 3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global Inspiration: Japan

https://www.sakugabooru.com/post/show/108633

Pretty naf subject matter. But very selective movement, and real focus on the dynamism of end rest positions.

Studio Ghibli

Isao Takahata

To feel the reality within the drawings rather that think the drawings themselves are real.


Grave of the Fireflies: distancing mechnisms

https://youtu.be/XGfZN6NdE2k

Hayao Miyazaki

https://youtu.be/Y3_XCQ09f-Q

Yoshifumo Kondo

Watanabe

Akira

You Tube

https://youtu.be/AhSrBFFz8RU

https://www.oca.ac.uk/weareoca/visual-communications/oca-recommends-manga-at-the-british-museum-until-26-august-2019/?utm_source=Student+Body+-+Active+-+Updated+19%2F10%2F2016&utm_campaign=1cb941eaa9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_07_18_02_18_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ddfac2d64f-1cb941eaa9-64796573

Post on manga styles. Importance of drama and perspective – eg cropping of photo cartoons