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Imagineer Systems Motor

Next generation rotoscoping tool By David Basulto

Rotoscoping. The tedious process of tracing an image over live-action film movement, frame by frame has often driven artists crazy. Although there have been many improvements to rotoscoping tools over the years, nothing has come close to Imagineer Systems Motor. The dedicated rotoscope tool is fast, easy to use, and very powerful.

Roto on the go
Motors x-spline tool is so fast and easy to use you will feel like a master rotoscoper in minutes. Click to activate the tool and start adding points around your subject. I like to do a rough roto first then I tweak it after. Adding or removing points is a simple process. Motors points are easy to work with allowing you to really get a tight matte. Select single point or click and drag to select multiple points.

Get Tracking
Imagineer Systems has developed a really unique Planar Tracker that they have installed under Motors hood. The Planar Tracker will really do the job with positioning, rotation, scaling, and any perspective shifting roto-splines. The tracker works so well that in some tests I didnt need to do very much tweaking of my x-splines. In fact the Planar Tracker is so good you will need less key frames.

Once I set my x-splines using the x-spline layer tool I simply hit the track forward button and off it goes. You can click stop when you need to make an adjustment if there are some difficult moves in the footage. After stopping, hit the track forward button to resume.

Another huge point to address is that Motor tracks not only x and y motion but also perspective. The perspective ability tracks entire regions and not only certain points. Nice work.

The View Controls area gives you a tremendous amount of options to view your work. Choose from RGB, Alpha, or RGB + Alpha. Turn on or off overlays, tangents, splines, grids, and points. Another great option is that Motor enables you to import a single frame or an entire clip to set as the background. I loved this option as I was able to let the creative juices flow with different ideas and see a real time ?rough draft.

Motor will render out your project in several industry standard formats, such as Cineon, DPX, TIFF, Targa, and QuickTime. I worked on a 3 GHz MacPro 4core system and the renders went extremely fast. There is also support for exporting shapes directly into the following applications: Autodesk Combustion, Flame, and Inferno as G-Masks and Apple Shake as rotosplines.

Motor is an amazing rotoscoping tool. It has a fast learning curve and is extremely powerful. There seemed to be a few bugs with the earlier version but the folks at Imagineer Systems are on top of their products performance. The company maintains an active forum and addresses any needs or bugs promptly. I found the program to be very stable on my MacPro. If you are looking for a solid rotoscoping tool, give Motor a try. Motor runs about $1,600. There is a trial version available on their website 

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David Basulto is an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles. After 17 plus years, David is well versed in all aspects of filmmaking from development to distribution. He produces, directs, edits, and now is addicted to motion graphics and 3d. His last film, Death Clique is in Blockbusters nationwide. David is also the host of the In his spare time David is an avid gamer and can be found slaying monsters in the world of Vanguard. For more info visit
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