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Rotoscoping in Synthetik Studio Artist, Part 3

Creating a sketch buildup sequence from a still image By Dave Nagel
When you're rotoscoping live-action footage, you don't always want to begin with a full-motion source. Sometimes it's better to start off the sequence with a build-up of your painterly effect from a still image and then let the full-motion animation kick in. There are several ways to do this in Synthetik Studio Artist. We'll start with the most simple method: automated drawing, combined with a mask.

In Studio Artist, it's possible to generate animation from the actual process of painting, in addition to animations from completely painted frames. This is the premise we'll use to create the initial build-up sequence for our sketch effect. For this process, you can use pretty much any of the preset brushes in Studio Artist. I'll be using a set of custom brushes, which you can download by clicking here: Auto Rotoscoping Examples 1 (140 KB .zip archive). And, of course, you can use your own as well.

Here's the effect we're going for.



Initial setup
Step 1. If you haven't already done so, place your rotoscoping brushes folder into the /Studio Artist/Preset/Default directory, and launch Studio Artist. For your source image, choose the movie file or still image you want to use for your sequence. If it's a movie file, jog over to the frame you want to use for the initial buildup of the sketch effect, and set your in point to that frame by clicking the checkbox labeled "In" in the source window.




Step 2. Now, depending on how you want to do your buildup, you'll need to tell Studio Artist when to write frames for you when you create your new movie. It can write frames for each stroke of the brush, for each sub-stroke of the brush and for a simple X number of frames per second. I will be using all three methods. To set the first two, go to File > Preferences > Movie Stream Write Frame Flags, and then select both "Write Frame Each Action" and "Write Frame Each SubAction." Then go to File > Preferences > Movie Stream. Here you'll have the option of selecting how often Studio Artist automatically writes a frame. I'll set mine to 10 per second.



Step 3. Then, before we get to actually painting, we're going to apply a simple mask to our subject using Studio Artist's freestyle Bezier pen. To do this, in the left panel, switch over to Bezier Draw mode. Apply your source image to the background to use as a reference, and then do a loose outline of the subject. Our painting will actually go slightly outside the bounds of this selection, so you don't have to be too precise.



Step 4. Go to Canvas > Set Region Selection To > Path Frame As Edges. You won't see anything happen to your canvas at this point, but now we have this region stored for future use.

Step 5. Now you're ready to start recording your movie. Go to File > New Movie Stream > From Main Canvas to begin recording. Follow the instructions in the Save dialog.

Step 6. Now you want to clear out your canvas so that you begin with a white background. So set the background to white in the upper-right corner of the Studio Artist Interface.



Step 7. Hit Command-F to record the current canvas as a frame. This way the first frame of your animation is sure to start off white. Otherwise, it will start with the first stroke you apply to your image.

Now you're ready to begin the painting process.


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Related Keywords:rotoscoping, painting, synethetik, studio artist, sketch animation

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