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Old March 10th, 2004, 11:22 AM   #1
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Best approach for rotoscoping a few hundred frames

Hi,
I have a few hundreds of frames I need to rotoscope...
I have vegas 4 and photoshop 6- ImageReady (can get my hands on 7 if needed)...

Before I go there and start wasting time.. any pointers as how
to approach this task minimizing as possible the time?

I donīt want to start doing something the long way, and am specially concerned on maintaining the image quality..

Anyone done this before?

Thanx
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Old March 11th, 2004, 05:42 AM   #2
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I think it also depends on what you want or need to rotoscope
specifically. Keep in mind that Vegas is no compositing application,
it can do a lot of stuff, but some other application might be better
suited for such work.

Can you elaborate a bit more or put a sample frame up?
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Old March 11th, 2004, 06:15 AM   #3
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Ok,
I know Vegas is not a compositing tool.
(I used to have acces to Combustion, but not anymore. )

Thatīs why Iīll have to do the rotoscoping on photoshop (frame by frame).

- WHAT I NEED TO DO:
Even with Combustion or AfterEffects, I would actually had to paint it frame by frame... Letīs say I need to make an organic moving object (person) look like a rough draft painting for a few seconds... BUT, I donīt want to use a filter FX, I actually want to paint with the Wacom on top of the person... Besides I need to keep the background clean...

Yes, I know Iīts a lot of work... thatīs why I want to keep the tech times as little as possible (exporting to photoshop, rendering, reimporting, etc..) and concentrate on the "artistic" part.

So any advice?

Thx

FD
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Old March 11th, 2004, 06:42 AM   #4
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Depending on how much the person is moving and how well
defined your artistic impression must be you might also use
a couple of important keyframes and morph between that?
Then if you blur or alpha channel that in it might not even be
too noticable. The longer the distance between the keyframes
the better the effect will be visible I think.

Ofcourse you can also animate the drawing if the person
underneath isn't changing shape too much.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 08:27 AM   #5
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Actually, Vegas IS a compositing tool. It does an extremely good job of compositing. However, it does not have any built-in means for rotoscoping.

The main options I can see are:
1) Export an AVI, take it to another program, and rotoscope there
2) Export a series of pictures, take it to another pogram and rotoscope there
3) Take a look at Boris Red
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Old March 11th, 2004, 10:00 AM   #6
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Ok.. my wrong, so for the sake of rightness:
Vegas is both a NLE and compositing tool, but doesnīt have the rotoscoping tools that some Exclusively (and expensive) Compositing tools have, and that now I need.

Rob, I donīt think morphing will work with what I have in mind, (have you ever seen Beastie Boys video SHADRACK?, if you have itīs something like that.. but just the person needs to be painted.. and with a bit more details like ink outlines.. )

So a few questions about Edwardīs option:

1.- I think thatīs my option number 1 too, but donīt want to close my options yet.

2. - Is there a way to export the whole series of pictures automatically... like some kind of EXPORT IMAGE SEQUENCE or something like that... I canīt find anything on the help...

3.- Is there a Boris Red demo that can let me do this without watermarks or limits... ? I sure cannot buy anything right now...
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Old March 11th, 2004, 10:20 AM   #7
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2. Yes. Two ways:
a) Use the RenderImageSequence.js script (available on the same page where you download Vegas updates)
b) Frameserve to VirtualDub to save the images

3. Yes there is a demo. However, I believe it DOES watermark the image.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 10:29 AM   #8
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Some suggestions...

Commotion Pro was built for rotoscoping... although i haven't used it myself.

Painter, much like Photoshop but with more natural media paint tools, can import quicktime movies as is and allows you to scope and paint frame by frame.

Photoshop - If you have Premeire, you can export a filmstrip. This exports the entire quicktime as one "filmstrip" file (as opposed to individual image sequence files).

Have fun.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #9
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>>>>2. Yes. Two ways:
a) Use the RenderImageSequence.js script (available on the same page where you download Vegas updates)
b) Frameserve to VirtualDub to save the images

Edward,

If you render out a series a frames as described above, or with Virtuadub, after they are modified in say, Photoshop, is there an easy way to render them back into an .avi? I suppose they can individually be dropped on the Vegas timeline, but this seems cumbersome.

Thanks for any ideas you may have.

Brian
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Old October 4th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #10
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If they are numbered correctly, just do a "File - Open", check the image sequence box, and then pick the first file. The entire sequence will open just like a video file - they will even be a single event on the timeline.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 11:46 AM   #11
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This is intense.

BMW
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Old October 4th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #12
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Quicktime Pro can import/export image sequences and convert things between formats. Bink and Smacker (donationware) / RAD Video TOols may also do the same thing? Not sure if that helps.

2- In Vegas 5, you have improved masking tools. You can isolte things with a mask and only do every X frames, letting keyframes do the work in between frames. That will save you time.

You should be able to do a fairly decent job that way.

If you want to get super clean on the edges then this will not work 100% as painstaking pixel by pixel removal/manipulation will get you.

You can try the demo for Vegas 5 I suppose.

I hope that helps...
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Old October 5th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #13
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Glenn,

thanks, these are some good suggestions.

I am a proud V5 user and originally upgraded from V4 for this very reason, but have so far found Vegas a little more limiting in this regard than expected. Or perhaps the fault lies in the available documentation?

There has been very little in the way of Photoshop tools attributed to Vegas 5. Everything I have read concerning masking and the Bezier tool appear to fall short of my grandiose plans.

I have been looking into Wax as well, but it appears that my best bet might be to output the individual frames, (progressive scanned 24fps) manipulate in Photoshop, and then follow Edward's prescriptive remedy to bring it back home to V5. The workflow sounds a little convoluted, but if it works as anticipated, it will have been well worth it.

Just one more thing to hope for in the next version of Vegas.

Somewhat off topic, I was counting on the open sourced Cinepaint (formerly Film Gimp) to do the same thing, and it appears that only the Linux version works, and the others are on indefinite hold. I was a big fan of GIMP, so I'm hopeful that either Cinepaint for Windows will eventually be upgraded or that Vegas may one day possess full frame by frame paintbox tools.

Brian
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Old October 5th, 2004, 11:11 AM   #14
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For what it's worth...
Media Studio Pro includes a fairly capable roto tool called Video Paint. You can't buy VP as a seperate program, but the price of the whole package is under $300, it could be a option to explore.
Also, the VP module is mostly the same now in MSP 7 as it back in MSP 6, so if you find an old version on something like ebay, you can save some more money and still have a good roto tool.

I've done roto work with Premiere/Photoshop's filmstrip format and will say that Video Paint is MUCH more fluid to work with and has a much better workflow. I use VP regularly on DV for everything from shot clean-up to visual effects roto-ing.

Unfortunately, the MSP's downloadable demo doesn't include this module, so about the only way you can try it out is to get the full version of the software.

Another program to look at is Curious gFx, which is shaping up to be the industry replacement for Commotion.

Hope this helps.
Have fun.
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