learning to rotoscope day 1

I’ve had a strong interest and passion for the traditional forms of film making, and contemporary approaches to the past. With a strong tendency to embrace every new technology presented to us and become tunnel vision to everything else, I like to take a step back from them and find my focus in older practices.

We came across Rotoscoping in the previous year in MEDA201, and it led to my interest in working and manipulating film strips. What drew me to rotoscopes this year, was understand the mechanics behind it all. It is truly a unique artistic practice. It incorporates live action and animation, yet struggles to be defined as one or the other because of that intrinsic relationship.

We have covered in class, some amazing works that combined stop animation and hand drawn works to create short films, including a new film currently in production around the works of Vincent Van Gough.

This was my first project i made with film, and though I was proud of what I had accomplished I wanted to expand my capabilities of what I could do with the film.

Space from Isabel Napier on Vimeo.


The Albatross – Paul Bush from Film Club Productions on Vimeo.

The Tongueling from Elli Vuorinen on Vimeo.

These are all works I admire, and find so incredibly amazing. I have no hope of achieving their calibre within this assignment of course. Simply, I want to create a starting block, a foundation for this skill to develop on.

I was inspired, to make one of my own one day. But the thought of making something so beautiful, detailed, difficult and time consuming always scared me off. I’ve never made stop animation before, and my skills at hand drawn film are amateur at best. So I came to this, can i learn through practice, to create hand drawn animation?

A daily practice: to draw frames for a short rotoscope each day, to be spliced together at the end of the week as the final piece.

Setting Goals: With 25 frames to be traced for every second, by the end of each week, theoretically I will have enough images for 5-10 second videos, depending on editing.

Researching: will entail finding and analysing works like above, studying methods of how to create stop animation.What style will be best for a beginner, simply tracing, shading, painting?

Limitations: I will need to find the right materials to draw and trace with and on, most likely a lightbox and ink pens.