“WE LOVE IT, BUT CAN WE MAKE SOME CHANGES.”

Author: Brandon Butrick |

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Working in video production in San Francisco, specifically post-production, sometimes you get the ideal pile of media back from a shoot. Where every shot was meticulously thought about before it was shot and you have all of the elements necessary to accomplish the end product that was the original vision and story. Other times you don’t. That’s okay though, our jobs wouldn’t be as challenging or rewarding if everything went perfectly on set.

When a vfx shot gets added to the list after the fact, then you’re most likely going to be doing some rotoscoping. Rotoscoping is the closest thing to manual labor that a visual effects artist comes across. Your hand might start to hurt and your carpal tunnel syndrome might act up, but as I hear some artists say, “It beats shovelling coal.” It’s an art form that hasn’t changed very dramatically with the advancement of technology. I recently had a client ask me “Can’t the computer do that yet?” Well, sort of. The tool set in After Effects is getting better with every version, Nuke is pretty versatile for getting a great matte and Silhouette FX has even more powerful tools. However, at its core, roto is still frame by frame tracing or painting of the subjects/objects that necessitate a lot of tiny adjustments to get it right. The computers are doing a better and better job, but all that they are good for is assisting the human artist.



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