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Ever wondered how 3D effects are so well blended into live action footage? It’s also thanks to Roto Artists.
16 Mar 2018
In order to convincingly overlap 3D effects to live action footage, the Roto Artist needs to trace the live action areas where the animation will take place, and create clear areas to make sure that elements of the scene are layered correctly.
What Is The Job?
The main purpose of a Roto Artist’s task is to prepare the footage for the Compositors to combine the layers of CGI and special effects in a way that makes them blend with the live action.
This process starts with rotoscoping, which consists in tracing the camera movement and creating a 3D space from a 2D footage, where the computer generated images will be placed and interact with the surrounding scene.
Afterwards, Roto Artists must identify tracing mattes, which are “clear areas” in which the animation interacts with the live action.
In addition, Roto Artists carry out basic VFX tasks to assist the compositor, such as painting out wires and rigs, and doing green and blue screening.
How To Get To Work As A Roto Artist
A position as Roto Artist can be considered an entry-level job which you can gain straight after university or after some experience and skills working as a Runner in the VFX department.
It is important though, that during your academic or professional experience you keep your portfolio updated, so that you have some samples of your work to share with your future employer.
Education And Training
A degree in an art-related subject, such as design, illustration or computer animation, is usually helpful to be hired as a Roto Artist.
Otherwise, gaining experience and network as a Runner, whilst working on your portfolio, can also be a good way in.
Training or attending a course in at least one of the industry standard software is obviously a requirement, whilst having some basic knowledge of all of them is undeniably beneficial.
Where Can It Take You?
Experience as a Roto Artist, usually leads directly to a Compositor position, after a few years of experience.
Clearly, as with all other jobs in the VFX department, Compositors can also aspire to becoming VFX supervisors.