Rotoscope Animation for Beginners (Rough Animator)

Create a rotoscoped animation from start to finish using the program Rough Animator

Last updated 3/2023 English

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Do you want to learn how to create a rotoscope animation? That's exactly what we will be learning in today's class. I’ll show you how you can create rotoscoping animation for your videos with little to no experience! This class will teach you how to create a rotoscoped animation from start to finish using the program Rough Animator. I’ll show you the different ways you can use rotoscoped animation in your videos, or just as a fully animated short clip. You can even use it as an animated looping GIF!

What you'll learn

  1. In today's class, we will learn how to create our first rotoscoped animation using video and the animation program Rough Animator.
  2. We will see how to prepare our video file for Rough Animator and set up a new layer for drawing on top of our imported video clip.
  3. Next, we will learn the techniques and tools used to draw our individual frames over each video frame. We will go over how to create a cycle with our new drawings and how to reverse that cycle so our animation reverts back to the starting frame.
  4. Then we will extend that cycle to a longer length suitable for bringing into our video editor. We will look at three different options for exporting our rotoscoped animation, including Quicktime, PNG Sequence, and GIF.
  5. Finally, we will bring both the PNG sequence and the Quicktime video exports into our video editing software, Final Cut Pro, where we will look at ways to composite them into our video project. 


  1. The course requirements are a computer or tablet with the program Rough Animator. Most 2D animation softwares will be able to achieve the same rotoscope technique, if you want to use another program instead.
  2. Ideally for rotoscoping, you will want to use a monitor or tablet that you can draw directly on the screen with. A stylus of some sort is recommended for rotoscoping. Although I will be using Final Cut Pro in the last section of this class, it is not needed to create a rotoscope animation.
  3. You can use most video editing softwares to composite your rotoscope animation if you don't have Final Cut Pro.

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