What does a roto artist do?
Roto artists manually draw around and cut out objects from movie frames so that the required parts of the image can be used, a process known as rotoscoping.
The parts of an image that are wanted after cutting out are known as mattes. Roto artists work on the areas of live action frames where computer-generated (CG) images or other live-action images will overlap or interact with the live image.
If the live-action camera is not moving within a shot, rotoscoping might involve only one frame. If the camera’s moving, roto artists trace the relevant areas of every frame within the shot so that CG can be combined accurately with the live-action. Roto artists need to have a keen eye and patience in order to complete this meticulous and repetitive work.
In addition to rotoscoping, roto artists assist in the preparation of material for compositing.
Roto artists are typically employed by VFX studios but can also be freelancers.
What's a roto artist good at?
- Drawing skill: trace accurately with a good line
- Patience: be methodical and thorough, taking care to rotoscope well so as to help to produce a high-quality final image
- Knowledge of programs: be adept at using relevant programs such as Photoshop
- Delivery: work well with strict deadlines, be able to complete work under pressure
- Taking initiative: observe what’s happening, be pro-active, ask questions at the appropriate time