Rotoscoping with Procreate

See a step by step tutorial on how to do rotoscoping, an animation technique where you trace over live action footage to create an animated short.

46 min. video

This tutorial uses Procreate, which makes the rotoscoping process easy and accessible for anyone starting out with animation.

Demo led by Teaching Artist Deepti Menon and Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • Rotoscoping is a simple, easy animation technique that is great to get started with.
  • The music video for Take on Me, by A-Ha is one of the most famous examples of rotoscoping.
  • For a lot of people getting started with animation can be really intimidating because of all the complex software.
  • Animation doesn’t have to be complicated and slow!
  • With rotoscoping the animation is already “done” for you in that you are tracing over a video.
  • Try to pick a live action video as your source where the action is very dramatic and visible.
  • “Onion skin” in Procreate is a way to see the previous still while you are adding the next one.
  • Animation Assist in Procreate streamlines the process a lot, we highly recommend it!
  • If you’ve never done rotoscoping before, start with a 3 second video so you’re not overwhelmed by the number of frames.
  • Better to do a quick sloppy job of all the frames at first, as opposed to spending a lot of time on each frame to maker it super polished.
  • This provides an overview of the animation which can help make it more cohesive.
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