Rotoscoping? Wait. What?

Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films. Originally, recorded live-action film images were projected onto a frosted glass panel and re-drawn by an animator. This projection equipment is called a rotoscope. Although this device was eventually replaced by computers, the process is still referred to as rotoscopingWikipedia

Tessa S.
Tessa S.

Just before vacation, students spent time learning the method of Rotoscoping using their iPads. Long ago, I made still-life arrangements using bottles, cans, milk cartons, and geometric solids which I had painted in varying values of gray. They are very handy for showing students how to express value and form using only black and white and the shades in between.

Kaelyn E.

Using the iPad camera, students took a photo of the still-life arrangement, used the crop tool and the filters to make it black and white, then uploaded it to a layer on Sketchbook Express. They then created a new layer, on which they used the paintbrush with a radius between 4-6 to draw the outlines of the forms. Using the color target to find the correct shade of gray, they used the flood fill tool on the same layer as the outlines to fill the shapes. They merged the layers, deleted the photo, and then uploaded their art to Artsonia.

Kendall J.

The students were pleased that their drawings looked just like the still life arrangements. I was pleased that we had covered shape, line, value, form, perspective, foreground, middle ground, background, space, still life, and animation basics.

Madison B.

By uploading images to Artsonia, I can see them all for a quick assessment, and families can see what their children are doing in art. Students develop a sense of sharing with an audience and learn to revise and edit until the work is “share-worthy”.

Meghan Porter

When we return to school we will be exploring value with the air brush tool, rather than the flood fill tool. Check back later in the week to see how we are doing.

Tori LopezThese are just a few of the Rotoscoped pieces, see the rest of this display on Artsonia at

Leave a Reply