Rotoscoping with grease pencil

May 2022

It has been around roughly 2 months since I got my hands on blender, and I have been using it every single day to do all sorts of stuff. I first was introduced to blender around last year when the amazing course by Bruno Simon on Three.js came out, it was an eye opener truly but I did not get deep into it back then. UV wrapping? wtf is that? that was me back then. So the blender version that I started using regularly is 3.0. It is considered as a very different program to back then maybe 2.8? or even earlier version. Geometry nodes, and what attracted me the most was Grease Pencil. Doing 2d drawing in a 3d setting, and utilising the 3d scene to enrich the 2d assets.
I wanted to try rotoscoping, especially for a sequence of poses that has a lot of key poses. No tweening, only frame by frame. I think I once tried rotoscoping Nadal, but not really rotoscoping because I only drew it as a reference, so the motions weren't exactly identical. Rotoscoping in blender is quite straight-forward. Open up 2d animation, and start drawing frame by frame. The quality of lines might have been better if I had used a drawing tablet instead of sidecar-ing with ipad, but regardless, it was quite fun. I did it mostly intuitively, and tried to explore ways to do things with blender along the way. Frame by frame can be done by not re-drawing everything, but partially. It preserves the consistency more than redrawing with the help onion skins (I feel for those who can draw very well maybe latter is the better method). I did a hybrid of redrawing and editing partially. The workflow is as follow:
  1. Outlining
  2. Filling
  3. Shadow
  4. Modifier + more fx
The scene to rotoscope probably can have more fx added, but after doing the outline, the hair and clothes movement became the flow so I thought maybe simpler is the best for this scene. Rotoscoping is a long process, but it is a very calming process as if making a flip book.
Filling and adding shadow to me is bring them to live. The gesture amplifies, and the scene starts to harmonise. For the shadow, the face shadow are hand-drawn, while the clothes shadow were added with the grease pencil's rim. Rim is a very "wow!" modifier. It basically simulates the effect of lighting on 2d contour (base on the fill and outline).
I could have gone further with this, but 4 days with this was it for me. I was pretty happy with the result, and figured out what I wanted to do next. Focusing on drawing hands. Finally can draw with a proper drawing tablet instead of connecting ipad with sidecar. It feels so good....
The scene I rotoscoped was from "My Liberation Notes" - a korean drama currently on air in SK. Not exaggerating to say this is one of the best I have seen in years and that is why I rotoscoped this scene because I was tooooooooooo hooooooked with this drama. Need a way out lol
Watch on YouTube

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