open/close all folders
- The Talk to Chuck ads for Charles Schwab, directed by Bob Sabiston, the developer of the Rotoshop software used on Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, etc.
- A series of bumpers for Nickelodeon that was produced by Buck.
- This immensely disturbing PSA, which was created for the Safety on the Move's Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives campaign. A man's haunting, ghostly face stares right into your soul, and recounts how his "great bloke" Mark killed the parents of two children in a drunk driving accident on Christmas. Good luck trying to sleep after watching this.
- The anime adaptation of Aku no Hana has become notorious for ditching the original manga's character designs in favor of using this process to animate the characters.
- The ending sequence, "Hare Hare Yukai", from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has lately become somewhat memetic for being obviously painted over live-action.
- Less memetic, more awesome is its obvious use during "Live Alive" to animate Yuki's guitar playing.
- Kuuchuu Buranko shifts to rotoscoping from time to time, specially during close ups on the characters' faces.
- Opening sequence of Fela Pure.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has its moments, specially in End of Evangelion.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt uses several animation styles, and even rotoscoping very briefly in the episode segment dedicated to Chuck, specifically the scenes from its point of view.
- The opening to the Subete Ga F Ni Naru anime includes a few dancing scenes done up in this style.
Films – Animation
- Heavy Metal did this with Taarna, the title character of the last major story.
- Ralph Bakshi did extensive rotoscoping; Wizards, The Lord of the Rings, American Pop, Fire and Ice, and Cool World. Bakshi actually hated using rotoscoping, feeling it to be a lazy form of animation, but had to resort to it due to tight budgets and working with inexperienced animators.
- Don Bluth's Anastasia and Titan A.E., as well as almost every other movie he's done. Every human appearing in The Secret of NIMH and An American Tail are rotoscoped, giving them a stark, realistic contrast to the cartoonish mouse characters.
- Don Bluth also often did this with certain objects as well, from the tractor in Nimh and the Giant Mouse of Minsk in American Tail, to even the ship in The Pebble and the Penguin!
- Waking Life (digitally, using software called Rotoshop.)
- A Scanner Darkly, from the same director and producer as Waking Life, used this to good effect.
- Done in Yellow Submarine for the "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" segment, using old live-action musical footage to striking effect.
- The song "Sita's Fire" from Sita Sings the Blues, one of the 5 art styles used in the film (though this is only used for one song.)
- Disney's most well-known use of it was the vehicles in 101 Dalmatians. They built models of the cars and trucks, painted them white with black "outlines" on the edges, shot them in stop-motion in front of a white background, and then photocopied the results directly onto the animation cels. They would continue to use this technique in The Aristocats and The Rescuers, largely using the exact same models.
- Felix the Cat: The Movie uses this to animate the princess.
- The little-known, less-seen, and not-entirely-completed masterpiece Happy New Year, Planet Earth (never released owing to licensing and contractual issues). A Canadian cross between Heavy Metal and Yellow Submarine set to music by the band Klaatu, it is mostly rotoscoped.
- Specifically averted in Lilo & Stitch. One of the special features shows the animation process of the opening hula dance scene, in which the animators watched footage of actual dancers and painstakingly animated the movements by hand, as rotoscoping would not have created an appealing performance.
- An interesting case in The Great Mouse Detective. The gears inside Big Ben at the start of the climax were done in CGI, but were then traced onto paper by a computer, xeroxed onto cels and painted in. Oliver & Company took the technique even further, using it for all of the films vehicles as well as the New York cityscape, and required the creation of Disney's first in-house computer animation department.
- Disney revisited the "3D-to-2D" background method a decade later for Tarzan with the Deep Canvas technology, in which the films backgrounds were created in CGI and then digitally painted over by animators to appear hand-drawn. Deep Canvas was later used in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Treasure Planet, albeit to a lesser extent.
Films – Live-Action
- The lightsaber effects in the original Star Wars trilogy. Rotoscoping is still the word you would use to describe the prequel trilogy's lightsabers, but it's the modern computer-aided version. The sequel trilogy (as shown in some behind the scenes photos of The Force Awakens) used prop glowing sticks (similar in look to the Force FX lightsaber toys), with some digital enchancements to it.
- Used in Return to Oz to make the ruby slippers sparkle.
- Used as a transitional device in The Charge of the Light Brigade between the animated sequences created by Richard Williams and the live action shots. The animated sequences themselves, despite the hyper-detailed designs, used no rotoscoping.
- Animation has been used to restore some of Doctor Who's missing episodes for DVD release. The animators sometimes use rotoscoping to remain faithful to the few short bits of footage that survive, with the regeneration scene from part four of The Tenth Planet being a good example.
- In The Invaders rotoscoping was used to add the red glow over dying and incinerating aliens.
- Dire Straits, "Money for Nothing".
- a-ha, "Take on Me".
- "Shadrach" by the Beastie Boys features a heavily stylised example of Rotoscoping.
- Linkin Park's "Breaking the Habit" music video has the band performing toward the end, it was rotoscoped and animated with an anime style flair to fit in with the rest of the video's art style.
- Spoon, "Everything Hits At Once" and Zero 7, "Destiny", both directed by Waking Life animators.
- Kanye West, "Heartless". It's a tribute to American Pop.
- The video for "Electric Surfing Go Go" by POLYSICS flashes between this and live action.
- Kasabian, "Shoot the Runner"
- Dream Theater, "Forsaken"
- Caravan Palace, "Lone Digger"
- The original Prince of Persia and its sequel.
- And before that, it was in Karateka, developed by the same guy behind PoP.
- Another World, also known as Out of This World
- Smoking Car Productions's The Last Express (by the same developer as Prince of Persia).
- A few SNK fighters, most famously Art of Fighting 3.
- SNK is using a similar technique for The King of Fighters XII and XIII. Instead of live action, the animation is drawn over CG models. Arc System Works did similarly for BlazBlue (however the methods differ as BlazBlue characters are animated using cel-based animation whilst the two HD King of Fighters games use traditional dot art animation).
- Elena's animations look a little different from the rest of the Street Fighter III cast, largely because all of her animation was rotoscoped. This was probably done because capoeira may have been too daunting for the artists to hand animate convincingly.
- Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and its sequel, Last Window. Actors and actresses are brought in, and they are filmed performing various movements. The most essential "frames" of their movements are then drawn over and spliced together to create the grainy, film-noir novel style.
- You can watch the "behind the scenes" video here.
- The Just Dance games.
- The kiss scene between Blair and Angel in Wing Commander II was rotoscoped, with series creator Chris Roberts providing the basis for Blair's body.note
- Rotoscoping animated the characters in Project Firestart.
- When the animators of Dark Forces had difficulty animating Darth Vader, they had C. Andrew Nelson (who had suited up as Vader for commercials, print ads, etc) perform the actions that they wanted the Dark Lord to do. The animators then used rotoscoping to match the already drawn cutscenes.
- Walter Lantz used this in at least two of his shorts; the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short "Merry Old Soul" and the oneshot cartoon "Just a Jitterbug".
- French/Canadian co-production Delta State is the first animated television series to be entirely rotoscoped, taking over 27 months to complete. This gives the show an... interesting look, to say the least.
- Filmation did this to get stock footage for all its animated series: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), Blackstar, and The New Adventures of Flash Gordon.
- Filmation's Star Trek: The Animated Series used rotoscoping in an interesting way: the footage of the USS Enterprise, used in establishing shots (and the title sequence), was achieved by taking the actual footage used in the original 1960s live action series, and then painstakingly recreating it in animation, frame-by-frame. They hold up pretty well.
- This video pretty clearly uses rotoscoping, although you may not notice it in the face of Mormon Jeezus.
- Disney used rotoscoping in the Goofy cartoon "Baggage Buster", making him look way more earthbound than his usual loose, lanky self.
- Out of the Inkwell invented this trope and used it to animate Koko, but it was quickly discarded.
- The classic Fleischer Superman cartoons used very good rotoscoping for the main characters, thanks to their lavish budget.
- Gulliver's Travels (also by Fleischer) used this with the title character.
- Another Fleischer's feature-length cartoon, Mr. Bug Goes to Town, does this with human characters (who, however, appear very little).
- Some Looney Tunes shorts used this; a few notable examples are in the climax of "Daffy The Commando" the climax scene of Hitler giving his speech, and in "Hollywood Steps Out" with some of the dancing celebrities.
- The 1990 short "Box Office Bunny" uses it when Bugs, Daffy and Elmer dance a rap tune on a bubblegum-stained floor.
- In 1967, Warner Bros. had merged with Seven Arts which had acquired the 1931-43 black-and-white Looney Tunes shorts from absorbing Guild Films, who in turn acquired them from Sunset Films (believed to be a W-B dummy distribution firm). At that time, W-B had 75 of those cartoons shipped to Korea to be rotoscoped – redrawn and painted in color. The tight deadlines and low budgets (all done on 6-field cels) rendered these color versions sloppy and unattractive.
- King Features had the same thing done in 1986 with the Fleischer black-&-white Popeye cartoons.
- The animation of Josie and the Pussycats performing in the opening of their 1970 Hanna-Barbera cartoon was rotoscoped.
- Family Guy uses this on occasion, usually for complex dance sequences (such as the Jitterbug song "Jungle Love" and Peter performing "Ray of Light" in "New Kidney In Town")
- Averted in the Star Wars spoofs. Many of the shots from the films were authentically recreated and the quality caused many fans to believe it was rotoscoped.
- The Simpsons used it for a syndication promo that inserted them into classic movie scenes. It's pretty obvious in the part parodying Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- The notorious short cartoon The Magic of Oz has rotoscoping in one shot. Of Dorothy bending down. Given how poor the animation is, it's believable that they couldn't animate a character bending down, but it's quickly clear that they didn't know how to rotoscope properly either.
- In the MGM Oneshot Cartoons short "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" the animation of Goldilocks is done with this technique.
- Light rotoscoping was used on the Peanuts specials Shes A Good Skate Charlie Brown and Its Flashbeagle Charlie Brown for the skating scenes in the former and dancing in the latter. The footage wasn't "traced" as with typical rotoscoping, but reinterpreted for the characters' exaggerated proportions. (Fun fact: Charles Schultz's daughter Jill performed reference for both specials.)
- 1974 short Fuji mixes this with Medium Blending, as the cartoon shows the live action film of the people on a train, shows the Rotoscoping animation of the people on the train, and later shows one superimposed on the other so the both are visible.