Start rotoscoping with Adobe Animate.
You can try to create animation with the rotoscope method in Animate. Before you begin, watch the footage all the way through and think about how you’ll animate it. Like other forms of frame-by-frame animation, rotoscoping even a few seconds is a time-consuming process and requires a lot of patience. “A five-second clip could take five to ten hours,” animator Mikey Glovart says. “But that’s kind of why it’s so satisfying when it’s done.” Watching your characters come to life, even for a few seconds, will make you want to keep at it.
Create a new document and set your frame rate. HD video typically runs at 24 or 30 frames per second (fps). For the smoothest motion, create your animation with the same frame rate as your reference video. Also, make sure your new document has the same proportions as your reference video, so they’re easy to line up.
Set up your animation.
Once you’ve imported your video, set it to play once instead of on a loop. Increase the brightness to make it easier to see the lines you draw over the video frame. Then, create a new layer and choose your keyframes. These are the frames that show changes in the position of your figure (or symbol) or introduce a new element. Go frame by frame and outline the figure in each frame.
Don’t forget to save frequently as you go and make sure that you stay organised. “If you’re not titling each layer correctly, it can just turn into a big mess,” warns Glovart. Label every layer clearly to save time and frustration later on.
Break your figure down into shapes so you don’t have to redraw your entire subject in every frame: an arm, a lower leg and foot etc. Then, instead of drawing that shape in every frame, copy it, adjust its placement on the stage and move its points if you need to. Also, if you create a pant leg and shoe in the same layer for every frame, for example, you can fill it in with colour once. You don’t have to recolor it throughout the animation. If you change your mind on the colour, you don’t have to change it in each individual frame.
Shape tween for speed.
To speed things up a bit, like Bob Sabiston did in his Linklater films, try shape tweening or drawing a vector shape in one frame that you can then change or replace at another specific frame. Animate will insert the intermediate shapes for the frames in between to create the animation of one shape morphing into another.
With these tools, you can completely transform a live-action video into an animation or animate particular elements on top of live-action footage. Just remember to keep things simple in the beginning. With time, patience and a lot of tracing, you can bring your pen or brushstrokes to life.