Creating a Video Game Avatar Using Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping is the process of tracing over a live-action film to create animation, and this is also a way to create a video game avatar. This is an advanced skill that requires some knowledge of animation, and beginners should practice, find a tutorial or take a class before attempting this skill.

Step 1: Learn How to Use Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping allows you to convert an entire video sequence into animation. It does this by basically creating an outline of your videos so that it looks like a black and white drawing. It will turn your video into animation.

You can use this animation to create a live-action video avatar of yourself that looks exactly like you. You can then add more details to this animation like color or other effects.

Step 2: Take a Video of Yourself

The first step to creating an avatar is to take some video of yourself. You want this video to be as clear as possible, which means that you should probably use a tripod, even if someone else is taking the video.

Depending on what you plan on doing, you probably want a full body shot. Close-up shots should only be used for a minimum since you will be using this for a video game. Get action shots of you running, even if you are only running in place, wielding some type of weapon (or even wearing a costume if that’s what you want for your avatar).

Step 3: Pick a Rotoscoping Software Program

Once your video is filmed, you may want to do some editing if you plan on using an entire video sequence. If you only plan on turning individual video clips into your avatar, you can probably skip this step.

Now, it’s time to pick a rotoscoping software program. There are several out there, but generally they require a fee to use. So, you want to do your homework before purchasing one. For professionals, there's Autodesk’s Combustion, which allows you to create motion graphics, add 3D effects and add image stabilization to your video sequences.

Adobe After Effects is also another choice, especially if you plan on doing more than simply creating your avatar. This program allows you to animate items and create path masks. It also comes with the RotoBeizer, which allows you to repetitive tasks by using the reduction of control points feature. After Effects is also known to be user-friendly, which could help amateurs learn the process. Further, there are a lot of tutorials online for After Effects, which will walk you through the process.

Other noteworthy programs include the following: Silhouette FX, Eyeon Digital Fusion and Imagineer’s Mocha.

Step 4: Fix Your Animation

Once you have created your frame-by-frame outline of your video, you can now add color to your photo so that it looks like a real animation. You can use the actual color of your clothing, or change it up. It’s really up to you and how creative that you wish to be.

When you are done, you can upload your avatar to nearly any type of online or role-playing game.