With AI tech moving forward at breakneck speed, new tools are becoming more and more accessible across every aspect of our daily lives. This includes the world of art, VFX, and animation, where a once arduous and tiresome process is now made quicker and more straightforward with the help of AI tools.
In this article, we'll discuss: What is Rotoscoping, the top AI rotoscoping tools available, both free and paid, and. These innovative tools are perfect for those who have always wanted to try rotoscoping for fun but were put off by the complexity of the technique. With these tools, you can achieve great results and streamline the process.
Let's take a closer look!
What is Rotoscoping?
Rotoscoping is a technique that artists use to isolate objects from the footage to add visual effects and remove video background and other VFX animation. This technique, combined with a green screen, brings to life most of the special effects you see in your favorite movies.
Before AI rotoscoping, the process was done manually by drawing over the image frame by frame to outline the object. Later, with computers, VFX artists started using tablets to trace masks accurately. You can mask in less time without compromising quality, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Top 6 AI Rotoscoping Tools Overview
Here you'll find free and paid plug-ins, web-based online rotoscoping tools and services, and built-in tools in your favorite video editing software.
RunwayML green screen is a unique web-based tool for AI rotoscoping. It makes the rotoscoping process incredibly fast using machine learning technology. Runway will detect the shape and draw the mask frame by frame with a simple click on the object you want to rotoscope.
Runway offers a free and paid version of its service. The free version is the perfect tool for low-budget creators, and the paid version allows video editor exports in 4K and green screen alpha mate. The paid version memberships start at $15 monthly.
Runway is a tool that will save you plenty of time when you need to rotoscope on a tight deadline.
No high specs required, so most computers can run it smoothly.
Easy to use.
No editing knowledge needed.
It offers more tools like color grade, slow motion, blur, and motion tracking.
4k and alpha mattes are only available in the premium paid plans.
Upload can be slow sometimes, depending on your connection.
This AI rotoscoping tool is perfect for beginners or hobbyists who want a quick solution to upgrade their visual content. With Unscreen, you only need to upload your video clips and wait until it processes them. Then, the software will automatically create a new video without the green screen on the background 100% automatically.
Unscreen is free but offers multiple paid options according to the length in minutes of all the videos that you need to process.
Easy to use and fast background removal.
Downloads in GIF, PNG, or single frames.
No need to register or sign in to use it.
It allows you to add fun backgrounds and upload your own.
Limited customization and masking.
Watermark in the free version.
This powerful paid plug-in for Adobe After Effects uses artificial intelligence to rotoscope subjects to apply effects, change the background, or remove something from the scene without the slow process of drawing manually. It uses machine learning to detect shapes and create mattes and alpha channels by specifying points and boxes around the subject.
The single-user license of Mask Prompter is $49.99, and it offers a trial version for you to test its features before buying the license.
Easy to use tool.
Uses points or boxes to mask an object.
A fully functional trial version is available to test the plug-in (with a watermark).
Only available for After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro.
Some stability issues with the GPU mode.
Windows systems require Nvidia graphics for the GPU version of the plug-in.
This tool is included with DaVinci Resolve video editing and composition software.
The downside is that it only comes with the Studio version of the software, but on the plus side, once you upgrade to the Studio version, you'll unlock many more features, including more GPU acceleration, advanced noise reduction, professional HDR scopes, Stereoscopic 3D, more Resolve FX and of course Magic Mask.
Magic Mask is powered by DaVinci Neural Engine, which uses machine learning to help with your roto work from the Color page in DaVinci Resolve.
DaVinci Resolve Studio is $295. It’s an excellent choice to upgrade if you’re already familiar with the software and use it in your daily job.
Rotoscope from the Color Page in DaVinci Resolve.
Delivers professional results.
Powered by DaVinci Neural Engine.
Only available in the Studio version.
Roto Brush is an AI rotoscoping tool to speed up your rotoscope process in After Effects, minimizing the frame-by-frame hand drawing work. This tool has evolved significantly since the first version of Roto Brush. In Roto Brush 2, the process becomes faster due to AI algorithms: the Next-Gen Roto Brush is powered by a brand-new AI model for better precision to track objects over time and space, delivering more accurate masking.
After Effects is $20.99 monthly, also included in the Creative Cloud All Apps plan for $54.99.
Included in After Effects.
It speeds up the process significantly.
Only available in After Effects.
Steep learning curve.
Synthetik’s Studio Artist uses AI algorithms to provide VFX artists with a full feature set of tools to automatically create animations, rotoscoping, and painting frame-by-frame. Perfect for rotoscope videos with an abstract, morph, or cartoon style. It includes hundreds of one-click presets ready for beginners and allows output higher than 4K if needed.
It works by analyzing the source image or video and rendering with your style of choice automatically or with assisted painting and drawing tools.
Studio Artists is available for Mac and Windows for $199, with a fully functional trial version you can use to test the software. You can explore all the Studio Artists examples on the website to see all the possibilities that Studio Artists offers.
Easy to use.
Fully functional trial.
Advanced artists might find it limiting.
Special mention: Boris FX Mocha and Silhouette
We couldn't end this list without mentioning two of the most sophisticated rotoscoping tools in the market: Mocha Pro and Silhouette, the professional visual effects and post-production plugins by Boris FX.
With Silhouette, you can effortlessly craft intricate mattes and masks using precise B-Spline, X-Spline, and Magnetic Freehand shapes. But that's not all! The plugin seamlessly integrates point tracking, planar tracking, and the power of Mocha Pro planar tracking, which made it the secret weapon of many Academy Award-winning films such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, Dune, and The Mandalorian.
Mocha Pro might well be the game-changer for video editing you're looking for. Compatible with popular software like DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Vegas Pro, Mocha Pro empowers you to rotoscope with remarkable efficiency, and thanks to the Bezier Splines with magnetic edge-snapping assistance, you can achieve stunning results with fewer keyframes. With Mocha Pro by Boris FX, you can elevate your visual content and take your rotoscoping workflow to the next level.
Thanks to advancements in the new tech and the endless availability of online tools, rotoscoping has come a long way. AI rotoscoping is now accessible to beginners, VFX artists, and advanced artists alike, which can greatly improve their workflow and help them upgrade their content.
As you saw, there are several options available, such as web-based tools for content creators who need to remove a video background or green screen, and more advanced plug-ins for visual designers who work with sophisticated software. As humans, we always strive to make challenging tasks easier, so there’s no doubt we’ll be able to use even more powerful AI rotoscoping tools in the near future.