Prep and Roto 3001

This in-person course will teach you a range of prep, paint and rig removal techniques to match the standard of work seen in blockbuster film and TV productions.

Ian Murphy
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Training in high end roto, paint and clean-up

During this in-person course, you will learn a range of prep, paint and rig removal techniques as used in high-end VFX facilities across the world.

The techniques we train have provided a base for new artists to enter the discipline of 2D VFX for a number of years. They now form the basis of training for the Junior 2D Artist Apprenticeship, an innovative training programme provided in the UK for employees at VFX facilities such as DNEG, Molinare, The Mill, Framestore and One of US.

The course is split into two units, a foundation (lessons 1 – 6) and an advanced level (lessons 7 – 10). In the foundation level, you will be trained in marker removal for green screen backings and on-set textures and in degraining and patching for background clean-up behind the actors. You will also learn the level of finish required for your work to be signed off for high-end feature film and TV productions. The advanced unit (lessons 7-10) covers the invisible clean-up work that is done on undulating surfaces such as harness removal  from actors clothing or safety wires running across their skin.

Training shots from the feature film Grabbers, courtesy of VFX supervisor Paddy Eason and Element Pictures Distribution

If you would like to make a booking of this course for your studio, school or event, please get in touch:

Course Details

  • Type: In-person
  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Format: Live sessions
  • Tools: Nuke
  • Prerequisites: None

Learn the core fundamentals of roto and prep for VFX

Industry partners

Lessons in this course

  • 01. Marker removal on green screen

    Learn the procedural ways of removing markers on green screen, as opposed to relying solely on painting them out.
  • 02. Removing Tracking Markers from texture with Live patching

    We look at the basics of live patching, gaining an awareness of the prerequisites of the shot.
  • 03. Removing image noise/grain

    You will understand why, before working with stills, for prep work you should always de-grain the plate as a matter of course.
  • 04. Roto and patching with stills using a 3d render camera

    You will see how to cut out and track still patches by image projection through a 3D (match moved) render camera onto cards in the 2.5d system.
  • 05 Patching with stills using planar tracking

    Learn how to accurately clone and reveal paint and planar track in a patch moving in perspective.
  • 06. Rotoscoping workfow

    Learn how to think like an animator and produce consistent edges mattes by hand, for use in other prep tasks and the bigger compositing process.
  • 07. Camera tracking

    You will learn how to camera track a plate and export a render camera and a point cloud.
  • 08. UV projection

    Learn how to paint on an unwrapped 2d image and understand the advantages this technique holds over regular image projection.
  • 09. Using smart vectors

    You will learn how to patch out rigs and wires going across tricky surfaces that are contoured and exhibit stretching, folding and undulating movements.
  • 10. Foreground clean-up of prosthetics, skin or clothing

    Learn how to patch repair by tracking multiple warped patches and blending them together.

Tutor: Ian Murphy

Compositing Supervisor

With more than 20 years as 2d production artist and training lead in VFX, Ian has trained hundreds of compositors to Hollywood feature film standard, for films such as Passengers, Skyscraper, Jumanji, Wonder Woman, Dumbo and the Lion King. He has led compositing training in VFX facilities, both as a 2d trainer and VFX training lead. He has worked in the UK, India and Canada, training senior and junior compositors, setting up new studios and pipelines and upskilling ‘from Bollywood to Hollywood’, for companies including the Moving Picture Company, Rushes, Atomic Fiction and in Integrated Advertising at Framestore. Ian is experienced in translating industry requirements into innovative learning solutions and projects, using his industry, academic and teaching experience to teach apprentices from the main Soho VFX facilities, to advise and train start ups and coach smaller post production picture finishing departments expanding into specialist 2d VFX for streaming platforms. This has involved designing and delivering training programmes for Flame Operators, Editors, animators and designers for studios producing Netflix shows, including Nvizible in Belfast, Bait Studio in Cardiff and Dock 10 in Manchester. Ian has also worked in professional development for Screen Skills in the UK and is a consultant for Masters degree students at the National Television and Film School and at the new Centre for Creative Arts and Technologies at the University of Surrey. Ian is a Foundry certified Nuke trainer

Get in touch to book for your studio, school or event.

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