Team-Roto at BFS expects 4 basic skills off Roto artists -
1. Ability to analyse shots
2. Shape-splitting capability
3. Quintessential tracking skills
4. Self QCing
Analysis of Shots
This is the starting point of Roto work. This also determines how well
an artist’s work fares. Artist’s approach to shot(s) in line with shots’ complexities
- is determined here. A circuitous approach could fetch the best of results; but is it the right one
to take as the ETA is a tad ambitious? So, the artist takes this call while he
/ she is here. It turns out that it often is the game-changing point for
This denotes the route traversed to track. Sum-of-the-parts – once
again, here – appears to be bigger than the whole! Artist-experience shows in the route she takes to traverse. For instance: say,
a limb of a character needs to be tracked. An experienced artist tracks it in
parts. The thigh is one distinctive part; the knee is another; the lower limb
is yet another and so on. Inexperienced hands might take the whole limb as one
trackable-unit. Age-old Gestalt’s wisdom emerges as artists gather experiences.
More importantly – as the output enjoys greater flexibility from each of the
distinctive parts, sum-of-parts emerges as a whole new religion.
Tracking of shots
This determines by how loyal the tracking coordinates stay to the
objects-tracked. Continuity of motion, filling the interactions over the background,
motion blurring, sliding are some tasks that seek greater vigil at work.
Continuity is everything in this slice of work. A lag in marked-up coordinates
can show up as jerky outputs and can result in a slippery viewing experience
This is the hallmark of a Roto-artist’s maturity level. Call it Roto’s
self-actualization level. Artists’ ability to turn-off the maker in them, and
don the hat of a reviewer (of their own work) is not an easy task. Challenge
is: work still is one’s own, and mistakes do not show up quite easily. Artists evolve to become self-critical of their work. This does not amount to
disowning one’s own work; instead, it is a very scientific approach. In short,
it is a point where an artist detaches from one’s own work and the
points to improve-upon start becoming visible.
The role of team leads
Team-leads are first-custodians of artists’ Roto work. Team-leads havethe
to quickly understand each shot’s intricacies and figure outthe optimal approaches to accomplish shots within ETA limits.
Leads have a constant tab on the work done at the artist’s desk. They are thefirst ones to spot sub-optimal tracks or out-of-sync tracking. The “dailies”provide one great window for team-leads to see what’s turned around at the endof each day. Course corrections are done then and there.
BITWA - The middle name of Roto Supervisors
Being In Touch With Artists (BITWA) best defines the often proactive and big-picture-savvy role of supervisors. If shots are entrusted onto team-leads, the whole show’s responsibility rests with supervisors. Relationship between team-leads and supervisor is a sacred thing. Team-leads keep their supervisors posted on changes, problems, challenges etc on a real-time basis. With a combination of BITWA and team-leads’ inputs, supervisors size-up status of each of their shows. A realistic status is then passed on to production team, to help clients get a direct view of work in progress (WIP).Not stopping with managing teams and supporting production, supervisors play a critical role in bidding for projects and also ensuring all annotations / briefs / guidelines are made available to and understood by all team members.
Not stopping with managing teams and supporting production, supervisors play a critical role in bidding for projects and also ensuring all annotations / briefs / guidelines are made available to and understood by all team members.