Is the Rotobrush 2 the Biggest After Effects Update Ever?

When Adobe moved all their software to Creative Cloud they promised a constant stream of updates. It seems like they are delivering with some of their updates, especially the recently added Rotobrush 2 in After Effects.

Josh Olufemii is super excited about this update and says it makes the tool much faster and way more useful. Let see what one can actually achieve with the brand new Rotobrush 2 in the next video.

The Rotobrush tool is used for masking creating masks. It works by allowing you to quickly draw strokes on the object you want to separate from the background and then After Effects can create a more detailed selection and then track the object. It is great – if it worked reliably. Rotobrush 2 apparently fixes this key flaw.

At the core of the Rotobrush 2 is the use of their Sensei machine learning technology. Compared to the original Rotobrush, which was inaccurate and took a lot of time, the Rotobrush 2 will help make masks a lot faster and with even greater accuracy.

To use it you’ll need to load your footage into After Effects. The sample here is low-res iPhone footage which should be a good test. Create a new composition and then click on the Rotobrush tool and double click on your footage in the composition window to activate your layer window. Now you can start drawing lines inside the object you want to cut out.

Drawing should show a green marking, which turns into a magenta outline of the subject being selected. You can also quickly correct any mistakes by holding Alt down. Be careful here, as the accuracy will impact the quality of the selection.

Now use the Page Up and Page Down keys to move frame by frame through the footage. This will show you how accurate the tracking was on the other frames.

Even in this sample, the Rotobrush does an amazing job. It sticks to the subject super well, and if you use a real camera with a proper background this should be super easy to do. 

Additional controls such as feather are available to further tweak what you need. If you want to use the Rotobrush 2, you’ll have to turn on the After Effects beta via the Creative Cloud app.

[source: Josh Olufemii]

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