T I P S

If you have any other tips to add, please email me and I will add your thoughts to the list.


  1. 1.Start Early!  This is the most important tip I can offer.   Rotoscoping takes time, it can be tedious, and it works much better (in my experience) as a ‘do now’ throughout the year than a start-to-finish-in-one-unit project.  I find it particularly effective to teach it the following way in my video class (but this can be modified for other classes as well):


  2. BulletDo the first lesson (filming the project) early in the year when the students are learning about cinematography to encourage them to use camera angles and movements.

  3. BulletDo the second lesson (editing the footage) when you introduce editing. 

  4. BulletWhen you introduce animation, start with frame by frame animation and have them do 5-10 frames of the rotoscoping so that students can see first hand how this kind of animation creates the illusion of movement.

  5. BulletAt this point, use it as a background activity.  Its great for group projects when some students are more involved than others (this happens to me often when we edit).  It works well as a “do now” at the beginning of class. It works great when you need a substitute teacher and need a lesson plan together quickly.  Its also great for taking breaks from other projects.

  6. BulletWhen  you introduce tweened animation, have them create objects that move in the background. My class is required to use tweened images so that they have experience with this kind of animation, but it is not a project requirement.


  1. 2. Save often.  I have a few signs around the classroom that say “SAVE NOW”. The students are instructed to save whenever they see the sign out of the corner of their eye. I also remind them to save whenever I notice one of the signs.

  2. 3.Make sure students know the shortcut keys. It really speeds up the process. You can have them memorize them or just hang up a poster like this one.

Start Early.

Save Often.

Use Shortcuts.