The following video is made from a number of different Anime videos, masked and composed in to a single video. I am wondering if the person who made this masked the videos frame by frame or is there a faster way in achieving this?

I am just asking for guidelines or another way of cutting the characters from a background, in an Anime which is made of a limited number colors.


Here is an example of a replaced character in the video:

enter image description here

  • 1
    The technique is called rotoscoping. You can search for many ways to speed up or automate rotoscoping. But in general it is a labor-intensive process. Jun 29, 2017 at 20:58
  • After effects and other compositing packages have tools which make this easier (roto-brush in AE for one example). They work a bit like the magic wand in Potatoshop. They're not perfect, but they would probably work fairly well on Anime with its flat colours and hard edges.
    – stib
    Jul 1, 2017 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


You can also checkout some of the various keying techniques. I've been able to color key things pretty well in After Effects or Nuke - for After Effects you can either use "Change to Color" to create a matte or "Linear Color Key". Either way you're going to need to split up the video into a bunch of layers - each one keying in (or out) a specific color. The end result you're going for is a black-and-white matte which you can use to cut out the footage. Often times it requires a combination of all kinds of techniques - keying some colors, luminance based keying (which can be done with "extract" in After Effects), luminance based keying on specific channels (also "extract") and a bit of hand-made roto.

If you need a more in depth explanation let me know.

  • What do I do if it also keys out some parts of the character ?
    – K. Cinches
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:24
  • That's where the roto part comes in ;) It's not a perfect technique unfortunately. If you give me a still frame I can take a look at it and try to give you some pointers.
    – Spencer
    Jul 6, 2017 at 4:04
  • Oh I see, thanks, I think rotoscoping is more than enough it's already a lot of help for me since I have always been masking.
    – K. Cinches
    Jul 9, 2017 at 6:19

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