Rotoscope Workshop Animations

06 May 2019

During the weekend of 26 April 2019, Landmarks artist Casey Reas visited campus for a Q&A with Austin-based filmmaker and creator of digital rotoscoping software Bob Sabiston. Following the Q&A, Reas led more than 30 students in a two-day rotoscope workshop, culminating in a public reception and screening of nine student animations in the Fine Arts Library Foundry.

Working in groups consisting of artists and coders, student teams drew and wrote custom code to create a short animation. The workshop focused on rotoscoping, an early animation technique where an artist traces a sequence of photographic images. In collaboration, the coders and artists developed ideas that included creating a custom drawing tool used to render the animation. The students went back and forth between coding and drawing and drawing and coding for a fully collaborative project. This technique can be found in animations such as Snow White (1937) and Waking Life (2001).

"The workshop was a really fun, challenging and enjoyable experience. I wanted to learn about a cool intersection of my two passions, code and art, and it turned out great. I got the chance to meet and work with talented and diverse students and learn a plethora of skills. Really glad that I took the leap to apply." — Chineye Emeghara '22, Computer Sciences

"Frequently, our majors are divided by buildings, classes and social groups, and there is very little interaction between them. Even between Art and Design, we don't get opportunities to talk and work together. [In this workshop], math and science majors learned more about art and design (and vice versa) to create something cohesive, which is very frequently the way the world works. I really think things like this that integrate majors should be pushed!" — Hali Simmons '19, Studio Art

Take a look at the nine student rotoscope animations:

Wild West, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Colette Neumann and Abhinav Sangisetti


Danny's Wheels, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Chineye Emeghara and Hali Simmons


Work Day, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Tyler Hobbs, Abhinav Velaga, Alyssa Kristina Perales and Ely German

Rock Paper God, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Yohannes Laksana, Laura Gonima and Laura Roewe

Interlude, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Lauren Ibanez and Alexandra Vanderhider


Hand Plant, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Evelyn Phan, Nila Selvaraj, Manuel Ponce and Stellanie Abella

Talking Heads, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Rafael Fernando Gutierrez Jr., Amber Tucker and Linda Li

Tomato, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Usman Farooqi, Justin Shackelford, Kiersten Stegman and Andrew Kim

Sunny Eyes, 2019. Rotoscoped animation by Stephen-Bernard Callender, Karl Gelinsky and Shuyan Li