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Animations from video

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I'm trying to create some 2d animations of parkour moves to test an idea I have for a game. I've tried to make them by hand but I wasn't really satisfied, so I decided to use all youtube videos about freerunning to create a more realistic animation ( and hopefully to speed the process up ). The problem is that all those people wear different clothes, so I have to find a way to be able to use them nontheless. I tried to imagine the outline of the person underneath the clothes, and while it works well for a single frame, it is quite unconvenient to create a continuous animation ( all my ideal outlines are always discordant from frame to frame, and it takes a LOT of time to fix them). I'm just working with outlines so I don't really care about details within the figure, I just need a realistic silhouette moving.. Any advice? =) tl; dr Guy to Outline

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Find someone who does parkour and film them doing moves in a controlled environment wearing a bodysuit or something similar.

I'm sure you could even find someone to do it for free.

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I considered using youtube videos as a source and this style of rotoscoping for use in a game of mine but couldn't justify how it wouldn't be copyright infringment. That said, what tools are you employing now for your rotoscoping?

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I'm just using GIMP and a mouse atm, and the process of rotoscoping ( thanks for the word, didn't know it was called like that ) is proceeding quite slowly. I'm looking for software as I write =P

As for copyright infringement, what you say it would probably be true if I were to sell the animations I am doing, but I'm just using them as references for myself. If, a day, I'll be selling my game commercially, I will make sure I'll use animations completely made by me, though I'll still probably use videos as references ( which I think shouldn't break any copyright.. ).

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You can do this using background subtraction.

Just make sure the videos you are copying from have a stationary camera. Then, save the pixels of an empty frame (no person) from that camera as BG. Then, for every frame, set each pixel i to

(abs(FRAME[i]-BG[i]) > Tol ? 0x00 : 0xFF)

in C, and you'll get a slightly noisy version of your example frames above.

Film it yourself and it won't be copyright infringement.

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Yeah, I still think that filming it himself would be the best route. It's not incredibly expensive, especially if you already own a video camera.

Not only can you get the exact silhouette that you want, but you can get the exact camera angle and have the actor do the exact moves you're wanting. With youtube videos you're going to have the problem of different camera angles, not finding just the right moves, or having to deal with the clothing issue that you're dealing with now.

Film it all in front of a greenscreen/bluescreen (just some hanging cloth with no shadows being cast on it), and you don't even really have to do any work to get to the silhouette image. You'd just use a simple color keyer in a program like after effects and then fill the remaining image with a solid black.

You wouldn't have to draw a single thing.

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That's interesting. Bakshi actually comes to mind (think he did it in the old lord of the rings animation, maybe fire and ice, cool world to name a few. Think he's holding auditions in LA atm. He seems to have a pretty friendly forum as well.

He might have some tips there especially if ya are going to film it yourself. Might have advice for rigging a track for a cam to align with a walk path.

I've noticed some start by making it simple like you've done but usually have the guidelines that show the center of the body drawn in it. There are some people that have some nice boxing animations on there too.

I've done some with dancers and vector art but I don't think that would help much. :/

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