The rotoscope is a device to redraw live-action shots, frame by frame. © NFB
A Feather Tale (1992) - Michèle Cournoyer. © NFB
An Artist (1994) - Michèle Cournoyer. © NFB
When the Day Breaks (1999) - Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby. © NFB
Play excerpts of films that use this technique
Une artiste / An Artist, 1994
By Marcel Jean
The rotoscope, invented in 1915 by American Max Fleischer, is a device to redraw live-action shots, frame by frame. In 1939 Max and Dave Fleischer used the rotoscope to create the character of Gulliver in their adaptation of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
At the NFB, Michèle Cournoyer made use of a roto for A Feather Tale (1992), the surreal story of a woman who turns into a chicken. She then used a digital version of the rotoscope for An Artist (1994). In 1999 Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis also used a device based on the rotoscope for their urban drama When the Day Breaks.
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