Kitty Rotoscoping

It's Thanksgiving Day here in the States, and today my Thanksgiving started, as all good Thanksgivings do, with Robert Krulwich, science corespondent for NPR news and cohost with Jad Abumrad of one of the best podcasts on the planet called Radiolab. Well on this particular Thanksgiving morning Robert was talking on the NPR morning program about walking in a straight line, which for all sorts of fascinating scientific type reasons turns out to be impossible. Now I'm not here to rehash Robert's story, in fact I suggest you use your clicky thing to go over to NPR and listen to it. But, while you're there, you'll see an accompanying animation put together for the story. What the heck, here it is right here:

This animation was put together by Benjamin Arthur from rotoscoped video of actors. It looks SPLENDID. I love the way he uses hash marks to interpret motion blur.

So I thought to myself, my phone takes videos, I have a cat, what am I doing sitting here listening to NPR for?  After a few tries here's what I made:

The first part is the original video of my cat. I started out just tracing around the video but I quickly found out that doesn't work. There needs to be a continuity between the lines in each frame otherwise things jump around and jitter and thats very distracting.

After a few tries I scrapped the tracing and blocked out my kitty's masses so I could see where things were moving. That's the middle section in the video.

After that, I took another stab at rotoscoping. It took a number of passes to get all the parts to look cohesive, and the lines are still pretty jumpy, but at least they are consistent. In short, I had a blast. And, what a great way to study anatomical structures.