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Using Rotoscoping / Video Textures in Carrara

Author: thedanman

Tools Needed

  • Carrara 5
  • Carrara 4
  • Carrara 3

Step 1 - Billboard Setup

Establish your scene and utilize a billboard (2D flat surface) to be used as your object if you choose to portray the video as you would normally see it. Otherwise be creative and try mapping the video texture to any sort of object - don't worry, Carrara is versatile enough to handle it! In this scene, I have created a TV with the screen in red the portion that I will map the video texture to.


Step 2 - Texture Settings

After selecting your billboard, enter the texture options by clicking on the paint brush icon at the top right of Carrara's menu bar. First you will need to change the mapping to “Flat Mapping” and select the object face as seen in the cube selections for the highlighted face that you want your video displayed on.


Next, load the video texture by setting the “Color” setting to “Texture” and simply opening up any supported movie file on your computer. That's it! Your video is now the texture of the object and will play according to your scene's global time.


Step 3 - Realtime Preview

You can establish a realtime preview in Carrara of your movie and even it's realtime texture display by setting your display mode to “textured” (shaded sphere option furthest right, above the working window), and by dragging the animation time cursor to any position in your animation. Although Carrara doesn't give a perfect picture of your textures, you can still get an accurate idea of which part your video has played up to the time marker.


Step 4 - Render Final & Tips

Render your animation to preview it in action and you're ready to start using video textures to your scene!


Tips: Use 2D billboards with “white as invisible” and “invert” to mask out portions of videos such as fire to create more realistic looking fire in your scenes. Use 2D video billboards as animated trees with the multireplicator to reduce polygon counts. Use any of the texture filters such as “Glow” to dynamically filter your video through Carrara!

Good luck and enjoy Carrara's powerful video texture feature!