Curious Turtle Mastering Silhouette Complete – Rotoscoping, Paint, Morph & Beyond


Curious Turtle Mastering Silhouette Complete – Rotoscoping, Paint, Morph & Beyond
Curious Turtle Mastering Silhouette Complete – Rotoscoping, Paint, Morph & Beyond

Instant Download edition. Substantially updated for Silhouette v7.

Silhouette steps far beyond rotoscoping as a fully featured compositing system. This training course aims to get you working fast with the new node-based system, in a way that builds your skills and confidence with the expanded toolset.


The 12½ hour course is structured so those core ideas are introduced early, in a straightforward way, then built upon to show more in-depth and specialized tasks. Tasks are practical jobs and course footage is provided for you to follow along at your own pace.


Instant Download edition.

Click here for a full course overview.

Curious Turtle’s most complete training for Silhouette just got even better, with almost five more hours of training covering the updated Silhouette version 7.

Core Structure / Updated for v7

User interface and workflow

The UI is significantly updated in Silhouette and offers even more opportunities for working faster and more efficiently. This section gets you acquainted with the basic tasks when you start a project, importing footage, working on a task and exporting. This also covers more in-depth viewer options, mixing footage resolutions and setting up project preferences.

Core Rotoscoping

The core toolset for many of Silhouette’s nodes involves drawing shapes in one way or another. It is important to have these skills mastered first. We start with the advantages and problems with various spline types before we look at animation strategies to break complex shapes into a simple roto task. Those could be dealing with obscured objects or how to tackle out of focus and fast moving objects.

Motion Tracking

Mastering motion tracking will save hours of manual animation. This section shows how to use the three different motion trackers available in Silhouette, and some of the different tasks we can use them for. It also discusses what to do when things go wrong with tracker and techniques to fix it.

Complex Rotoscoping

The strategies you use to tackle a complex rotoscoping task have a huge impact on the time a task takes. In this section, we look at a tricky organic roto job and break down the stages in animation. You will learn about the importance of object management, hierarchy and how the IK Tool (Inverse Kinematics) can make a lot of complex animation really easy.


Creating an alpha matte obviously doesn’t always require roto. Here we look at the zMatte and Power Matte nodes to not only create keys but full composites. We explore the difference that proper color correction and spill control can make. Additionally, we show different strategies for a trickier piece greenscreen footage and discuss the decision-making process.


After a quick overview of the various paint tools and brushes, we move into a common dust-busting job to clean up a highly reflective, but also scratched, surface. After creating a good-looking single frame, we will use our motion tracking skills and Auto Paint to make quick work of the rest of the clip.


Explore Silhouette’s new nodes for creating depth maps; Depth and Roto Blend. Start with a simple breakdown of the depth toolset and how to view your progress as you go. These ideas then develop to more complex scenes before we bring in other nodes to make quick work of a moving shot filled with complex scenery.

Warping and Morphing

The Morph node is extremely powerful, and we take a structured look at how to use it. We build up from the basic ideas behind warping to dealing with folding and other potential issues. Our final project is doing a morph transition between two moving pieces of footage and the tactics to deal with that.


What do you do when you have finished the job? Outputting can be as simple as exported your rotosplines out to another application, exporting your final composite, or taking out multi-part files for further manipulation. We look at these and other output features.


We take the strategies we have learned in previous sections, put them all together and expand on them, whilst exploring more of the 138 built-in nodes contained in Silhouette. We also compare and contrast two different compositing strategies for dealing with compositing steam, smoke, and fire.


All the tasks we’ve done so far can also be done with stereoscopic footage in stereo! In this section, we discover the basic workflows for dealing with rotoscoping and paintwork in stereo. Plus a final extra way, if we need to split our stereo clips, for example to color balance them.

Planar Tracker

The planar tracker received significant improvements in Version 7. This section goes into depth about different techniques for getting the best results out of this powerful tool. We look at why tracks might fail and how to tweak the settings to achieve a good track. We also look at using that tracking data for different tasks, including the new stabilization workflow available in v7.

The fourth part of this exercise explores featureless tracking and how to track an object that has no obvious tracking areas. This is a systematic look at why other techniques might fail and what a better strategy looks like.

Paint – Wire Removal

Back into Paint to do another common task – wire removal. This looks at a different approach to preparing the footage for paintwork. First, we look at a manual approach and the dangers of this, before we move over to see how the planar tracker can speed up our work to a huge degree.

Pin Warp

Another new feature in v7 to do warping without having to create splines. In this exercise, we do some face reshaping and see how to make it extreme yet believable. The second part sees how to apply these changes to a moving object and how to disguise the transition from unwarped to warped.

Rotoscoping / New Features

Time for some light compositing. In this case, retiming a light flashing in time with the action in the footage. We use the new Sequence Editor to edit our flashes to the correct frames; including editing, retiming and repeating segments of our clip. We explore how to work with another new tool, Reshape – Magnetic Mode to quickly animate our roto splines with fewer clicks and faster turnaround time.

The second half of the exercise adds in more Paint, before deciding how to break up our shapes to create hold-in and hold-out masks. We also use some more of the new roto tools including the Extract Shape.

Compositing and Sky Replacement

The job behind this exercise is a straightforward sky replacement but we touch on all the core compositing skills to achieve this; tracking, rotoscoping, keying, paint and finishing effects. The idea is to see how all these sections fit together in a wider workflow and how important tidy thinking is. New in version 7 is the ability to group and ungroup nodes and this plays into our tidy thinking strategy.

This exercise also spends time on the Cutout Brush for a quick spot of matte painting, and why setting up your paint channels is a good plan when compositing! We also take a look at the new Lens Flare node and how we can use this effect in different ways.

Course Runtime: 12h 28min

01 – The Silhouette user interface & Workflow Overview
02 – Rotoscoping Basics
03 – Rotoscoping Continued
04 – Motion Tracking – Planar Trackers
05 – Complex Roto and Inverse Kinematics (IK Tool)
06 – zMatte Basics
07 – Power Matte
08 – zMatte Advanced
09 – Paint
10 – Paint Extended
11 – Depth
12 – Roto Blend
13 – The Morph node: Warping and Morphing
14 – The Output node
15 – Tracking, Stabilization & Matchmoving
16 – Composite nodes & Grain Management
17 – Working with stereo footage
Version 7 Updates
18 – Planar Tracker improvements
19 – Planar Tracker improving accuracy and fixing issues
20 – Using the tracking data
21 – Featureless tracking with the Planar Tracker
22 – Pin Warp
23 – Sequence Editor and the new rotoscoping features
24 – More new rotoscoping tools
25 – Compositing and sky replacement – keying
26 – Compositing and sky replacement – match moving
27 – Compositing and sky replacement – more paint and the Cutout Brush
28 – Compositing and sky replacement – the Lens Flare node


[Ben Brownlee] Ben Brownlee has worked in production and post-production in various roles since 1999. He has been involved in a wide variety of films, television and TV commercial projects in that time. As a trainer, he has worked with some of the leading broadcasters and post-houses, providing bespoke courses across the globe.

He has also developed courses for Lynda.com and fxphd.com.


Tutorials, Footage & Projects Total: 8.75 GB
Downloads available either as large single files or as smaller, split archives.