Substantially updated for Silhouette v7

Course Overview

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

Click here for a full course overview.

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 involve 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 a 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 in to 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 scenary.

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.

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 taskes 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 paint work 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 in to 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 paint work. 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 have 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 a 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 in to 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

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Ben Browwnlee

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 and


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