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What is it?

Rostrum is a script, for Photoshop Animators that “records” all visible Layers or Layer Comps to a Video Layer without deleting or merging existing artwork. The name of the script is derived from the camera used to capture 2D animation. See the script in action in the screen capture below.

In the video below I demonstrate (in real-time) how to use the Rostrum script to create a loop-able Video Layer of your Layered Animation in a new document.

Why use it?

Partly for preparing photoshop documents for composition (After Effects) or Editing (Première) and partly for convenience when refining layer animations.

With Video Layers you can alter any frame without the need to reselect the layer you’re working on. Great for cleaning up linework, going from “pose to pose” to “straight ahead” animation.

When imported in After Effects the program will keep a dynamic link with the imported psd-file, which will update when altered.

The final document will have a clean document structure and there is no need to keep track of multiple folders of image sequences on your hard-drive. Everything is packaged nicely in a single (intermediate) psd-file. Useful for sharing or handing over a scene/document to a collaborating animator.
In version 1.3 it’s possible to run Rostrum with an imported video after which the Video Layer edit functions (Layers › Video Layer ›) can be used on the new layer containing the imported footage.

Options

  • Collect all frames on the timeline or a segment indicated by the Work Area
  • Hide the Background Layer when recording a Video Layer to capture only the line work*
  • Use Layer Comps to automatically generate multiple Video Layers of all Layer Comp states*
  • Exclude Layer Comps by adding a tilde “~” in front of the Comp name
rostrum_layercomps2
Result of using Layer Comps
  • Place the generated Video Layer(s) in a new document with the same dimensions, frame rate, etc.
  • Place the generated Video Layer(s) in any other open document*
rostrum_documents
Target Location list of open documents

* When available
What is your workflow from photoshop to video?
Let me know in the comments below.

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