Adding/removing spline control points - question

I have to track a complex shape that in some places requires frame by frame hand tweaking with changing spline softness, with a lot of control points (20) and in other places on the same clip it becomes a simple shape that would do with 5 control points.
What is the most work-efficent approach to this?
I find myself constantly having to move 20 points when just 5 would do, that is a lot of tedious and unncecssary clicking and moving.
Could I have one layer with 20 control points for the complex parts and another layer with 5 control points for the simple parts?
But how do I switch off the complex spline and then turn on the simple spline?
I need to figure this out - it translates to hours of tedious work with this crazy masking job…

If it’s motion blur, you can just apply motion blur in the shape layer in layer properties, and that can save a lot of time. If it isn’t motion blur, then you will have to hand animate. You can still use per point selection for this, and you can animate the feather back down when you don’t need it using the spline tools or the add edge values part of layer properties.

There’s not really a “simple” and “complex” spline. But if you export as shape data to something like AE you will lose the feathering, since that export format does not respect our edge feathering. You could use that to switch between the two.

Please let me know if you have any more questions and I will be happy to help you.


Let me try to describe it differently:
I need to mask a shape that in some places changes and moves a lot, its a relatively long clip.
As I go along I need to add control points, but then later the shape gets quite small and it becomes nearly impossible to move all the 20 control points, its too time consuming and tedious because its mostly hand animation frame by frame. But I can’t remove them anymore without messing up previous keyframes.
What is the best way to handle this? How can I start and take over the shape with a new layer in a way that is seamless?
I was looking for way to fade out or crossfade to a new layer but didn’t see that option.

The best way to do that then is absolutely to overlap another shape layer and blend them together. If you’re going to move to AE for your final comp, you’ll want to drag the previous shape off the full frame with a keyframe instead of trimming the layers, it’s a bit more sanitary of a workflow when you overlap shapes or need to trim layers before you move to your comp.

So make your layer, animate it until it’s no longer practical, make a keyframe for the last frame you need the shape for, move one keyframe ahead and drag the shape offscreen. Then go back to your previous keyframe, make a new layer, trace the work you did and then tintinue to rotoscope. Do this as often as you need. There is no problem overlapping shapes to create roto.

When they export, it doesn’t matter how many layers they are in, they just add to one another.


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Thanks Mary!