Advanced Rotoscoping using Refine Edge

In today’s post, Jeff will show you how to use the Refine Edge Tool.

Note: remember to watch the video tutorial he has prepared for you, it would be much easier to follow his instructions.

Let’s start!

If you look at the hair more closely, zoom in on that by holding Z key and dragging this. How do we do up the hair.

how to select hair

Well, I suggest is you don’t try to get to the edge of the hair when you are trying to make selections here. Like where the selection right now is, is fine. Because you don’t want to try to get all that. You want to use the Refine Edge Tool to do that.

This is a introduction to Refine Edge tool. Go up here, click on this and then click the Refine Edge tool.

Refine Edge Tool

You click that little triangle at the right corner to open it up and click on Refine Edge tool. That is a different brush and notice it looks different.

Here’s the video tutorial:

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Hold on the control key and drag it right, you’ll see a blue circle with a plus.
Hold on the alt and the option and it’s dark blue circle with a minus.

With plus you are adding the refine edge and with the minus it’s subtracting.

I want to draw right along the boundary there to include the frizzy hair there.

How to use the Refine Edge Tool

There, I am drawing right there. Just that little spot.
That is the X-ray view that I was trying to turn on a second ago, which doesn’t show up until you use the Refine Edge tool. There is the X-ray view there.

X-Ray view of selected frizzy hair

That shows you how the results are going to be. A little bit farther pick up this last strands there. We have now selected that hair, I got one more thing here I think and well add that.


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That is called “Refine Edge.” If you go to the composition to see how it works.

See result of Refine Edge tool

I am going to see the hair shows up there. That is really a pretty good thing and you refined that over here inside the Rotobrush and Refine Edge effect. Because once you start using it then you get this options down here for the refine edge.

Refine Edge Options

This is render refine edge, that is a given. If I turn it off, watch what’s going to happens to the hair here? It gets flat looking. That is the Refine Edge tool doing its job. Then there is some things that you can do down here to work with that. We see that more detail in the next one.

Thank you for watching this video. My name is Jeff Sengstack, an Adobe Certified Expert and a Lead Instructor here at If you want to watch this entire video lesson, as well as other live classes and After Effects crash courses. Then I invite you to check out the BlueFx After Effects Academy. Just click the link below this video to find out what we’ve prepared for you in the After Effects Academy.

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Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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