Definition of rotoscope in English:



  • 1A device which projects and enlarges individual frames of filmed live action to permit them to be used to create cartoon animation and composite film sequences.

    • ‘Using a computerized rotoscope, the descendent of technology used in Gulliver's Travels, or that weird Lord of the Rings cartoon, the simplicity of this movie is devastating.’
    1. 1.1 A computer application which combines live action and other images in a film.


[with object]
  • Transfer (an image from live action film) into another film sequence using a rotoscope.

    ‘the gulls were filmed from a cliff top and rotoscoped into the shot’
    • ‘The 8-ball crusty had to be manually rotoscoped out, frame by painful frame.’
    • ‘He has returned here to the form of animation he first used in Waking Life, rotoscoping a mixture of live action and animation.’


1950s: origin obscure; perhaps the same word as 19th-century rotascope, denoting a kind of gyroscope.