Thursday, November 14th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Boris FX ships Silhouette 2020

Boris FX has released Silhouette 2020, the company’s first update to the popular rotoscoping and paint tool since it aquired original developer Silhouette FX earlier this year.

It’s a sizeable update, adding features throughout the application, including new magnetic and freehand selection workflows and new edge snapping options for roto work.

There are also new Dodge and Burn brushes for retouching, plus a nice option to work separately on colour and detail layers for an image.

In addition, the integrated version of Mocha, Boris FX’s planar tracker, is now included free with the core software, rather than being available as a paid add-on.

New tools for creating and troubleshooting roto shapes
For rotoscoping work, a key addition in Silhouette 2020 is the new Magnetic Freehand tool.

Users can either trace an object by setting points around its outline, or draw rough freehand strokes defining the foreground and background of the frame. Silhouette then converts these inputs into a roto spline.

An Edge Snapping tool snaps existing splines to the edges of an object in a new frame.

For troubleshooting roto animation, new Shape Overlay modes display the motion of roto splines as onion skins or motion paths, and display the boundaries of a shape’s motion blur.

A new weighted keyframe window enables users to tweak the position of roto shapes without adding extra keyframes by setting weights to control the influence of surrounding keys.

Retouching: new Dodge and Burn brushes, plus a neat new detail separation workflow
For retouching, the update adds Dodge and Burn brushes for lightening or darkening parts of a frame.

A new Detail tool splits the image into coarse, medium and fine detail layers, providing more control over sharpening or smoothing operations.

It is also now possible to paint or clone only in the detail layer, or only in the colour layer, which should speed up common tasks like removing blemishes from actors’ skin.

Users can now also preview the effects of paint strokes before making them; or replay previous paint strokes with new settings.

Interface updates and other new features
UI changes include a new Streamlined workspace layout designed for roto and paint projects; and the option to open multiple viewers to view the output of individual nodes or image channels.

Other new features include a DOD (Domain Of Definition) node which “passes larger/smaller-than-session size sources through a project”.

Mocha now comes bundled with Silhouette, though you still pay for the Pro edition
In addition, the integrated version of Mocha, Boris FX’s planar tracker – previously a $199 add-on – is now thrown in for free.

Mocha Pro, the full version of the software, which adds lens calibration, support for stereo and 360-degree footage, and the option to export tracking data to other software, is available as a bundle deal.

The release also moves Silhouette to Boris FX’s annual upgrade and support program, and implements the company’s RLM licensing system.

Pricing and system requirements
Silhouette 2020 is available for Windows 7+, Linux and Mac OS X 10.9+. A new perpetual licence costs $1,795; bundle deals with Mocha Pro start at $1,995.

Read more about the new features in Silhouette 2020 on Boris FX’s blog