Definition of rotoscope in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈrōdəˌskōp/


1A device that projects and enlarges individual frames of filmed live action to permit them to be used to create cartoon animation and composite film sequences.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1A computer application that 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ro·to·scope

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.