Adobe has released a video (above) revealing new rotoscoping tools for After Effects that it'll be showcasing at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) trade show in Las Vegas in April.

The video shows the development of After Effects' video paint tools from basic shape masking in AE 1.0 in 1993, through masking using Bezier curves in 1995 (AE 3.0), multiple masks per layer (AE 4.0 in 1999), mask colours and expansion (AE 5.0 in 2001), RotoBezier and Paint (AE 6.0-CS4 from 2006-2009), the Roto Brush in 2010's AE CS5, and finally variable mask feathering in last year's AE CS6.

The video then goes on to show 'the future': which adds a Refine Edge feature that aims to make capturing fine detail such as hair a lot easier.

It also shows an artist using After Effects on a Wacom Cintiq, though both the Roto Brush and the timeline scrubbing shown are currently possible with a Cintiq and AE CS6.

No information has been provided on when the update will be released, but Adobe has made small updates to the likes of Photoshop, illustrator and Dreamweaver available for free to Creative Cloud subscribers only – and we expect this to be the case for AE too.