Adobe Character Animator

Making Your First Cartoon (Adobe Character Animator and After Effects Tutorial)

Session Files – Here
Design puppet from scratch

Session Notes


Making Your First Cartoon (Adobe Character Animator and After Effects Tutorial)
Design puppet from scratch
Tips for character animator
Open CA and new scene from Photoshop file
First Download Puppets then import in
How to set default puppet
Can you install an earler version or perhaps later version (trial)
Is the version in the Animation suite later and is it available?
Session recording a first animation
Phomemes – 10 plus 3 neutral
10 sounds used with lip synch from audio or key press
Can change the  colour of the puppet in Photoshop and then will live update back in Character Animator.
Can access camera and Mic options from drop down menu
Reset rest pose by looking at the character
Then adjust anchor point, scale etc as necessary
Red dots indicate what will be recorded on the take
You can lock parameters by turning them off
In the properties you can adjust the character
You can record in multiple takes (multitrack)
You can then trim and adjust takes to get desired result
OK let’s try it out!
Import a character and then double click on it to reveal the control panel
This shows the draggle points and pins etc
Add a new scene – 1600 x 1800 24 FPS 50 sec long
Reset pose and use x and y anchor to centre character
Double click on the puppet in the timeline and adjust the properties
Head strength – 25 – head size less affected by proximity to web cam (show difference)
Dangle –  spring tension 75 (hair sways more)
Bring in Pre recorded voice over
Turn Mic off
Select puppet layer
Object / Timeline  >Compute Lip-synch from scene file
Turn off red dot on Lip-sync
Turn off everything apart from dongle and face
Do a take with just these
Make sure puppet is selected on timeline and is highlighted on stage
Now do a take with keyboard shortcuts A for angry and W for worried eyebrows
Last take dragging the hands and the tail
Export to AFX
File – export – scene
Then import in AFX file – scripts – New comp character animation
New comp in AFX 1280 x 720 24fps – 50 secs
Put puppet comp in this and adjust scale and position
Bring in BG and FG
K/F character
K/F BG and FG in opposite direction (make the BG slower)
Can easy ease as required
Fast blur FG to 10% BG 3%
New comp and bring in original comp
Duplicate and scale up top layer
Now duplicate twice moor
turn off audio apart from original comp
Trim to produce CU cut aways
re position the close up positions
Create a new solid and create an orange solid on topmost layer
Change mode to Overlay and reduce opacity to give an orange tint.
Create a Character from Scratch
3000 x 3000 pixels
3 x groups – Max, Head, Body
Head group create new layer and  call it head and draw blue circle
Another layer in the head layer – Use the pen tool set to shape dot where the pivot of the neck needs to be
Rename this layer origin , this tells character Animator where to pivot the layer
New group in the head group called right eyeball and in this group a layer with a white circle in it
Duplicate it and scale it down and fill with black and call it right pupil
Create a layer with a line and call it right blink
Pupils need to move independently so need the prefix +
Copy right eye group move over and re name left
Do a triangle for a nose in the head group – nose layer
Drag mouth over from another character
Create eyebrows on another layer
Add plus sign to the following layers / groups
Max / Eyebrows / Eyes / Nose / Mouth
add ears
In character animator set Face properties – all 25% Paralax to 500 gives 2.5D effect
Bud body and then in puppet panel use  pins to feet to fix body
Add drawer to both hands and draw sticks to add as bones