9 Free Amazing Tips to Make You Excited about Adobe Character Animator

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Today’s post is the third one in a series of posts about the updates that come with Adobe After Effects 13.6.1 version.

While the improved previewing and the updated workspace are meant to make your work easier, today’s feature is a totally new one.

So let’s talk about Character Animator. We will check:

  • where the tutorials are
  • what does the set rest pose button do
  • how they can recognize voice
  • how to do arm motion
  • how to assign keyboard shortcuts to behaviors
  • how many characters there are
  • how to give gravity to objects
  • how to record your actions
  • how to use your own artwork



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Jeff Sengstack will demonstrate some of the new features in both updates as well as explain changes made to previewing and rendering.

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01. Let’s start by seeing where the tutorials are.

We should go to File and open Adobe Character Animator.

When you open up Character Animator, it has these tutorials which are fantastic.

It has Getting Started Tutorial and you can use that to get a sense of how this thing works.

You might notice that this little guy here is moving depending on where I move.

tutorials character animator

Notice how his eyebrows went up?

That’s because my eyebrows went up because it’s seeing me in the web camera.


02. Now let’s see what the set rest pose button and what it does.

set rest poseI need to look at the webcam and click this button.

It sets the rest pose.  Notice the red dots that appear on my face?

There are little red dots going around my face and my eyebrows and even through my glasses.

It picks up my eyes like that.

I’ll look at the camera and so I can look up, down, left and like that.

It picks it up.

It’s amazing it picks it up even with a little webcam which is not the sharpest resolution in the world.

Notice my hands don’t do anything but just my head which causes it to change.


03. What about the voice?

It also gets my voice. It had to be pretty wide open for it to really get it because I’ve been talking here and it’s not really responding.

voice character animator

So you can do lip synching. It can also get the expression.


04. Let’s meet the characters!

You can use this on different characters.

They’ve got a bunch of characters here that come with this. As far I know, the only characters available are the three that I will show you plus Frankenstein and the snow person. And Adobe 3.  He’s there all the time.

I’m going to go to Wendigo one because that’s kind of interesting.

I’ll turn him on by clicking on this layer there.

wendigo character animator


05. Let’s see how to do arm motion.

I told you that it doesn’t pick up the arm motion but you can also control arm motion using very much like the puppet tool that’s inside After Effects.

If I click this record button, I can animate that.

animate arms character animator

Down here I can click on this and drag this around so I can animate here.

Notice that it’s catching my mouth a little bit here pretty well a little bit than the other guy did.

You can do this as well.



06. Where you can learn how to assign keyboard shortcuts to behaviors.

You can also assign keyboard shortcuts to behaviors.

So letter A causes his eyes wide open.

Letter B closes his eyes.

Holding down 1 turns him to one side; 2 partially; 3, 4.


07. Let’s see how to give gravity to objects.

gravity character animator

I’ll click on Bunny Dude here.  You can give gravity to things.

Notice how these guys are moving around, his little tussles are moving around?

You have those features to apply gravity to objects.  His ears flap around.

These features are also available.


08 – 09. How to record your actions and use your own artwork

record character animator

If you want to record your actions, you can just go to this version down here and you can record there just by clicking the record button and you can go.

If you want to use your own artwork, you can do that as well in this process. You can create artwork.

You can link to it by creating it from within Animator or just create it in Illustrator or Photoshop and you then you can bring them back here inside Character Animator.


A short conclusion

This is not a finished product. This is a work in progress.

The folks from Adobe would love to get your feedback because this is Version 3.

I feel there’ll be more versions down the road and they really would love to hear how you use this.

If you want to play with it, you can let them know by going to Go Wish page that I told you about and give them input on how this is working and what you’d rather have.

My suggestion would be to get the arms going but you have to use some puppet controls to do that right now.

If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment!

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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