Starter mode

Starter mode is a free streamlined mode in Adobe Character Animator that lets anyone make quick animated videos. Record your face and voice performance, and then add various emotions and actions through an intuitive drag & drop interface. Making animated shorts has never been this easy or fun!

Free example puppets

You are free to download and use these puppets however you want. Starter mode includes several free puppets, but you can also add more by clicking the “Import puppet” button on the left side of the Character Animator Starter mode home screen.

El Gato Gris

Grey cat with a swaying tail and various emotions. Created by Kevin McMahon.


Dr. Applesmith

A clay sculpted scientist / doctor character with expressive triggers. Created by Dovid Taub.



A talking baseball with a solid emotion tigger set.



A talking soccer ball with parallax head motion and some fun surprise triggers. Created by Kevin McMahon.



A talking lemon with a solid emotion trigger set.


Dr. Charles

Doctor character with a wide range of emotion and action triggers. Created by Kevin McMahon.



Spectacled character with a wide range of emotion and action triggers. Created by Kevin McMahon.



A skull-shirt-wearing character with a wide range of emotion and action triggers. Created by Kevin McMahon.


What is Starter mode?

Starter mode is a free version of Character Animator that offers a quick, fun, and easy way to get started making your own animations.

How do I download Starter mode for free?

Go to and download the Creative Cloud desktop app for Mac or PC. After you install the app and create a free Adobe ID (or sign in with an existing account), look for “Character Animator” in the All Apps or Video sections. Click “Install” next to Character Animator to install and use Character Animator Starter mode for free.

How do I access Starter mode in the app?

Click the mode chooser icon in the upper-right corner of the app to open a window, allowing you to switch between the Starter and Pro modes. Note that free Adobe accounts only have access to Starter mode, whereas active Creative Cloud subscribers can access both modes.

How do I make a recording?

On the Home screen, pick a character or click the Import button to add an external puppet. You can then click the blue button to record your face and voice live, or click the import dialogue button to import a pre-recorded audio file and then do the face recording. After recording, you can drag triggers onto the timeline to add additional emotion at key parts. Finally, you can click the share button in the upper right corner to export a final video.

Can I turn a Starter project into a Pro project?

Yes. If you switch to Pro mode while having a Starter project open, it will be converted into a Pro project. You can’t turn a Pro project into a Starter project, as Starter mode is a streamlined experience that removes some functionality only found in Pro mode.

Can I import any puppet into Starter mode?
Yes! But please note that Starter mode puppets are set up in a specific way to make performing & recording easier for users. This means every Starter example puppet we’ve created has:

  • A single “poses” swap set
  • A full controls panel with icons for each swap set trigger
  • No reliance on other behaviors like Dragger, Walk, Body Tracking, etc. for character movement (this is all taken care of in the triggers)

So if you are importing a third party puppet or creating your own Starter puppets in Pro mode, we highly recommend following these guidelines for the best results.

Want to learn more about Character Animator Pro mode?