Want to create your own animated characters and stories? Watch these videos and learn about everything Character Animator can do.
Intro to Character Animator
If you’re new to Character Animator, this is the best place to start. We’ll cover basic setup, take a tour through the different workspaces and panels, record and edit a performance, and export out a final video.
Intro to Rigging
Rigging is the process adding special animation information to an imported PSD (Adobe Photoshop) or AI (Adobe Illustrator) file. In this tutorial, we walk through creating a character completely from scratch, learning how to set up your artwork and add things like tags, handles, behaviors, sticks, and more in Rig mode.
Recording & Editing
Recording in Character Animator is as simple as pressing the red record button, but this tutorial digs a little deeper into the best techniques for recording and editing, such as arming & disarming behaviors, blending multiple performances together, and perfecting lip sync tracks.
Triggers are a critical part of any puppet made in Adobe Character Animator, allowing you add emotions, props, and animated sequences on demand. We'll set up some simple triggers to turn lights on or off, swap between different hand positions, explore what happens when you trigger a group with a behavior, and finish with Face Triggers, adding eyelids, sad mouth sets, and other features to give a face more dynamic range.
Behaviors are what bring your puppets to life in Adobe Character Animator. The Lip Sync behavior tracks your voice, the Eye Gaze behavior tracks your pupil movements, and so on. In this overview video we'll quickly preview all of the currently available behaviors and give a brief example of what they do.
Get more detailed info about each behavior at adobe.com/go/chhelp_behaviors.
Creating an Animated Livestream
In this tutorial we'll show you how to build and stream a live animated character on places like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. "Live animation" seems like an oxymoron, but it's now possible with Adobe Character Animator.
Download Bluster at adobe.com/go/chexamples.
Creating Lip Sync Mouths
When you are first getting started in Character Animator, getting the mouths to work right can be the hardest part of making your own custom creations. In this tutorial we'll walk through two free example mouth sets (in both Adobe Photoshop PSD and Illustrator AI versions), learning how to get the best lip sync possible.
Download the Mouth Pack at adobe.com/go/chresources.
Build Your Own Character
Creating A Photoshop Puppet
If you've ever wanted to create your own animated puppet with Adobe Photoshop and Character Animator, this step by step guide will walk you through customizing a template character and turning them into whatever you want! In this video we start with the free "Blank" example puppet and turn it into a new female character with eye / mouth / hand triggers, physics-enabled hair, basic arm structure, and more!
Download the Blank example character at adobe.com/go/chexamples.
Creating An Illustrator Puppet
Same concept as the previous video, but this one uses with Adobe Illustrator instead of Photoshop! Both of these programs work great for character creation - go with whatever you feel most comfortable with!
Download the Blank example character at adobe.com/go/chexamples.
Adobe Fresco Workflow
Adobe Fresco is an incredible tablet drawing app. In this tutorial we'll walk you through a Fresco to Character Animator workflow - how to draw animation-ready characters in Fresco, sync them to Photoshop on the desktop to organize them, and finally do some light rigging in Character Animator to bring them to life.
Full Workflow Tutorials
Complete Single Character Workflow
From writing a script to animating keyframes, this longform tutorial goes deep into every stage of the process for creating an animated "explainer" style video with a cartoon narrator character. We'll record and edit the audio in Audition, build our character in Photoshop, rig and animate him in Character Animator, and finally composite everything together in After Effects.
Download Narrator Dave at okaysamurai.com/puppets/.
Complete Cartoon Workflow
Making a cartoon with multiple characters, background elements, music and sound fx, cameras, props, and credit screens can seem like an overwhelming amount of work. But in this tutorial, we’ll write a script in Google Docs, record and mix audio in Adobe Audition, draw artwork in Adobe Fresco, rig and animate in Adobe Character Animator, and finally composite everything together in Adobe After Effects.
Download the robot characters, background art, and credit screens at okaysamurai.com/puppets.
Mixing Animation And Reality
Mixing animated characters on top of real footage can lead to some entertaining creative possibilities. We'll cover how to set up a walking, talking, guitar playing animated character in Character Animator using techniques like slow-motion recording and hand position swap sets. Then we'll show how to link the performance to Premiere Pro or After Effects to connect the character to real footage in convincing ways.
Character Animator Episodes
From new feature announcements to community livestreams, Character Animator releases new episodes often around a wide variety of subjects. Watch the latest above or view the full playlist here.
Body tracking makes performance capture animation in Adobe Character Animator faster and more fun. In this tutorial, we'll start off by covering performance basics: where to stand in your webcam frame, how calibration works, and the body behavior. Then we'll troubleshoot some common problems you might run into if your puppet isn't tracking correctly. Next we'll touch on how to record and edit a body tracked performance, before finishing with step-by-step details on how to rig your own characters for body tracking.
Download the free example puppets at adobe.com/go/ch_bodytracker.
The Walk behavior in Adobe Character Animator lets you quickly rig a character for movement across a scene. This tutorial covers everything from how to set up your artwork, how to rig your character and add tagged handles like shoulders and knees, and how to adjust the parameters to make a custom walk style that matches the personality of your character. It's never been easier to get a character walking and talking for animation!
Download Eliza at okaysamurai.com/puppets.
Motion Library allows you to choose from over 350 professional full body animations to add to your characters. Select from several expansive categories like Idle, Fight, Dance, Walk, and more. You can sequence and blend multiple motions together into one seamless performance.
Download free characters and scenes at https://adobe.com/go/ch_motionlibrary.
Replays are an incredibly powerful feature in Adobe Character Animator, and this tutorial walks you through the basics of how they work. Select and right-click any set of takes in your timeline to turn them into triggerable- on-demand actions. From waves to head nods to dance moves, Replays open up a ton of new creative possibilities to add dynamic performances to your characters for both live and recorded projects.
Download the Replays project at okaysamurai.com/puppets.
Adding physics is a great way to give extra motion and life into your characters and scenes in Adobe Character Animator. First, Basic Physics will show you how to make colliding shapes through the dynamic and collide tags. Then we'll show you how to make things like hair and drawstrings automatically sway with your character's movements in Dangle Physics. Finally we'll create some rain that collides with an umbrella.
Head Turns & Parallax
Character Animator has the ability to move your facial features around as you turn your head. The main two methods for this are the Head Turner behavior, where you draw up to 7 different views separately, and the Face behavior's parallax parameter, where you move various elements in different directions and speeds to create a sense of dimension. Either direction will help your characters feel less flat and more expressive.
Download the Turner Bros. at okaysamurai.com/puppets.
Limb IK (Inverse Kinematics) is a behavior you can add to any Character Animator puppet to get more control over their arms and legs. We'll show how to rig the arms to prevent stretching and get realistic elbow bends. Then we'll move on the legs and show how to make characters squat, bend, jump, and more.
Download the Limb IK pack at okaysamurai.com/puppets.
Cameras let you add different shot types to your scenes, from wide / medium /closeup stationary shots to animated zooms and pans. This tutorial walks through a sample scene and teaches the basics of setting up camera systems for both recorded and live workflows.
Download Linden & Robot at adobe.com/go/chexamples.
New in Character Animator 2020 is the ability to add keyframes, allowing more control over specific parameters like position, scale, rotation, and more. This tutorial goes through the basics, teaching you how to set up and edit a set of simple keyframes, and finally showing you an example of keyframed replays and triggers added to a new free puppet, Schizzler the alien.
Download Schizzler at adobe.com/go/chexamples.
Basic Eye Rigging
We get a lot of questions about rigging eyes, so this video breaks down four different animated eye setups by walking through a free downloadable example project. You'll learn about basic eyes, off-centered eyes, eyes with large pupils and a cycle layer blink animation, and finally using eyelids. Copy or combine the concepts in these template faces to give your puppets' eyes more life and personality!
Download the Eyes example project at adobe.com/go/chexamples.
If your puppet has a Magnets behavior, any things tagged as "magnet" will be attracted to each other. This video walks through a sample project showing simple magnet attachments (a hand and a coffee cup), triggered magnets (catching and releasing a fish), and an advanced example using replays to create a magnetic field (magnet and ABC blocks).
Download the Magnets project at okaysamurai.com/puppets.
The latest version of Adobe Character Animator adds triggerable audio. Simply put, this lets you play an audio file at the same time as a triggered animation, such as a sound effect, voice, or song. In this tutorial we're going to run through the basics of adding audio to the Chloe puppet, and then show a more advanced example with Drumbot.
Download Drumbot at adobe.com/go/chexamples.