So the Adobe Character Animator is finally here – when I first heard of it I was really really keen on it and couldn´t wait for playing around with it.
I was spending some time on character animation in the past 3-4 years in my spare time, because it had always interested me pretty much. What I found out in these years was that it is A LOT of work plus you need to develop a profound set of skill for doing it (well) and you will need A LOT MORE time than anything else.
As my actual day job is programming which does consume a lot of time as well – even in my spare time to keep up on the topic – plus I have a family & kids now, you can imagine that I simply do not have the time to proper animate stuff like a little cartoon series or other projects that are more than tweened blocks moving….
But in fact that little cartoon series is what I really would like to do, because I think it would be a good thing to make a funny cartoon series if you have a twisted mind like me 😉
So the Adobe Character Animator was something that could be quite useful and a big time saver – and after playing around with it a few hours I think it really can be.
When I played around with lip syncing I noticed pretty fast (well in fact it took some time cause this is what it takes : time) that it is a pain in the ass.
Until now I did all my animations in Flash and it took me several hours to make a small animation with a lip synced character moving his arms and/or head a little and some facial expressions.
With Adobe Character Animator you just have to correctly setup your Character within the Layers and the Template files coming with it are a really good cheat sheet for doing so. You will do the same kind of work in regular animations as well, but once you setup your character correctly you can just start recording which speeds things up I´d say a thousand times!
You can even do front 3/4-left (or right) and complete left (or right) versions of your character which makes all this better.
On top of that you can even use keyboard shortcuts to change layer images (for hand gestures, different eyebrowes etc.) and click and drag extremeties like the arms and legs to create more movement. Or you could just animate the face with it and do the body with other tools like Flash or After Effects.
Probably i will make some in depth „how tos“ on that neat little program in the future, because there is so much more to tell about it.
For now I will leave you here with a small example in where I quickly painted myself and did some tests – sorry that it is in german.