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Fundamentals of Adobe Character Animator CC

Lesson 3 of 14

Building the Face and Head

 

Fundamentals of Adobe Character Animator CC

Lesson 3 of 14

Building the Face and Head

 

Lesson Info

Building the Face and Head

I'm gonna go back back to Character Animator because I really do want designers to pick this up and illustrators to pick this up. And so let's make it easy for you to do that. The easiest way to understand the structure of the head is use something that has been built for you. So if I just come out to the start workspace here. You've got this blank face, okay, in Photoshop or Illustrator. I'm gonna work in Photoshop here. So it creates me this puppet. I get a little message along the bottom here, saying, "Make any changes you want. "Save it and switch back to Character Animator." Okay, so we're just focusing on building the face and head with this. Okay, so. I'm gonna come down to the bottom, I'm gonna get rid of the instructional background quote there. Okay, just remove that because I kinda now what I'm going on with here. And then all you need to focus on is the layer structure. Now if you've got lots and lots of panels open on top of that, like this, and you've got a tiny tiny Laye...

rs window, just double tap on those tabs just to collapse those up. That gives you more room to look these. Okay, and if you're okay with looking at them that way, you can also change the way that the layers appear, whether they appear small or whether you've just got names or large if you've got particular visible requirement to do that. And then just work your way through and look at what it is. That's the best advice I can give you in this particular thing is actually look at what's in there. Okay, so you can see here right down at the bottom, Face Background. If I turn that off, you can see that, that dotted line there disappears and reappears as I turn it on. So I need to make that layer active, okay, to work with that so once that's active, I can replace any of the contents I've got on this. If I go back to my brush and maybe if I choose... I'm gonna choose one of the Kyle Webster brushes that you can use here. If you don't have those in your version of Photoshop, go up to the fly out from the brush selector. So let me just wind that back just a second. Go to the brush selector at the top here with the brush active. Go to the gear fly out and come down to the option here Get More Brushes. That will take you out to part of the Creative Cloud website, and then you can download all of the Kyle Webster brushes. They're all there. I tend not to have them all on at the same time, because there are thousands of those brushes in there, but I do like some of these I'm working with. So the dry media brushes I work with a lot. And a bit later on, I'll work with some of the splatter brushes because they have a really nice texture to what you're doing. Okay, so, I'm gonna choose this hard pencil just here. Okay, and something else you can do with those, by the way, to make it easier to find is add them to a Creative Cloud library like that. All you need to do is drag the brush into the Creative Cloud library, and then it travels with you. That works along with the mobile tools as well in most cases. So here, I'm going to just... Let me just turn off these eyes just a second or at least one of them here, and I'll turn off actually maybe the... Actually, I'll leave the mouth where it is. So I'll start to work on this, so let me just swap the colors around here. Have we got any particular request, Jim, for a sort of puppet? I know that one of the crew wanted a cat. How about a catman, catman? Mancat. Mancat. Catman Catman. It's sounding a bit like somebody else, I'll tell you that, so let's be careful alright, okay. Okay, lets have a cat person. I love cats. I've got a cat. My cat's name is Bill.. Well, I've got two cats Bilbo and Tilly, and they're siblings. Bilbo is very, very special. He has his own chair, his own bed, and soon his own throne, I'm not joking, in my studio. I love him so much. He's like the most wonderful and loving cat. He goes out doing whatever cats do over night time. Then he comes in, gets into his chair or his bed in the studio, and then off he goes to sleep, and just lays there. Occasionally wakes up and meow, gets a bit of a treat. I have some light little treats there for him. You just can't say... Let's go for basic, just basic, basic cat shape. And let's fill out with some color. By the way, I'm not after doing the most, my most amazing testament to my work and skill at this particular moment. I'm just gonna point out that I'm just trying to give you an idea of how something can work. So let me just go, I'm gonna go for larger brush. I'm gonna hold down Control and Alt or Option on my keyboard, and drag the brush size out a little bit like so. That will be Alt + right drag on Windows. I'm gonna enable pressure just there and just work like so. I'm not trying to sell their kit for them, but if you... Can you see how easy this is to work with this? While I've spend years developing hand-eye coordination to work with a mouse and then of course with a tablet, and all of those things, I can just forget, and I can go... My brain drops back into that space. Where I first learned to draw, which was literally moving stuff around on paper, with a natural physical thing in my hand, like I've got here now. So it's a very, very natural thing to do. I should've moved from the pencil but I'm gonna go with it. I'm gonna make myself work even hard just to get this filled in, but we'll do that. I'm not to worried about the rough edges. I'm never a fan for coloring in the lines particularly anyway. Let's just pick out another color here as we ought to go something near the sort of pink range there. I'm gonna change brushes. I'm gonna go for this natural artisan eraser. Oopsy daisy. It's here. I don't know how well you can see this, especially if you're watching on a device. But on your own machine if you have a look and see, the icons with Kyle's brushes here, they show you what tool they're designed for. So the one I picked out there accidentally was an eraser. It's got a little eraser in the corner, and it will actually switch out to that tool if I tap on it, which it did just now. So, I'm just gonna choose big charcoal brush here for the minute, just to do this, this completely different texture. It suddenly switches to being another thing entirely. Okay, so I'll move along there. So let's do that. What I'm gonna do is just lock the transparency on this layer. I'm coming over to the Layers panel and you got this Lock Row just here. I'm gonna click Lock transparency. That means I can completely forget now about how I apply my brush stroke. If I want to apply wild strokes around the outside and just add shading to this character, I can do exactly that, and that is what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna swap out to one of the splatter brushes, and there's the thing here. This really isn't in the context of this particular thing, but I like it so much. It's this brush, Beautiful Mess. I use it a lot. I'm gonna choose. First of all, I'm gonna work with much, much darker coloring. In fact, what I'll do is I'm just gonna hold down the Alt key, click on the color that I've got there, and I'm actually going to just go downwards, sort of diagonally down towards the corner there, just get a darker color really. Can you see that? Right away around that. And it only colored in the lines. Yeah, the different bit. So I can change the shape of the brush like so, so let's fill that out a little bit. I'm gonna end up making this look like Bilbo. And you know what's gonna happen then, don't you? I'm gonna come and do a little cry. (laughs) Not really. So, I'll come out now. I'm gonna choose another color. So let's go diagonally the other way, so something light, and let's just start. Oops, not quite light enough. Let's just do OK, and I'm also gonna switch the brush mode here to Screen. There we are. Nice bit, an orco cat. Loving it. I mean they're not gonna draw all of the different mouth shapes. So on this particular one, we're gonna talk about this in just a little while. But can you see how that's building out. Just by applying a few strokes, I've got this really nice texture starting to go on very, very simple but very, very effective. Let's just pick up one more color, and I'm gonna go towards the middle ground here. I'm just gonna brush up here, just get some light tones in there as well. So around there like that, there we are. Superb! And I think let's do a bit of line work on top of that, just to give that a bit more definition, especially if you're watching this on a smaller screen. We're not after a perfect piece of work here of course after all. So I'm gonna go for really, really dark gray. Okay, and then do that. I'm gonna offer you one other tip, right, for drawing. Just quickly, while I'm doing this, I'm gonna create a new file just here. That massive great white expanse is two things. Firstly, paralyzing. It's just, "Where do I go from here?" Secondly, it doesn't really help you to make good color judgment. It's great if we can start montaging things on top of it, but not great if you wanna start drawing. So my tip for you is this. What you wanna do is go for round about 50% gray. Okay, so if you're using the color picker like so, it doesn't really matter too much where the hue is, but you want a saturation down at zero and the brightness around about 50% . Okay, and then just hold down the Alt or Option key and hit backspace to fill that out. And now when you start to draw, so I'm just gonna tap D to set my foreground color like so. When you start to draw, it's a different experience. You can actually work dark to light with this as well. So I'm just making random shapes here. This isn't mean to be a particular drawing, but if I drop the opacity down as well, so I can sort of add some shading in there, and I'm gonna swap out to white. You can see how you can fetch out highlights. So you can sort of plan your illumination map doing that. That's a tip for you as well, work on gray if you're able to do that. It makes things much, much better. Okay, so, let's close that out. Okay, we don't need to say that, we'll go back to our cat. So we'll turn the other eye back on for the minute, or to give him a little nose. I'm just gonna do that, and then what we're gonna do is just move back into there. So, getting like a Bilbo nose like this one here. And if I bring the opacity back up, like that, there we go. Bilbo. We'll come on and pick a color, give it some shape. You see, so this is catman, right Jim? That's right, Tony. Catman. Catman. Hey Tony, quick question. As you're building this out, I'm noticing that you are on a single, you're working on a single layer at the bottom, correct? I am at the moment, yeah, because this is the background. This is the background, and then you'll build up from this. That was a question from the internet. Yeah, no, that's fine. So what I'm doing at the moment is just working on the face background. Now it's a little bit confusing, because I've got the other features here still turned on. So if I turn those off just for a moment, okay, and come down to the mouth and turn that off. This is the thing I'm working at the moment. So what this does, this becomes the frame for all of the features on here. So everything sits within this. And this is worth the time and investing in that to make sure that that's just right. So you kind of get that background and then you work on everything else independently. Beautiful, beautiful. Thank you, Tony. I don't think it's quite beautiful, Jim. It's on its way. It's getting there. It's on its way. So, there are some other things in here as well, but we're gonna talk about those in just a moment. More importantly, I'm gonna save that file. So I'm just updating that. Remember the file was generated for me by Character Animator and launched in Photoshop straight away. So now if we go back to character animator, you'll see it's preparing blank face Photoshop just there. I've got that left eye still off. I'm just gonna pop back. I can turn that on in another space here, which you know I'm gonna turn that. Hit right eye rather. I'm gonna turn that one on, save that, go back. It will update. Jim, have you ever had a piece of work going on, and it's all wigged-out and it suddenly disappeared. All the time, Tony. Are you one of those people that has to frequently do Command + S or Control + S just to keep updating. That's right. In Character Animator you don't have to do that. Character Animator does it automatically. In fact, Character Animator, what I'm gonna do is just try and save this file. What you're gonna be watching out for is a blue bar across the bottom in this region here. This is the timeline. This is where all the time action takes place. If I do Save, saving is automatic. See the changes in the History panel. So you can see everything I've done here being written to the History panel like so. I'll try and save again. It's automatic, changes in the History panel. So it reminds me twice. I'll save again, it does that. So three times, then it says, "Seriously, you never need to save." I'll try and save again. Isn't it nice not to save? And I'll save again. Save if you want, but it won't do anything. Think of all the time you're saving not saving. Tony, quick question on that. So it's saving that history which is really cool, very similar to Photoshop, and saves it all the time, and you can go backwards in time if you need do. If you close the document, do you lose that history? Well, you can see here if I just wind this right way back, okay, that's actually the start of this particular document. So there was a puppet in here called Wizard, and all those things. No, it just sits there, saved with the document. Wow, so you can even close the document and then come back and go backwards in time. Yep. That's huge. Great, thank you. Let's just go across to a different project for a moment. It's okay, we get it. Well, I'm gonna do it. I'll prove it. I've got to prove it. So I'll go do the wendigo. Actually, no, that did... It does when it comes out. I thought but it didn't, but okay. Let's just go back to that one. There you go, it's all there. Thank you. Right, so let's just arm the camera, and there we go. On the microphone, do do do do. Now, the mouth is turned off. I could turn that on in here, but you can see catman lives like so, and all we've done is just edit a simple file. Let me just come back and turn the mouth on. Yeah, so there we go, and save that. That's the only thing you need to do save in Photoshop so it knows what to do here. I don't know what voice... What voice does the cat... Howard cat has a real voice. Well, yeah, hi. How're you doing? So good. So good to be drawn, finally. You see, really easy. So, very, very accessible.

Class Description

Think that creating and animating your own Illustrator and Photoshop characters is beyond your reach? Think again. In Fundamentals of Adobe® Character Animator CC® Instructor Tony Harmer takes you through the basic process of creating, rigging and animating a puppet in Adobe Character Animator, to produce a performance character animation. You'll learn how to build your puppet, use layers to make animation easier, add advanced movements and then record your first episode of the new character as it comes to life before your very eyes.

You’ll Learn:

  • The Structure and Components of a Character
  • Understanding Scenes
  • Recording and Live Streaming Concepts

Don’t worry about your drawing ability or knowing where to start. With Fundamentals of Adobe Character Animator CC Tony will take you through all the steps you’ll need to create and animate amazing characters! 


SOFTWARE USED:

Adobe Character Animator CC 2018 

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