Class Introduction


Fundamentals of Adobe® Character Animator CC®


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I am indeed an illustrator. I've been working in the business a very, very long time indeed. I've worked with Adobe as a contractor and as a member of staff for round about 15 years. Four on staff and the rest as a contractor. I still draw every day and I still work with all of this stuff so I've got plenty of skills to share with you. So this is what we're going to be looking at, we're going to be looking at Adobe Character Animator which allows you to bring your Photoshop and Illustrator artwork to life. We're gonna cover the fundamentals here in this course. And just to give you a taste of what this can do with a simple Photoshop file, which I'll actually just show you first, just before I launch it. Here is a Photoshop file. You can see all of the different layers and I'll be talking around that as we go. But there it is, and if I come across to Character Animator, what I'm going to do is I'm just going to arm my camera, okay, here. So I've got this small webcam on top of this fabu...

lous big Wacom Cintiq here. So I turn that on. You can see me in the camera, here, and I'm just gonna look straight at the camera and then tap Set Rest Pose so now the camera is tracking my face. It knows where my pupils are, it knows where my face is, where my mouth is rather. It knows where my face is entirely, of course. And now if I start to move this across and just arm Gold Beard here. Gold Beard is moving along with me. If I blink, Gold Beard blinks. If I do a scrunchy face, Gold Beard does exactly the same thing. And Gold Beard of course is talking to you in his native language. Gold Beard can wave and do other things so you'll find out how to do that and manipulate a character in Character Animator. So, I'll turn those two things off, okay. Pardon me for my pirate. There you go. And what we'll look at is really how easy this is for designers. I mean animators the world over are picking up Character Animator because it removes so much time from their workflow. But my interest in showing you this is I want people who think that animation might be out of their reach, to actually reappraise their ideas on that and to take their skills in Photoshop or Illustrator, and then bring them in and bring them to life in this application. You can code in this, but there's no coding necessary for you to be able to work with it. So the choice is really, at the very outset, how do you want to make your characters? Do you want to make them in Photoshop or do you want to make them in Illustrator? And really, that comes down to whatever your comfortable in. They both have slightly different appearances, of course. Illustrator, you'll get crisp, clean vectors from that. Everything gets restorized inside of Character Animator while you're working with it, but you get crisp, clean shapes and it might be your preferred way to work. And for some of the characters that I produce, that is the way I prefer to work. Other things, such as this pirate here, for example, I wanted to add a bit more texture to this. And while I could have done that in Illustrator, it was actually faster for me to generate this in Photoshop. And so, really, that is the determiner. And you can use both. You'll see in here there's vector shapes inside of this one as well which we'll see, as well as the restore information. What I'm going to do is just take you out to the start workspace in Character Animator for a moment because we'll start using one of these very, very shortly. Okay? But here, you've got a range of different characters that you can use to get started. Now, some of these get slightly more involved as you progress onwards, such as this is a very new thing, this chicken blaster, where you've got physics involved in it, okay. But, you've got different things here that you can use. So if I go back to the default puppets here, blank face which we'll be using after we talk about sketching momentarily, and then Chloe here. And you can see you've got a choice here for Photoshop and Illustrator. So what I'm going to do is just open up Chloe in Photoshop, and this is what you get. You get this nicely structured file, and we'll talk about the structure of the file because that bit actually is important as we go on. So you can start working with that. That's how it looks in there. If I switch back to Character Animator, and I'll go back to the start workspace here, and open that up in Illustrator, okay, which of course I just had to restart so Illustrator might just take a moment here to launch. But you'll see it looks very, very similar. The difference is is the layer structure that you have inside of Illustrator. It's not exactly the same as that in Photoshop. I'm just gonna swap back to Animator for a moment and just reopen that. It didn't quite launch. It got interrupted just there. So let me just get that puppet open and open that up for you. So that should open now. There we go. And I'll just expand Illustrator and move this across. So if we have a look a the Layers panel, of course Illustrator uses layers and sub-layers. And every discrete piece of content inside of an Illustrator file gets it's own little sub-layer in there. So it's very, very similar, and the naming structure which we'll talk about as well, that's also very, very similar, okay, or in fact identical. But, really it's up to you which way you work with those two things. You'll get slightly different work with the way that it manipulates. Vectors manipulate somewhat slightly easier I think in my opinion in there. If I can just go to one other place here too also. I'll go to See More, it will actually open up a browser, and then you'll get a place where you can access loads more puppets. And in here a good puppets to get started with is Red Monster which is the first puppet. And you'll find those resources just down at the bottom here. Okay, so, let's go back to Character Animator, and show you those two things in the scene. So, at the moment they've got their own scene. And this rigs automatically. So if I start moving, Chloe starts moving as well. And if I start talking, Chloe starts talking as well. It really is that, that simple. So, nice and easy to work with. If I swap to the Photoshop version, Now at the moment of course you're not gonna see any difference on screen because they're the same puppet, okay, but this is the Photoshop version on the camera. Same movements. Some other properties here. So Chloe's hair has a dangle property, something that you can change or react in different ways to the movement of the puppet. If I move quite quickly, you can see that that moves along with me. And that's all calculated by Character Animator. It really is an awesome, awesome product.

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!