Handles, Behaviors, Draggables & Sticks


Fundamentals of Adobe® Character Animator CC®


Lesson Info

Handles, Behaviors, Draggables & Sticks

What we're gonna look at specifically, okay, are the arms so I'm gonna come over here to the puppet layers on the left hand side. And I'm gonna hit the right arm there, okay. And it shows me this line showing me where the origin of this, of course it's linked to the body there. I might have made this slightly high but I'm gonna leave it where it is and then more importantly this node that's connected to the arm. Now can you see that as I move that can you see how things highlight as I go? So if I move across this, this is highlighting and it allows me to connect it to other parts. So I'm gonna bring that up to about there, okay. So just imagine your shoulder. Imagine you're a 2D paper person just for a minute and you're going to make yourself go all movie-movie so you're gonna need some sort of anchor point there to do that. So you're placing that anchor point, right, the pivot point for those things by doing that, okay. So that's established where that is. Now we've got other controls...

, yeah go on. Quick question, alright? Yeah go, go. One of our students was asking, so is that a handle. Is this how to add a handle? This is a handle, yeah, so the handles are formed at seven different parts. There are draggable handles and there are different connecting handles but this is a form of handle, yeah. You're showing us how to add a handle. Absolutely, yeah, yeah definitely yeah. Yup, thank you, sorry if I didn't make that desperately clear, sorry. Okay, so there's that. Down at the bottom here we've got some other controls, okay. So we've got controls here for handles and sticks and pins and draggers and so on, okay. So handles allow us to control certain elements and this one such thing. Some of them have them automatically put in by the program but if you need to add something like this manually because your character might have slightly different biology, imaginary biology. To this one you can get in and add handles on your own. So if you need handles to control things then you go for the handle tool here and you can come up and you can add certain handles like so. And then map them to different things. So can you see here that what I did was I pulled in the handle on this point here and I clicked hit and a specified that this is the right elbow, okay. And this is used by the behavior walk. So it's not gonna have any effect here at the moment but when you're walking you tend to have that thing going on with your arms, just to add that believability and it's a stabilization thing of course potentially as well I guess but you can do that and that's added by that particular behavior. If you don't want it to be the right elbow then you can just turn that off like so and if you don't want a handle, all you need to do is click on it and hit delete and the handle goes away. So another kind of handle is a draggable handle and that's one that comes along and changes the dragging position, which we'll get to that in just a moment. Now something else you might want to do in a puppet like this, okay, is to add a behavior. And behaviors can be added to different elements like handles and so on, okay. So you can identify different elements and down at the bottom of the controls on the right hand side, okay, you can see behaviors down there and click plus to add behaviors. Okay, and let's have a look at what those behaviors are. So you can see here that you can do all of these different things. So breathe for example, on the chest there with the rising and falling you might want to add a breathe behavior there and a few other things as well. So you can override and create some of these fantastic things which are way outside of what we're doing today at this particular level with physics and so on, absolutely crazy, crazy things that you can do with those. So when I used the switch out in Gold Beard's puppet between the whisk and the hook, it was actually a behavior that was doing that, changing that behavior. And also the whir in between was another behavior. So let's just examine that before we come back to the draggables because they're kind of connected and we can look at Gold Beard and that sort. So I'm gonna swap back out to that project as I mentioned earlier, right, remember that one of the great things about this, right, is that you don't actually have to save. Now I've got a few scenes in here that I don't need so I'm just gonna highlight the Wendigo scene and delete that. I'm gonna highlight the two Chloe scenes there, whoops-a-daisy. I've selected those so I'm just gonna highlight those, delete those and highlight the blank face scene from here. And then let's get rid of a few of these puppets as well. Get rid of Wendigo, and I'll get rid of the Chloe there and the other Chloe there and the blank face there. There you go, it makes it a bit easier to see what we've got. Just to remind you, whir whir whir and that whir whir whir and that, okay. So this is the behavior. Let's have a look at this in the rig space. Okay, so if I swap out to that you can see all of the Photoshop layers just there, okay. All stacked on top of each other. So you're seeing all of the layers all of the time. In the layers on the left hand side, okay here, right. I've got some of those behaviors. If I twirl open the left arm, let me just twirl close the head here, that's the more complex part. And you can see there's the whisk layer, okay. And here's the whirl and the two whirls underneath it and those are the ones that have got a particular behavior. If I go to whirl, right, this icon here, so there's three columns to the right, this icon here indicates the behavior is applied. Right and you can do lots and lots of different things with behaviors and multiple behaviors and so on. But if i come down to here I've got this behavior and it cycles layers. Well I think it's time to bring in another scene for our behaviors here, right, to this particular project. So what I'm gonna do is import a scene so you can actually see how we cycle layers. So I'm gonna use file import, okay, and I'm just gonna go back to my scene panel here and I've got pirate island PSD like so, okay. And you see it's actually a puppet in there as well. So I can bring that puppet in if I go to the record workspace to start off with. Okay and I'm gonna bring pirate island in and drop that there above the green screen. Okay, and just make that much, much smaller cause it's way, way big. There we go, so here's pirate island. Arr I be stranded on this island. And I'm gonna get Gold Beard and as I did before I'm just gonna change his exposition here. Okay I'm just gonna drag that right the way over. So you can see his little rowing boat behind with his little pirate flag. And we're gonna examine that puppet. So let's go into that because this is a puppet itself and it's a scene but it's actually a puppet. It's got layers and I can treat it just like a puppet. So if I double tap on pirate island here. Okay on the left hand side it takes me into the rigging work space. And what you can see here is in reality I've got this background that's just fine. If I turn the background on and off, you can see there it is and then I've got a little group of layers of this flag and if I turn some of those off, okay, these were put together in illustrator and what I did was I added warps to them to create five different shapes and then brought them into Photoshop. So you can see between those two their waving and then there's a slightly more extreme wave. After that I need to turn the ones off underneath. Okay, and then another wave above that. So I've got these gently waving things. So here's how we add that behavior. I'm gonna target the flag group so that's the parent folder in Photoshop. Right but the parent here also in Character Animator. I'm gonna come down to the bottom to the behaviors. I'm gonna click the plus and I'm going to choose cycle layers so it will move through those layers one after the other successively, okay, to actually present them to you in rapid succession. Okay so that behavior there okay. Now if I model that behavior what I'm going to do is I'm gonna say start immediately so this is something that I could add a trigger to okay. Which we can look at in just a moment. Okay but I'm gonna say this one starts immediately. I want this to go on in behind. Move through the layer order top to bottom. I'm then gonna enable the check underneath that to say forward and backwards. So go forward and reverse and also cycle continuously. So I can get it to play just one time but here I want it to go backwards and forwards. So down the stack, up the stack. Changing the visibility of those layers, okay. And then you've got this advance every option just between those two things there. And at the moment it's set to advance every one frames. Let's go back out into the record workspace just for a minute okay. So there's, it's quite windy where he is at the moment, to say the very least there. And that isn't a terribly convincing animation. I'm just gonna take his Y value down here a little bit as well so he's down there. Right, it's juttering and probably from your point of view given that you're streaming this or watching a recording of it, it's probably even worse. It probably looks really, really juttery. That motion is too fast. I'm gonna go back to the rig workspace, okay. I'm still focused on the flag. I don't have to go and reselect it. It knows where I'm working. I'm gonna change this value. Now I've clicked on there so I can actually enter a numeric value. I know one is too fast so I'm gonna type four and hit return, okay, to apply that value. I could also scrub across that as well. There are scrubby sliders here so if you mouse down and move left and right you'll change those values. Let's go back to the record work space. So that's a bit smoother. Much nicer I think. Maybe just a shade jerky there because it does look like the bottom of the flag is climbing up and down a bit. What we're trying to present the illusion of is that is moving backwards and forwards towards you in the wind. Think about how a flag moves, it's not a two dimensional movement. It's moving backwards and forwards to you and that's changing your sense of the geometry of the thing. So I'm going to go back to rig and I think, let's try that much, much further on. I think, well I say much, much further on. I'm gonna double it, basically. I'm gonna go to eight here like so and quite often I tend to do extremes. I go from one end which is too fast to the other end which is way too slow and then move incrementally until I get, it feels just right. Now i think that's much more convincing. I'm not so disturbed by the, let me turn the camera off 'cause Gold Beard's wandering around with me. You can see that the flag there now. I think that's much better, yeah. So I reckon eight is probably about, it may be that after watching it for a little while I think that it actually needs a little bit changing beyond that, okay, but I think that's just fine. So there we are, we've got his flag going just there. So let's go back to our other project here. So really nice that I don't have to save and go back to that. And I'm just gonna go into this one. Here where we're working on Jeff. And we're gonna go into the rigging space so just double tap on Jeff in the properties panel here. And what we're gonna look at really is an extension of what behaviors do and we're gonna go back also to handles momentarily and draggables. Cause draggables are the really exciting things here okay. So I'm going to click on add draggables, okay. And notice that I've got a parent group targeted in the layers, okay, on the left hand side. You can see that's highlighted. Okay even if you're watching on a small device, right, and you're looking through you can see that something there is yellow, hopefully anyway. I'm gonna click here on the wrist here. draggable and so now it's identified itself as being a draggable, okay. And I'm going to switch into the record workspace here. Okay and what should happen is I can drag this arm around. Woo, there you go, hey everybody how you doing? You see if I go like that you can see that there's some distortion going on. Just I'm perhaps asking it to do a bit much just there. But I can fix that and we will do in just a moment. First of all I'm gonna tap on the left arm, okay. And I'm going to add another draggable just there. Okay, I'm also gonna change it's origin. I'm gonna take the origin up to the same place, okay, as the chest. Now if I found at any point I needed to fix that origin by the way, you can always go back to where we were in handle space. Just make sure you select the body group the origin will reveal itself. Little selection tool just down at the bottom here and you can just move the origin upwards, okay, to change that. But that is fine where it is at the moment, I think. If I go to record so now I've got hand. I can move this side, hey how you doing? You know, basketball hand. Notice they're sticking where they are when I stop. Now it might be that while I'm actually doing a performance for this or recording something that, what I'd rather it did, okay, was to come back to an actual position like where it's rest position, if you will, from there. By the way if you're working on a multi-touch device and you're doing this, you can actually animate both things at the same time which is crazy. I've done some live events before where I've been hidden away and the audience had just seen the puppet and I'm operating the thing both on a multi-touch device, it's fantastic. Really good, so let me go back to the rig here. Okay we'll, what we'll do is we'll just change some things about it's properties. Let's have a look at what we've got here with the left arm and it's come down and we can see various different things about all of our different tags there, like so. Okay, lots of little bits in there. Okay, and also things if we target the actual draggable as well we can see things around that too. Okay so what I'm going to do here is add a couple of sticks, okay, which will change the warping. If we go back to record and we'll fix the other bits momentarily. In fact if I go to my dragger option here out in the scene, let's just change that now before I forget because I don't wanna lead you off down one place. So I'm just gonna say to return to rest there and also take .5 of second to do that. Okay then we'll add the sticks. So just get that to return to the rest so now if I change the up like so you can see it drops down there and it takes that amount of time. If I do this one it doesn't do that. Oh actually I've gotten both sets, so there you go. Both draggers are on there, there we go. So there it returns down to the rest position. Let's fix that warping then with the sticks. So that's what we're going to do now. And down here next to the handle tool you've got this stick tool and what you wanna do is add some rigidity in here so you basically draw. I've added a draggable by mistake which I can delete. If I go for the stick, there we are. And you basically draw a stick like that. So imagine that's the wrist, so I'm gonna go towards the, where I'd imagine the elbow is gonna be for that stick there. And then I'm gonna draw another stick here up towards the shoulder. Okay and that just means it's gonna restrict the warping in those two regions. I'll do the same over on the right arm. Okay so I'm gonna draw a stick round about there. And a stick, I've done that one very, very long. Matter of fact I added another one in there by mistake. Easy to do as a highlight and just delete if you've done any of those things and you're not entirely satisfied with them. So just bring that up like so and bring that up like so. There we go, that's about right for that. Let's have a look at how that changes that behavior. So we'll get that to build in the scene there. Okay, so once that's done, okay, we can now animate the puppet a bit more and look at that. How much better that is now that's modified. It actually look like it's bending a bit at that particular joint. So now I can really wave. Hey everybody, hello, I've now got joints. I feel so much better. I can lift things like my coffee cup. Super, I don't know why my voice is so high. But anyway you can do all of that stuff and it makes it super simple to do. And you can see we just added just a couple of things in there to change that. Okay, so that's how we can add sticks. They restrict that motion. You can add sticks in other places where you've got draggables to change them out. So that's really simple to do.

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!