Fundamentals of Adobe® Character Animator CC®


Fundamentals of Adobe® Character Animator CC®


Lesson Info

Scenes and Recordings

Okay, so. Once you've built all of these, you've got all of your triggers in, okay, and all of those things, what you're going to need to do is to add the different scenes that you need things in. And you've seen already me add in that particular puppet, okay? You can create a scene, new scene for new things, and that basically is like a camera switch. It's as if, just imagine for a film, and this is another thing you kind of need to do when you're actually working with these in earnest. Building the puppet is one fraction of the work you've got to do. Once you start thinking about the performance, storyboarding is a good idea, or even if they're rudimentary, get an idea of the action. So, for example, you might have some dialogue between two characters, and you might say, initially you're looking at each other, or the characters are looking at each other, and they're talking to one another. They're going, yeah, do you know what are you doing tomorrow? I'm not doing anything much. Oh, ...

me neither, let's watch something on the TV. Okay, whatever. (laughs) Do something like that. And then in the next scene, let's go at the store or something, right, and then the next scene, they're walking down there. So you have to plan these things out, right. This is like building a house. It doesn't work very well if you don't actually establish a firm plan in the first place. So you can build out all of those different scenes. So. If I come back out to my record workspace, in fact I'm there already, okay, in this particular scene, I've actually got some things as puppets here, with Goldbeard straight on, okay, and I've got the green screen behind it, and I'm just gonna turn that off. So I'm gonna go back to the viseme class that we had earlier on, okay? And I'm gonna pull the x position of that across so that Goldbeard is fully in teaching mode. Actually, let's just have a play for a minute. Let's just get Goldbeard to point up at the visemes, right, and then enable the word and saying, arr, be looking at the W-Oo, like that, W-Oo, yeah, that's the one. All right? (laughs) Anyway. (laughs) So that might be my first scene. I can add a new scene, okay? And give that a name. So let's call that island, just there. Now, I've only got the Goldbeard puppet straight on, right. So this isn't gonna be one where he's walking to a different place, but I can then go to that particular scene, and then populate that with the puppets that I want. So I want the pirate island in there, so I'll drag that in. That's gonna be there in the background, and I'm just gonna change the scale of that, like so. So we've got that filling up the shot there, like so, and maybe just modify the position of that slightly. I'm just gonna move that up a little bit if I can. There we go, like so. Okay or down, whichever. Actually, down might work better from the perspective we're gonna get. Then I'll drag Goldbeard into there, as well. So let's bring Goldbeard in, and let's change Goldbeard's scale just there. Or maybe Goldbeard's closer. Let's have him closer. So we'll bring him in there. We're gonna change his y position, greater values move him down. That's because the geometry for screens starts in the top left corner, so the bigger the y number, then the further down the screen it goes, okay. Axis is what x is, across, okay, like so. So maybe Goldbeard's just there talking to us. It's never very interesting to have characters directly in the center of the screen, unless you're in extreme closeup, and you really want to drive a particular thing home. Big shots on the eyes, that's pretty good. These days, crops more off to the side are much more interesting. So now I've got a scene that I can switch between, yeah. And I can build all of those out for the different performances I need, and then just switch between them, okay? By just double-tapping on the scene there, and it builds the scene. So this is the Goldbeard scene, so I might actually execute a performance for that, okay? And then swap over to the island scene, okay. And it builds that. And then I'll record from there. So when you are thinking about recording, once you've got to that stage, you've got all of the necessary scenes in here, your puppet's rigged to the way you want it to be rigged, and everything works, you've tested everything out, and you're ready to actually do the performance, or somebody else is giving you performance material there, then you need to think about recording. Okay, so, here's how this works. Okay, when you're doing a straightforward recording, you'll notice, on the right hand side of the screen, that there are a series of red dots. And that arms things for recording. It makes them ready to record. Now some of those, okay, you can see inside of here, have separate things in there, separate bits of physics that you can use. They're outside of the control here. So one of the things I could've done, by the way, is added some wind strength to other objects to bend them around in the actual file. But there are lots of different things here that you can arm, okay, like so. So gravity strength, I could change that for a recording. So I could modify the gravity strength. Let's just say (chuckles) Redbeard was going into space. And he's in a space capsule, and as he starts to leave the atmosphere, he starts to sort of float upwards like so. And that's something you could change by modifying the gravity parameter, perhaps. You know, his relationship to the plane he's on, along with the x and y values as well, and change all of that behavior. Many, many things like that, okay? But you need to understand that these are the things that control what is going to be recorded. Now, you do that, you get all of your material ready, you make sure that your camera is good and set-up, control your environment, okay. It's not a good idea to try and record for a performance in your school or work canteen, yeah, while people are wandering around in the background. Or people are gonna wander in, look over your shoulder, and go, what're you doing? Just control your environment. Get yourself in a nice, ideally a small room, especially if you're gonna record sound and with lots of soft furnishings in, if you're gonna record sound, as well. Those are good tips to have, right? Because you really do need all of your ducks in a row when you're gonna do this kind of thing, okay? So you'll get all of those things controlled, then you determine how you're going progress for the recording, because it's really unwise to try and do all of the things at the same time. In a moment, we're going to look at how we can arm and disarm different things to change over. But right now, just looking at the thing overall, those are the things you need to do. So everything needs to be working, yeah. You don't wanna be halfway through a performance to discover that a draggable isn't behaving properly, okay? Everything needs to look good, and the scenes need to be, even if they're not in order in the panel, which is not really necessary as long as you know the order in which you're firing them. So you're gonna bring those things across and do them, and how you're gonna go about recording, those are the things you need written down. You need some sort of production schedule, which is exactly the way that works in here, exactly the way it works in any sort of recording thing. People agree on the order in which things need to be done, and so on. In fact, to help me I even have that (laughs) in various different places, just to remind me which path to go on. I'm just too excited to be talking to you. Right, so, once you've got all of those things ready, your environment is controlled, you know what you're doing, then it's time to start looking at which bits you're gonna do first, okay? So when I'm doing a voice performance, I'm going to want the camera on, okay? Because I might wanna move my head around at the same time, yeah, and I want the microphone on, okay, so that it can analyze my voice in real time, and you can see I'm getting a good idea of where the peak flow is for my voice there. That's not bad actually. The microphone is just over to my left here, okay. Now, this environment is not too bad actually. The sound's doing pretty good in here. In my own studio at home, I have baffles up. So they're basically boards that I can move in and out, and they have coned foam on top to absorb any additional sound to make the sound richer, less echoing and tinny, okay. It may be that I only do the voice performance. It may be that I turn the camera off and just have the lip sync, yeah. So, it's up to you if you do that. If you are the performer, and you're gonna do this, if you think the way that you're going to bring this character to life is really to move your head at the same time as you're talking, okay, then do that, but in the main, you'll quite likely to be reading from a script, yeah? And so you're gonna be in the way of the camera anyway. So my advice to you is get it all lined up at first so you know everything's in the right place, okay. Then disarm the camera, disarm any dragger. So just tap on those to turn those off, disarm the eye gaze, right, disarm the face, leave the lip sync on. You don't need any of the other things really there, and you can turn the triggers off unless they're essential. But this is just a voice performance we're gonna record. Okay, so, I'm going to record one right now. Okay, I'm going to set this and record a voice performance. So, at the bottom underneath the scene, just above the timeline, you can see a red dot, just there. Once I click the red dot, I'll be getting ready to record the performance, and then I'll do that. So I'm just gonna say something in Goldbeard's voice like so. Okay, and then record that. So watch what happens here. I'm gonna click the red dot in three, two. Arr, I be Goldbeard, I be stuck here on this island. I used to teach all about visemes and phonemes. But now I'm just here searching for crabs and fish and stones and seagulls and other things like that. Arr, well. Okay and once I'm done I just click stop in the timeline there. Actually, that's my bad on there. I should have done that in the other order because one of the most important things before you embark in any sort of motion is to learn how to stop it. When somebody teaches you to drive a car, the first thing you should know how to operate, should be the brake. (laughs) So you stop and in fact if you're coding things, that's what you generally need to do, how to return methods that go. But I clicked on the stop button just there. So, look at what's happened in the timeline, okay. You can now see a waveform for that voice performance there like so, okay. So that's all recorded. I can wind that back. I've got some what I call transport controls in that same region as well. So, that will take me backwards and forwards in there. But you can also drag this playhead, in technical terms it's called the CTI, the current time indicator there, and I could play that forward by hitting the play button. Okay, you might not be getting that audio, right, but trust me, it is actually going through there, and you can see that as I drag that, the mouth is moving at the same time. Now, slightly outside of the scope of what we're doing today, with this being fundamentals, right, you can actually zoom in on this on the right hand side at the bottom in the timeline panel, can you see how you can zoom in? Just there, and you can actually see the mapping for the visemes. So if something's working too quickly or a particular shape is held too long, you can actually tap on these, and you can actually change their duration, right, and their relationship to one another. So you can do that, and it stops the hyper-mouth effects you might get in some plane. Now I'm not worried about the audio here, but just watch the mouth. Not bad, pretty good movements really. That's pretty good.

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!