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Workspace overview

New Starter mode is now available! 

Character Animator 22.5 (released June 2022) introduces Starter mode to get you started animating now without any prior experience. Update now to the latest version to try this out.

Learn how to navigate and use the Adobe Character Animator workspaces.

Character Animator provides a dynamic user interface with different task-oriented workspaces. The workspaces are designed to support the following major workflows:

Home screen

Get started with Character Animator with tools such as template puppets, and tutorials.


Add, Edit, and modify your puppet.


Record, playback, and tweak the performance of your puppet.


Stream the performance of your puppet live .

Each workspace displays a limited set of panels used for completing related workflows. The limited number of panels enhances navigation across the workspace and saves time.

Select a workspace

The workspace bar along the top of the application provides you links to the workspaces. Choose a workspace according to the task you require to perform.

Workspace bar
Workspace bar

The Rig, Record, and Stream workspaces are always available and in a specific order.

  • You can reset or save layout changes, or create a new or delete an existing custom workspace, via the commands in the Window > Workspaces submenu. 
  • Click the Share icon to show commands for exporting or sharing your project’s content (scenes, puppets, etc.).

Home screen

Home screen

The Home screen appears when you launch the application. The workspace includes resources such as an interactive getting started video tutorial, helpful resources on web , and template puppets. You can use the resources to learn Character Animator or start experimenting with animating the template puppets.

You can create and open an existing project from the Home screen. 

Keyboard shortcut to access the workspace is Shift+Alt +1 (Win) or Shift+Option+1 (Mac).

Rig workspace

Rig workspace

Rig workspace allows you to edit the puppet structure. You can add or modify behaviors, rearrange puppet layers, add handles to  puppet , and modify keyboard triggers. To access the workspace, do any of the following:

  • Select the Rig workspace in the workspace bar.
  • Press Shift+Alt+2 (Win) or Option+2 (Mac).

After you rig the puppet, you can create a performance to record. To create a performance, do any of the following:

  • Select Scene > Add to New Scene 
  • Click Add to New Scene in the Project panel.
  • Press Shift+Alt+2 (Win) or Option+2 (Mac).

Record workspace

Record workspace

Record, playback, and fine-tune the performance of your puppet in the workspace. You can adjust the timings of the recorded takes, and modify the behavior properties. You can add multiple puppets to the timeline from the Projects panel.

To access the workspace, do any of the following:

  • Select Record workspace in the workspace bar.
  • Press Shift+Alt+1 (Win) or Option+Alt+3 (Mac).

Stream workspace

Stream workspace

Stream workspace is used to stream a scene live to an external device or application.

To access the workspace, do any of the following:

  • Select Stream workspace in the workspace bar.
  • Press Shift+Alt+4 (Win) or Shift+Option+4 (Mac).

In the Stream workspace, the scene panel's bottom displays a limited set of controls for focused live streaming.

Customize a workspace

You can customize the layout of a workspace in three ways:


Place a panel next to an existing panel.


Stack a panel with other panels.


Undock a panel to open it as a separate window.

For more information on how to customize workspaces, see Dock, group, or float panels.

To save a custom layout, select Window > Workspace > Save Changes to this Workspace.


To restore default layout, delete preferences. You can reset to the last manually saved layout. Only saved layouts can be restored.

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