Here are a few tips, tricks, and workarounds to help you while streaming using Adobe Character Animator.
The following are some issues you might face with live animation and some possible solutions and workarounds. For information on basics for streaming scenes with Character Animator, see Stream a scene live.
A high-quality microphone with background noise rejection makes a big difference, as does a noise‐free audio environment. If the voice talent needs to monitor audio from elsewhere, the best is for them to wear headphones to avoid any other sounds being heard. Headphones can also be an effective way to shield the performer from hearing their delayed voice.
Note: While USB is convenient, it makes mixing and managing the audio more complicated than classic wired equipment.
Before your live performance, be sure to test everything end‐to‐end with the actual voice talent. Once you have tuned everything to look great, don’t change anything. Test it on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, etc.
In most cases, you might want to set the scene frame rate to 24 fps (this is the most common cartoon frame rate).
Connect a Gigabit (Cat 5e or Cat 6) Ethernet cable from each machine to the switch.
If you want each person or character to be able to see themselves with the combined characters, provide a monitor feed from the compositing machine to the performer’s location.
During the live performance, if you are using face tracking and need to sneeze, take a drink of water, or look away for any reason, hold down the semicolon ( ; ) key to freeze the face and eye tracking to avoid having your character follow your movement. The Smoothing setting for the Face behavior governs how fast it jumps back to follow your current pose when you release the semicolon key.
The most common problems with lip sync in live scenarios are the lips moving when they should be still, the lips staying still when they should be moving, and poor synchronization between the audio and the mouth moving.
Lips moving when they should be still
This problem usually happens in a noisy environment, such as on any stage. It is less common in streaming scenarios, but can happen if unwanted audio enters the microphone.
Lips not moving when they should be, or showing the incorrect viseme
This problem is less noticeable/distracting, but still worth considering. The lip sync algorithm works best when it has healthy signal without unwanted audio to analyze. If the signal is too low, the mouth will not change much and will show mostly consonants. If it’s too high, it will also not change much, but will show mostly vowels.
Poor synchronization between audio and mouth moving
The character’s lips should be synchronized with the character’s voice. Ideally, the audience doesn’t even notice the lip sync; bad time synchronization is very easy to notice. The viseme calculation adds a small delay to the video output, but Mercury Transmit, NDI, and professional video gear will also add a delay. This means you need to delay the audio to the audience by the same amount of the video pipeline.
Using NDI to send your character to another applications
When using NDI to send your character to another application, you will need to somehow get audio to that application as well:
App Nap is an energy‐saving feature of macOS that causes inactive applications to go into a paused state, helping to reduce power usage. The feature can help to prolong battery life for Mac laptops, and it can also make an impact on overall energy usage from the computer.
To turn off App Nap for all apps on the system, paste this command into Terminal and press Enter:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES
A good puppeteer can bring a character to life, but first, they need a good puppet and a way to interact with it.