Feature summary | Adobe Character Animator | 2018 releases

Learn what's new in the 2018 releases of Adobe Character Animator CC.

Adobe Character Animator CC is a character animation application that allows you to bring expressive characters to life using your own artwork. It is a unique and powerful application for intuitive 2D character animation. You can create characters in Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, and bring characters to life. You can act out your movements using your webcam and record your voice using a microphone. Character Animator tracks your facial expressions and motions in real time.

The latest update to Character Animator further simplifies the animation process while giving artists the flexibility to deliver expressive, high-quality animations.

For a summary of features introduced in earlier releases of Adobe Character Animator CC, see Feature summary | earlier releases.

April 2018 release of Character Animator CC (version 1.5)

Improved Trigger workflows

Enhanced in the April 2018 release

Trigger panel improvements allow you to create and edit trigger behaviors faster with an easier organization and layer management. You can also cut, copy, and paste the names of triggers and swap sets in the Triggers panel. You can share copied trigger takes between puppets.

For more information, see Triggers behavior and trigger panel.

Improved triggers panel
Improved triggers panel

Physics and Particles improvements 

Enhanced in the April 2018 release

The Particles behavior can now emit particles that can collide. You can now build elements on top of each other to make particles react to the environment. Collidable particles can be best used to build snowflakes that accumulate or bricks that collapse in a pile.

Collidable particles
Collidable particles

For more information, see Particles: Control objects using physics.

Countdown to record

New in the April 2018 release

Use the 3-second countdown to capture a specific pose for your puppet at the start of a recording. Use the countdown time to prepare the puppet before recording starts.

Countdown to record
Countdown to record

For more information, see Record takes.

Controls Panel improvements

Enhanced in the April 2018 release

Pose and animate characters faster than ever with the following improvements to the Controls panel:

  • You can now use custom artwork for button controls.
  • Slider and knob controls for behavior parameters now include Arm for Record buttons.
  • You can switch from Layout to Perform mode by double-clicking away from any control.

For more information, see Controls panel: custom layout for puppet triggers and behavior parameters.

Scene Snapshot

New in the April 2018 release

A Scene Snapshot, similar to an onion-skin display, compares, and aligns shots of a character to give you a frame-by-frame reference. For example, you can compare or align the positions of a hand between shots of a character.

Scene snapshots on display
Scene snapshots on display

For more information, see Scene snapshots.

User voice community for Character Animator

Your inputs are valuable to us and help us shape Adobe Character Animator. You can now submit feature ideas and report bugs through the User Voice site: https://www.adobe.com/go/characteranimator-uservoice

User Voice works best when you file a single idea per submission, but feel free to file as many submissions as you’d like!

December 2017 release of Character Animator CC (version 1.1.1)

Dragging functionality of a puppet group

 Enhanced in the December 2017 release

Dragging a group from the Puppet panel and dropping it into the Triggers panel creates a trigger for that group. If you want to create a swap set of triggers for the layers in the group, right-click the group, then choose to Create Swap Set.

For more information, see Creating and editing triggers.

October 2017 release of Character Animator CC (version 1.1)

Trigger Behavior and panel

New in the October 2017 release

This release of Character Animator introduces the Trigger panel and behavior. The Triggers behavior allows you to trigger artwork using custom-named triggers that can reference layers in different groups. The triggers are listed in the Triggers panel. Use a connected MIDI device to assign a key to a trigger, view the list of layers controlled by a trigger, and associate a MIDI note to trigger an artwork.

For more information, see Triggers and triggers panel.

Controls panel

New in the October 2017 release

Use the Controls Panel to get a new animating experience. Expand beyond the limitation of the keyboard by assigning graphical buttons for triggers and sliders and knobs. You can also assign these controls to buttons, faders, and knobs on a MIDI device and share visual trigger and parameter controls with other people.

For more information, see Controls panel.

New Behavior: Collision physics, Layer picker, and Fader

New in the October 2017 release

The Layer picker behavior triggers a specific layer in a puppet or group. Choose the layer by index number, percentage, microphone, keyboard, mouse, touch-enabled display. You can also use a combination of paramaters . Each layer can have Cycle Layers applied for more complex triggering of layers.

The Fader behavior allows you to show or hide a specific part of a puppet. You can fade the opacity of that part over time that fades in and out when triggered.

Collisions, as a part of the new Physics behavior, allows scene layers to bounce, collide, and interact with each other or with your puppet. For example, if a puppet is holding an open umbrella above its head, raindrops would fall along each side of the umbrella instead of getting the puppet wet.

For more information, see Physics: Simulate object movement and deformations.

Pose-to-pose animation

New in the October 2017 release

Use this feature to automatically transition between key poses as you move your head and eyebrows while adjusting the pause between each frame. You can also customize your motion to match your puppet’s design. Adjust the Pose-to-pose movement parameter to control how much to pause the head and face motion.

For more information, see Face: Pose-to-pose movement.

Rigging and user interface enhancements

New in the October 2017 release

Rigging a puppet with an independent part is now streamlined by automatically attaching of the independent groups to their parents. For example; arms, legs, or other parts that overlap the torso. For a newly imported artwork, position the group's origin to where you expect it to attach. New visualization in the puppet panel shows how independent groups attach to their parent group's mesh. A yellow outline indicates the selected layer in the puppet panel. Use clipping masks to use the content of a layer to mask the layers above it.

For more information, see Editing puppet structure.

Eye and eyebrow movement

New in the October 2017 release

This release of Character Animator introduces nine common pupil dart positions (up, down, left, right, four corners, and straight ahead) for the puppet. You can control eye darting with the arrow keys, mouse, camera input, or drag on a touch-enabled display. Enhanced eyebrow movement lets you tilt the eyebrows as you raise or lower them for more expressiveness. For example, tilt them inward at the low point to accentuate a scowl, or tilt outward at the high point to enhance a surprised look.

For more information, see Control puppets using behaviors.

Audio waveform and audio track resizing

New in the October 2017 release

You can get a visual representation of audio amplitude with a new audio waveform display. Waveforms now appear on audio tracks to adjust the timing of a puppet's entrance on a scene, the takes, and the visemes . Edit your audio with the full power of Audition and immediately see the changes in Character Animator after you save the project.

For more information, see Audio waveform and audio track resizing.

Lip syncing improvements

New in the October 2017 release

A new lip-sync algorithm powered by Adobe Sensei accurately picks the right mouth shapes to correspond with spoken sounds. You can now copy and paste automatic lip-sync data created in Character Animator into After Effects and other applications as keyframes.

For more information, see Lip Sync: Control a puppet’s mouth with your voice.

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