A Character Animator project is a collection of puppets, scenes, and supporting items (for example, artwork and audio files). You can create separate projects to organize related work, such as for an episode of a cartoon or for a specific client. Each project is stored on a disk as a separate folder.
The default project Character Animator Project is located in your user Documents/Adobe/Character Animator/Preview (Mac) or Documents\Adobe\Character Animator\Preview (Win) folder. You can switch to a different project at any time. When Character Animator launches, it reopens the recent project you had closed so you can continue your work. If the current project cannot be found, it reopens or recreates the default project.
Choose File > New Project. Specify the location and name for the project, and click Save. A project folder with the default project file (.chproj file) both using the name specified, are created.
As you work in a project, Character Animator is continually creating and updating files in the project’s folder on disk. Avoid creating and working on projects located in folders actively synced or backed up.
Choose File > Open Project (Ctrl+O), select the Ch project (.chproj), then click Open.
Choose the project from the File > Open Recent submenu. The current project is the first one listed.
To show and select the current project’s folder on disk, choose File > Reveal Project in Explorer (Windows) or File > Reveal Project in Finder (Mac OS).
You can import the contents of another project and reuse its scenes and puppets in the current project.
To import a project’s contents:
A new folder is created in the Project panel, and a copy of that project’s contents are placed in the folder.
If the source media (artwork and audio) files are originally in the imported project’s Ch Media folder (or one of its subfolders) on disk, copies of those files are added to the current project’s Ch Media folder. These files are added in a Gathered Media subfolder.
If the source files existed outside of the project folder, the imported items reference their current location instead of making a copy.
You can use vector artwork file format like Illustrator (.ai). As these formats are vector-based, the Render as Vector option and the Wiggler behavior can be applied.
Older versions of the EPS file formats might not be able to retain the full layer hierarchy, so some parts might appear flattened in the Puppet panel.
Use the Resolution property in the Puppet section of the Properties panel to control the maximum quality of the vector artwork when it is rasterized. The default is set to 200%. It can be increased to up to 400%. Reduce it to a draft (50%) or low (100%) resolution if scaling down and to preserve more memory.
Scenes sent through Dynamic Link to After Effects, Premiere Pro, or Adobe Media Encoder are rasterized. If you want to scale up the footage in those other applications, use a larger scene size in Character Animator to retain details.
Use .mp3, .wav, and .aif audio files to import for your Character Animator project.
Within the current project, you can rearrange project items in the Project panel into different folders to suit your needs.
You can sort the items in the Project panel by name or type. Click a column heading to toggle sorting direction.
To add a folder, choose File > New Folder, type the name for the folder, then press Enter or click away from the text field.
A new folder is created at the same level as the outermost selected project item, or inside the selected folder.
To duplicate artwork, puppet, and audio in the Project panel, select the item that you want to duplicate and choose Edit > Duplicate.
To remove a folder, select it, then choose Edit > Delete (Delete or Backspace).
To move items between folders, select the items, then drag them into a different folder.
To rename a project item (puppet, scene, folder, and so on), select it, and press Enter. To save changes, type the new name and press Enter, or click away from the text field. Press Esc instead to cancel your edits.
Dragging an item into a folder containing another item of the same name causes the dragged item to be renamed. Renaming an item to match an existing item in the same folder is disallowed— a red ‘x’ appears next to the text field. Hover the pointer above the ‘x’ to show the error message.
To delete an item, select it, then press Delete or Backspace or choose Edit > Delete.
To locate imported files on disk, context + right-click a puppet, artwork, or audio item in the Project panel. Now choose Reveal in Finder (Mac) /Explorer (Windows) from the context menu. For puppets, the artwork file for the bottom-most layer is revealed.
To gather copies of imported artwork and audio files into the project folder for easier project sharing, choose File > Copy Media Files into Project Folder. The files are copied into the Gathered Media subfolder of the project’s Ch Media folder. The files in the original locations are not deleted.
Character Animator provides unlimited undo and redo, even between Character Animator sessions. Your Character Animator project saves changes automatically.
To undo or redo changes, do either of the following:
To clear the undo history, choose File > Clear History, then click Clear History.
Use project versions to remember a specific state of a project. Create these markers in a project’s history and recall them later to restore the state of your project. Versions let you keep track of different variations of a project all within the same project.
You cannot undo creating, renaming, or deleting a project version as that would affect project history. Also, clearing history (File > Clear History menu command) deletes all project history versions.
A new version appears in the top section of the History panel with a solid document icon. Hover over the version to display the exact date and time of its creation.
The default name of each new project version is based on the most recently named project version in history, or “Version n” if there was no previous or custom name used, but you can rename project versions anytime.
To restore project history to a version’s state, click the version.
If the Scene panel is not showing the expected results, try clicking the Refresh Scene button in the panel.
To rename a project version, right-click the project version and choose the Rename command or, if the version is selected, press Return (macOS) or Enter (Windows). Change the name, then press Return/Enter.
To delete a project version, either right-click the version and choose the Delete command or hover over it and then click the 'x' button.
Tip: You don’t have to select a version (and restore project history to that state) to rename or delete it.
The following actions create Auto-save versions:
Select the Show Auto-saved versions option from the History panel menu. Deselect to show manually created versions.
Auto-saved versions appear with outlined document icons to differentiate them from manually created versions. The most recent Auto-saved version appears at the bottom of the list. You can restore, rename, and delete auto-saved versions. Renaming an auto-save versions. makes it a regular version, and switches the top section of the History panel to view it.
You can save your project under a new name to easily experiment with changes or to save different versions of your work.
To save the project under a new name, choose File > Save As, then specify the new location and name for the project. The saved project contains copies of the puppets, scenes, and recordings, including artwork and audio files that had been previously saved in the Ch Media subfolder. Character Animator does not copy any files that were outside of the project’s folder and the history is cleared.