April 9, 2015

Introducing Adobe Character Animator, a Revolutionary Way to Animate in Real Time

In a slew of new updates, Adobe today unveiled tons of information about the upgrades coming to their existing Creative Cloud video apps. Plus they announced a few new apps that are sure to turn heads in years to come. Character Animator is one of them.

Even after watching the above video, it's hard to describe exactly what Character Animator does. Here's a brief breakdown from the Adobe blog.

Adobe Character Animator brings still image artwork from Photoshop or Illustrator to life by capturing your performance using a camera and microphone, reproducing your facial expressions, synchronizing mouth movements to your speech, and giving you control over all aspects of a character’s movement through the mouse, keyboard, and programmable behaviors. You can simply perform to animate a character that you’ve acquired from someone else, or you can rig your own characters based on your own artwork from Photoshop or Illustrator. You can even write your own programmable behaviors or plug in behaviors from elsewhere.

Adobe Character Animator

Essentially, Character Animator is bringing the basics of motion capture technology to the masses. This is huge. Motion capture has long been a staple of extremely high-end filmmaking, and as such, it requires hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of technology and obscene amounts of tedious post production work and compositing to make it look realistic in any true sense. Needless to say, motion capture was never really an option for those of us with limited budget and limited manpower.

While Character Animator certainly won't be producing any photorealistic Gollums or talking apes (Andy Serkis style) any time soon, it's clear that the framework is there and that motion capture technology may eventually be as easy as sitting in front of a webcam (or a camera that is somehow wired directly to Character Animator). Even though this software is clearly in its infancy, the possibilities are truly breathtaking.

Right now, Character Animator is just in a preview stage, so it will not be included in the upcoming release of the updated Creative Cloud apps. However, if you'd like to learn more, head on over to this write-up on the After Effects blog    

Your Comment

37 Comments

I think your comment about how huge it is for motion capture software to be released to the masses and it requires hunderds of thousands of dollars is exaggerated.Yes, making Gollum took a long time to get right, but I don't think you should refer to technology being used in big budget film productions when talking about creating 2D character animations.

April 9, 2015 at 8:45AM, Edited April 9, 8:45AM

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I don't know, this first preview seems like a jumping off point for bigger and better things. Sure, right now it does silly 2D character animations, but in five years, who knows what this software will be capable of.

April 9, 2015 at 9:41AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
5736

As of today, I have to a put peaces of tape on my face so that blender can track them, then I apply it to a rig and boom (motion tracked). Sound simple but is a pain. Adobe is already doing a astonishing work, the only thing missing is 3d coordinates algorithms.

April 9, 2015 at 5:52PM

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Edgar More
All
1279

This looks awesome, I see so much potential.

April 9, 2015 at 9:47AM, Edited April 9, 9:47AM

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This is huge..I actually have a 2D vector project coming up, will definitely give this is a try.

April 9, 2015 at 10:07AM

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Ben Kamakorewa
Animator, Cinematographer
74

I love it. I will be using this for all important business meetings.

April 9, 2015 at 11:29AM

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treykaiza@gmail.com
Cat Herder
290

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April 9, 2015 at 11:54AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
5736

This is amazing.

April 9, 2015 at 12:06PM

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Steven Bailey
Writer/Director/Composer
1204

This is genuinely amazing.

Of course, I have no doubt that to get really detailed and expressive work done you'll have to use more traditional methods but Adobe just drastically reduced the barrier of entry for character animation. That's never a bad thing.

April 9, 2015 at 1:39PM

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I work for a kids TV show and this would be super awesome! Looking forward to playing around on this!

April 9, 2015 at 2:37PM

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Ben Mataakama
GFX Motion Designer
74

Adobe is on a roll

April 9, 2015 at 2:47PM

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Isaiah Corey
Director of Photography
295

Adobe has just changed the animated video world from being a highly sophisticated and expensive team production to literally a one man show. Now anyone with some basic story writing and drawing skills can bring their emoticons to life on a timeline. True this is the dawn of this software, but it beats using Blender with a big stick - that having been one of the few and tedious options the rest of us, outside of Pixar, had. As this technology develops and gets competitive, it will open the floodgates of selfstyled animated video just as digital video has put the movie industry at the reach of the masses!

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September 8, 2015 at 5:34AM

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alexsam
88

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June 15, 2016 at 2:55AM, Edited June 15, 2:55AM

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June 24, 2016 at 3:07AM, Edited June 24, 3:07AM

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Michael Perter
Network Engineer
81

Astounding work process to exploit a fresh out of the plastic new application called Adobe Character Animator. I believe It's going to track your facial developments, www.thepineappleinc.com gives you a chance to record exchange or a voice execution right?

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October 3, 2016 at 3:25AM, Edited October 3, 3:25AM

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October 21, 2016 at 9:33AM, Edited October 21, 9:33AM

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May 9, 2017 at 9:42PM, Edited May 9, 9:42PM

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