After Effects Tutorial

Got Character? Animating Characters Character Animator/After Effects

Adobe Character Animator is a fun way to quickly create animated characters right within the Adobe suite of tools.

With the last update in the late fall, Adobe added three new puppets to Adobe Character Animator.

Ninja has head and body turns, subtle eyelids, and draggable limbs with punch and kick replays. Proteus is a monochromic character with a bunch of customizable hairstyles, eyes, glasses, and more. And Thorne the Troll has draggable arms and foreground & background elements. This video walks through some of the unique features of each character. As usual, you’re free to use, edit, record, or stream with these puppets however you want – no credit needed.

You can download the four puppets here.

Complete Animation Workflow (Adobe Character Animator Tutorial)

Dave Werner gives you a good once over the workflow for Adobe Character animator. He takes you through recording and editing the audio in Adobe Audition. Then, he shows you how to build your character in Photoshop. After that, he explains how to rig and animate him in Character Animator. Finally, he shows you how to composite everything together in After Effects.

Here are his Links:

Now, they have updates to Adobe Creative Cloud CC and Adobe After Effects four times per year, so I am expecting to see some cool new features in April at NAB Show.

Animating Characters in After Effects

Pierre Minoux has an IK preset character rig for After Effects. In the video, Pierre explains how to install and use the preset.  Via Lester Banks

Download the IK Preset

More about Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator

Character Animation with Adobe Character Animator and After Effects: Mouths and Heads

Here are several tutorials for Character Animator

View the Tutorials




After Effects Plug-ins Premiere Pro

News: Adobe Updates Creative Cloud 2015.3 including After Effects and Premiere Pro

There were Adobe Creative Cloud updates yesterday, including  Premiere Pro 2015.3 and After Effects 2015 (13.8), which we posted on Toolfarm yesterday.

adobe creative cloudYou can read the post at Toolfarm and watch the videos. Instead, we’re going to talk about updates and some of the issues that can pop up. Here are a few guidelines for updating.

  1. Don’t update during a project. Stuff might break and some plug-ins that you depend on may not work. Like what, you ask? Red Giant has said that Universe won’t work yet with the update, nor will Automatic Duck Ximport AE. I’m sure updates will be coming very soon.
  2. Update all of your plug-ins. Many will have updates for CC 2015.3 compatibility. Keep your stuff up to date for fewer problems.

If you learn of any other plug-in incompatibilities, please let me know.

So, what is in the Adobe updates?

Here’s the barebones list, but there are TONS of videos on the Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube Channel.

After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8)

  • After Effect has a Live 3D pipeline with the Cinema 4D Exporter for text and shapes, which looks super useful. To me, this seems like the coolest new feature. I saw this demoed at NAB and I can’t wait to use it.
  • There are performance and stability improvements in After Effects. I hope this helps my issues with memory leaks with plug-ins! Maybe I should go ahead and update and find out. They’ve enhanced playback of audio and video with cached frames and synced audio too.  There’s more to this so check out release notes.
  • Support for formats like Apple ProRes on Windows has been added.
  • Lumetri Color enhancements.

Learn more about After Effects CC

Premiere Pro CC 2015.3

Premiere Pro has new VR editing features, including a “field of view” mode so editors can see what viewers see. There are also new Lumetri Color Features.

Learn more about Premiere Pro

Media Encoder 2015.3

Media Encoder has a media preview and new media management presets.

Character Animator (Preview 4)

Adobe has added lip-sync improvements and Auto-Blink and Motion Trigger features to make your characters look more natural and interesting.

They’ve added easier puppet tagging too. I just need to jump into Character Animator and play with it because it looks like so much fun.

Read more about the Character Animator Preview

Photoshop CC 2015.3

Photoshop is all about the fonts. It has a new font preview that lets you preview before you select a font. Now you can search for font names, as well. TypeKit has been better integrated into Photoshop a 2014 previous release.

Other new features are Content-Aware Crop and Face-Aware Liquify both sound very intriguing. They’ve also added performance enhancements to help Photoshop CC run more smoothly.

After Effects Tutorial

Character Animation with Adobe Character Animator and After Effects: Mouths and Heads

Have you played with the Character Animator tool? I’ve barely touched it but I would love to create a character animation over the summer with it. I bought this book a few years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that is full of Native American folklore and stories that have been passed down through the ages. I would love to animate one in particular and I think that Adobe Character Animator would be a great tool to do this with. I wouldn’t need a lot of lip sync either since it would use a narration or be a silent film with just music.

Adobe Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator can bring your 2-dimensional artwork from Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to life. It comes with After Effects CC 2015. You set it up on layers, and then it uses your webcam to track your movements and mouth and attaches it to your “puppet”. You can then record its movements. It’s pretty cool. You can even add behaviors to your character/puppet to have it do other things. I’ve seen it demoed a few times. I’m intrigued but I haven’t had the time to really jump in.

How to use Adobe Character Animator

I may have shared this video here but I don’t think I have. I saw this exact presentation at NAB Show so maybe that’s where it looks familiar. It’s a really good tutorial.

There are other tutorials up at Adobe as well. Watch them here.

Character Animation in After Effects

So, if you are not ready to jump into the Character Animator yet but want to animate a character in After Effects only? has a fun tutorial on creating head turns with a simple character that could be used in an infographic. It’s very simple and I really like it!

Tutorial | After Effects | Infographic Character Head Turns

Quick Tip | After Effects | Lip Sync Slider Control
LeeDanielsArt has another tutorial that deals with mouth shapes and explains how to create a Lip Sync Slider Control in After Effects. Good stuff!

I hope to learn how to use the Character Animator tool soon so hopefully I’ll have some info up here or at Toolfarm in the next couple of months.