What's New in Character Animator

Version 17

    Character Animator CC (October 2018)

    Version 2.0 – October 15, 2018

    ch_2.0_newfeatures_thumb_small.png
    October 2018 Overview Video

     

    The October 2018 update includes the following major improvements:

    • Refreshed Start workspace with several new template puppets
    • Characterizer
    • History bookmarks
    • Arm IK behavior
    • Dangle: Squash and Stretch deformation, Damping control
    • Magnets behavior
    • Transform: Move, scale, and rotate handles of a puppet
    • Walk: Improved arm and leg movements in Quarter views (Shoulder and Hip tags), livelier motion with Pose Emphasis and Shoulder/Hip Sway
    • Replays: reusable/triggerable recordings
    • Timeline work area (clear, ripple delete, insert time, looped playback, trimming, recording takes, export)

    plus a bunch of other enhancements:

    • EPS and SVG format support for puppet artwork
    • Updated puppet warping engine
    • Push behavior parameter changes to the source puppet
    • Lip Sync: Improved prediction of visemes.
    • Collapsed view of a parameter's takes
    • Take blend easing controls
    • Control panel improvements: create controls for specific triggers, rename behavior parameter controls, group/ungroup behavior parameter controls
    • Export scene to AME with alpha channel
    • Camera selection improvements
    • (Windows) Display scale and multiple monitor improvements

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator CC (October 2018) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Notes:

    • Character Animator CC is available as part of an All Apps plan for Creative Cloud.
    • Character Animator CC system requirements.
    • Version 2.0 does not affect any existing Version 1.1.x/1.5 installation of Character Animator CC, unless you select the update option to Remove Old Versions.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator CC (April 2018)

    Version 1.5 – April 3, 2018

    ch_1.5_newfeatures_thumb_small.png
    April 2018 Overview Video

     

    The April 2018 update includes the following major improvements:

    • Scene snapshots
    • New and updated template puppets in the Start workspace
    • Replace a puppet track's source puppet
    • Copy/paste behaviors between puppets and projects
    • Collidable particles
    • Drop zones in the Triggers panel for dragged puppet groups
    • Copy/paste triggers or swap sets between puppets, to allow future recordings for those triggers to be compatible
    • Custom button artwork in the Controls panel
    • Countdown to recording
    • Hold takes
    • Copy/copy/paste all types of takes between puppets and projects
    • Rearrange trigger bars horizontally in time
    • Visual user interface refresh (e.g., gray toast to blue toast)
    • Keyboard Shortcut editor

    plus a bunch of other enhancements:

    • Export the current frame of a scene
    • JPEG support for puppets and cycles
    • Illustrator (vector artwork) rasterization control
    • Add behaviors from the Puppet panel
    • Remove all behaviors from a puppet or at a group
    • Particles: Gravity, Bounce, and Wind parameters moved to the Physics behavior.
    • Particles: Added touchscreen support for manually emitting particles.
    • Physics: Easier setup of layers tagged Dynamic.
    • Click the name of a layer for a selected trigger to reveal the layer in the Puppet panel
    • Bottom section of the Triggers panel is now resizable
    • Orange (warning) color for trigger and swap set names when triggers in a swap set conflict, if a trigger has no assigned layers, or if a swap set has no layers assigned to any of its triggers.
    • Various Controls panel improvements:
      • Arm for Record buttons for behavior parameter controls (sliders, knobs), so you don't need to go to the Properties panel to arm/disarm them
      • Pan the contents of the Controls panel
      • In Layout mode, double-click away from any control to quickly switch to Perform mode
      • Toggle between Layout and Perform modes via keyboard shortcut that you can assign in the Keyboard Shortcut editor
    • Hide trigger and viseme take bars for a more compact timeline
    • Changing parameter values while rehearsing (live-controlling) a puppet

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator CC (April 2018) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Notes:

    • Character Animator CC is available as part of an All Apps plan for Creative Cloud.
    • Character Animator CC system requirements.
    • Version 1.5 updates an existing Version 1.1.x installation of Character Animator CC.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator CC (December 2017)

    Version 1.1.1 – December 11, 2017


    The December 2017 update includes the following improvements:

    • Dragging a puppet group into the Triggers panel now creates a trigger instead of a swap set of triggers for the group's layers.
    • Adding an independent group to an artwork file now sets that group in the puppet to Auto attach style (Attach To = Auto), instead of the group’s parent origin handle.
    • Several other bug fixes.

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator CC (December 2017) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Notes:

    • Character Animator CC is available as part of an All Apps plan for Creative Cloud.
    • Character Animator CC does not support macOS 10.10, Windows 8, or Windows 10 version 1507; Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 versions after 1507 are supported. For more information, see the system requirements.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator CC (October 2017)

    Version 1.1 – October 18, 2017

    ch_1.1_newfeatures_1_thumb.png
    October 2017 Overview Video (Part 1)

    ch_1.1_newfeatures_2_thumb.png
    October 2017 Overview Video (Part 2)

     

    The October 2017 update includes the following major improvements:

    • Triggers panel and behavior for more flexible triggering
    • Controls panel for a visual dashboard of your triggers and behavior parameters, including MIDI control
    • eyebrow tilt
    • snapped eye gaze
    • pose-to-pose movement for the face
    • Physics behavior (renamed Dangle behavior, and added collision physics)
    • Layer Picker behavior for showing a specific layer in a group/puppet in different ways
    • Fader behavior for fading a group up when triggered, then fading down when the trigger is released
    • audio waveform display
    • improved lip sync accuracy
    • clipping mask support
    • auto attachment of independent groups (no more manual stapling)

    plus a bunch of other enhancements:

    • puppet mesh outline
    • Eye Gaze: touchscreen support
    • Face: synchronized eyebrow movement
    • Walk: toe bend
    • copy visemes between puppets or projects
    • copy visemes as Time Remap keyframes for use After Effects
    • editable trigger takes
    • edit selected visemes using keyboard shortcuts
    • separate time track arming vs. selection
    • resizeable audio tracks
    • option to replay the same range of time (Timeline > Return to Start Position on Stop)'
    • keyboard shortcuts for scrolling through the timeline
    • option to scroll the timeline content during playback and recording
    • double-click in an empty area of the Project panel to import files
    • reduced project folder size
    • updated template puppets (Blank Face)
    • independent groups attached via Hinge style now scale when their parent groups scale
    • keyboard shortcuts for the tools in the Puppet panel
    • Limit Camera to 12 fps option
    • Head turns in After Effects can now be copied over
    • Timeline > Compute Lip Sync from Scene Audio can now use specific selected audio tracks
    • zoom shortcuts -- Cmd/Ctrl+= (equal sign) for zoom in, Cmd/Ctrl+- (hyphen) for zoom out
    • Boost Quiet Audio option
    • Pause Camera & Microphone When Application in Background option

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator CC (October 2017) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Notes:

    • Character Animator CC is available as part of an All Apps plan for Creative Cloud.
    • Character Animator CC no longer supports macOS 10.10, Windows 8, or Windows 10 version 1507; Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 versions after 1507 are supported. For more information, see the system requirements.
    • Character Animator CC will not appear as an update if you have an existing Beta or Preview version installed. Just install Character Animator CC separately. This version installs in a different folder than Beta and Preview versions, and can open Beta 6, Beta 5, and Preview 4 projects.
    • After Effects CC no longer also installs Character Animator CC. However, Character Animator CC now also installs Adobe Media Encoder CC.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator CC (Beta 6)

    Version 1.0.6 – April 19, 2017

    Ch_Beta6_overview_thumbnail.pngBeta 6 Overview Video

     

    The Beta 6 update includes the following major improvements:

    • six additional languages: Spanish, Italian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Simplified Chinese
    • task-based workspaces: Start (with new template puppets), Rig, Record, Stream
    • viseme editor to quickly and easily adjust lip sync recordings
    • walk cycles with the new Walk behavior
    • blending modes and opacity for puppet layers
    • Mercury Transmit support (cross-platform) to stream a scene live to secondary displays, external devices, or even over IP-based LANs (useful in conjunction with other applications to stream to social media sites). The Stream Live button in the Scene panel quickly toggles streaming and accesses Mercury Transmit settings.

    plus a bunch of other enhancements:

    • deep puppet duplication, so duplicating a puppet makes a separate copy of all groups and layers in it
    • group and layer duplication in the Puppet panel
    • Cycle Layers: control how to continue after a pause-layer
    • Dangle: less crumpling, more responsive for multiview characters, Hinge attach style for pivoting motion, and larger spring stiffness support
    • Nutcracker Jaw: audio support, and rotational movement
    • Transform: group opacity, to adjust opacity across the puppet evenly
    • numerous Timeline panel editing and navigation improvements (reorder tracks by dragging, trim to playhead, jump to previous/next in or out point or marker, auto-scroll while dragging in time, mouse wheel zoom and pan, etc)
    • create a new project (instead of opening the previous project) while holding Alt/Option when launching the application
    • automatically extend scene duration when audio or another scene is added to a scene
    • Export Puppet command in the context menu for a puppet in the Project panel
    • view (while stopped) the results of a selected puppet with recorded takes by disabling the Camera Input and Microphone Input buttons, which overrides (disarms) the Arm for Record setting for the Eye Gaze, Face, Lip Sync, and Nutcracker Jaw behaviors -- useful to see the results of lip sync viseme changes
    • updated Lip Sync behavior (existing projects and puppet files will show Lip Sync as "Lip Sync (Old)")
    • Close Others command in the Scene and Puppet panel tab menus, to close all other open scenes and puppets
    • Provide Feedback link (in the Start workspace and Help menu) to submit feature requests on our Ideas portal on Aha.com
    • numerous speed and responsiveness improvements in several areas of the application

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator CC (Beta 6) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Note: Character Animator CC Beta 6 can be installed standalone or when After Effects CC 2017 is also installed. Although Beta 6 installs in a different folder than Preview 4 and earlier versions, Beta 6 can open Beta 5 and Preview 4 projects.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator CC (Beta 5)

    Version 1.0.5 – November 2, 2016

    Ch_Beta5_overview_thumbnail.jpgBeta 5 Overview Video

     

    The Beta 5 update includes:

    • improved (more professionally animated and interactive) Getting Started project -- click Start Here! in the Welcome panel to open it
    • shareable puppets (.puppet files) -- easily share rigged puppets with other users or between projects
    • Dynamic Link support with After Effects and Premiere Pro
    • Cycle puppets -- create a puppet from a PNG sequence, and add the Cycle Layers behavior automatically
    • Cycle Layers: Cycle Pause layer tag, to pause the normal progression of layers in a sequence; Advance Every now defaults to 1 frame
    • simplified puppet layer hierarchy in the Puppet panel, including crowns column for group independence
    • Face: revised default values for Head Scale Strength, Head Tilt Strength, and Eyebrow Strength
    • Eye Gaze: separated the eye gaze controls from the Face behavior to its own Eye Gaze behavior to capture eye pupil movement independently of the rest of the face
    • Keyboard Triggers: recordings now captured as grouped takes, similar to Dragger
    • Lip Sync: improved accuracy
    • Particles: added gravity controls
    • MP3 audio files can now be imported
    • Timeline markers and stop markers (to stop playback at a marker)
    • hierarchical selection in the Timeline panel
    • playback now stops at the end of a scene's duration
    • actual frame rate indicator (if less than scene's intended frame rate)
    • hide content outside of scene bounds during playback
    • jump 10 frames backward or forward by pressing Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Left Arrow or Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Right Arrow
    • imported audio can now be replaced, relinked, and duplicated
    • drag-and-drop supported file types into the Project panel to import them
    • sort items by name or type in the Project panel
    • duplicate folders in the Project panel
    • Show Mesh button in the Scene panel
    • layer Attach To parameter now available for non-warp independent groups
    • close the Trigger Keys window with any key, not just Esc
    • updated "Stannie" template artwork
    • numerous speed and responsiveness improvements in several areas of the user interface

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator CC (Beta 5) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Note: Character Animator CC Beta 5 can be installed standalone or when After Effects CC 2017 is also installed. Although Beta 5 installs in a different folder than Preview 4 and earlier versions, Beta 5 can open Preview 4 projects.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator (Preview 4)

    Version 1.0.4 – June 20, 2016

    Preview 4 Overview Video

     

    The Preview 4 update includes:

    • tags -- visual tagging interface instead of requiring specific named layers
    • Staple tool -- Quickly attach a subpuppet to its parent puppet
    • subpuppet attach styles (Weld, Hinge, Free)
    • easier setup of multiple-view puppets -- only one set of Face and Lip Sync behaviors required at the top level of the puppet
    • Lip Sync: improved lip sync accuracy; revised 11-viseme set
    • Auto Blink: a new behavior to hide and show a puppet at regular or random intervals automatically
    • Motion Trigger: a new behavior that swaps artwork based on the motion detected (e.g., Moving Left, Moving Down, Upward) from a puppet
    • Dangle: easier setup, and added gravity controls
    • Face: added a Smoothing parameter to dampen jittery facial movements; press semicolon (;) to pause head movement
    • Cycle Layers: added a Layer Order parameter
    • Head Turner: added Upward and Downward directions
    • Keyboard Triggers: view a list of available trigger keys for a puppet
    • take groups -- recorded Draggable handles now each appear in their own take groups; rerecordings no longer overwrite previous handle recordings, and there's no need to add multiple Dragger behaviors
    • export scene to Adobe Media Encoder (via Dynamic Link)
    • (Mac only) Syphon support to broadcast a scene live to Syphon client applications
    • relink missing puppet artwork or replace with different artwork
    • puppets centered within scene bounds by default
    • origin handle can be repositioned in the Puppet panel
    • assign trigger keys in the Puppet panel
    • record 1-frame and 2-frame takes for pose-to-pose animation
    • controllable playback speed
    • Go to Previous Frame and Go to Next Frame controls
    • save project under a new name (Save As)
    • Render As Image enabled by default for more accurate Illustrator-based puppets
    • eyeball switches for behaviors and tracks (in the Timeline panel) to quickly enable/disable them
    • override behavior parameters lower in a puppet hierarchy
    • marquee-select track items and take bars
    • improved performance moving and toggling layers in the Puppet panel, and scrolling speed in various panels
    • Windows HiDPI support
    • cleaner layout of controls in the Puppet panel
    • updated Welcome panel design, Getting Started project (new Scenes 2 and 3), and template (New Puppet in Photoshop / Illustrator) artwork
    • updated icons and cursors throughout the application
    • improved layout in the Properties panel
    • updated helpful text in the Camera & Microphone panel

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator (Preview 4) – Detailed Changes.

     

    Note: Character Animator Preview 4 is installed with After Effects CC 2015.3 via the Creative Cloud application. It does not overwrite your existing Preview 3 version of Character Animator. Also, due to the numerous changes in Preview 4 to support improved puppet capabilities, we had to restrict opening Preview 3 and earlier projects because we found conversion to be unreliable. Sorry for the inconvenience.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator (Preview 3)

    Version 1.0.3 – November 30, 2015

    th_pv3.jpgPreview 3 Overview Video

     

    The Preview 3 update includes:

    • sticks - add rigidity to parts of the mesh
    • take blending – allows punch-in recordings to not jump at the seam
    • multi-touch support – control multiple limbs of your character at the same time
    • import project – allow puppets to be rigged and shared between users
    • Split Lip Sync into Visemes – to allow viseme-by-viseme editing
    • slow recording speed option – for more accuracy
    • faster project opening & general speed improvements
    • UI localization into French, German, and Japanese
    • Head Turner behavior
    • keyboard control of Lip Sync
    • new Cycle Layers options
    • duplication and splitting of track items & takes
    • take summary bar and twirling
    • take "compositing" visualization
    • extendable takes beyond original recording bounds
    • button to toggle linked take selection
    • Puppet panel UI makeover
    • renaming behaviors
    • keyboard trigger UI – no need to name the layers specially in PS/AI
    • keyboard trigger latching – trigger remains in force after key-up, until next keypress
    • updated Getting Started Project
    • support for Illustrator dashed strokes
    • recent projects menu
    • improved audio/lip sync accuracy
    • Mac OS X 10.11 and Windows 10 support
    • lots of bug fixes

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator (Preview 3) – Detailed Changes.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator (Preview 2)

    Version 1.0.2 – July 27, 2015

     

    The Preview 2 update includes:

    • more accurate face tracking
    • more accurate lip sync
    • track reordering in the timeline
    • snapping in the timeline
    • transparency grid
    • more instructive Getting Started project
    • performance improvements
    • new puppet template artwork
    • bug fixes

    For a more detailed list of changes and known issues, see Character Animator (Preview 2) – Detailed Changes.

     

    To update Character Animator, see FAQ: How do I update Character Animator to the latest version?

     


     

    Character Animator (Preview 1)

    Version 1.0 – June 15, 2015

     

    Initial preview release.