To replace one puppet with another in a scene, and still be able to use all the settings, might be possible if the puppets have the identical rigging, and pretty much the same dimensions. But I think to make this work the puppets also need to have the same name. I tried it once, and it seemed okay, but I had not added any behaviors in the Ch puppet panel. That is worth trying.
Also, if the different puppets have the same name they probably cannot be in Ch at the same time.
We hope to having something like AE's replace footage command to let you do this easily.
For now, if you're brave, try this cumbersome workaround:
1. File > Copy Media Files into Project Folder (then the project will no longer be referring to PSDs outside the project)
2. File > Reveal Project in Finder/Explorer
3. duplicate the entire project folder
4. File > Import... and choose the duplicated .chproj
5. twirl open the newly imported folder in the project panel
6. right click on the puppet > Reveal in Finder/Explorer
7. now replace that file with your new file (which you have to rename to match the old file)
8. switch back to Ch and it should notice that the artwork has changed (mod date on new file may need to be more recent than the original)
You should now have both puppets in your project, each pointing to a different PSD (within two different Gathered Media folders inside the project structure). All other items will also be duplicated, so you'll have to remove them if you don't want them.
Behaviors & recordings applied to the root of the original puppet should be preserved. If the new puppet has the same structure as the old one, behaviors applied to subpuppets _might_ be preserved, not sure. We'll need to work on this area. If you try it, please let us know how it goes!
I've tried a somewhat different workaround --
1. Made two different puppets with same name and rigging, but in separate folders
2. Bring one of these files into Ch, add behaviors in puppet panel, then create scene
3. After I'm all done I close Ch, swap puppet files, and reopen Ch
Result is very good so far -- behaviors and animations apply to new puppet just like the original.
In doing this I used the HeadTurnerWendigo as the original puppet, and replaced it with a puppet figure made in Fuse, to get the different head positions.
Thanks KJerryK and CoSA_DaveS
To make a patch this time I just created a new project and copied all settings for the 2nd puppet (both are based on the same puppet, with minor changes eg. hair style)
Next time I'll try one of your solutions, as a newby (for both AE and CH) I think I still go through the "long way" of solving problems but at least they work
This goes back to my suggestion about implementing Rigging configurable Presets ! Users could set them up and then apply them to multiple characters at a time or just individually. This would come in handy for this purpose.