This seems to be a common issue. The way I got past it was to make sure that there were no overlapping elements between the head and the body layers on my puppet and to flatten every layer. Character Animator does seem to work better with a PSD file than an AI file. The other thing that caused me issues was having a background colour layer (i.e "layer 0" as a solid colour that was turned off). Once I deleted this layer from my psd everything worked fine again. Hope this helps as I spent about 5 hours trying to fix mine and it was extremely frustrating!
1) update to Preview 3 (looks like you're using Preview 2), then create a new project and import the AI file again -- this avoids having "old" version of behaviors from the previous version (which are good for keeping things looking the same, but in your case it wasn't working anyway, so better to get the newer behaviors)
2) because the wrench in his right hand is very close to his body, the mesh closes up -- you can see this by checking the Show Mesh option at the bottom of the puppet panel and selecting the "body" layer (or any other layer on the same mesh). You can fix this a few different ways:
- A) move the wrench to be a bit further away from the leg (and same thing for the toolbox on the other side: make it not overlap the body)
- B) change the Mesh Expansion in the properties panel from 3 down to 1; this fixes the issue with the wrench, but not the toolbox
- C) change the wrench & toolbox images to have their own mesh. For a subpuppet (i.e. group layer) you can just check the Warp Independently option in the properties panel. But "skins" (i.e. non-groups) don't have that option. If you add a "+" in front of the name in AI, Ch will automatically set Warp Indpendently for you (and for a skin, automatically create a surrounding group to allow it happen). So, rename "tools" to "+tools" in AI. You'll probably also want to split the tools into one for the left hand and one for the right hand, since they should move independently.
3) You'll probably want to add some Fixed handles to stop the body from flopping around when your head moves. Do this with the Pin tool in the puppet panel, with the body selected. And then add keyboard triggers to switch hands, etc.
The hands are now moving separately from the body, thank you.
When I set the keyboard triggers for different hand positions, each of them hides the other side of the body, for ex. when I change the left arm position, I can see it changed though the whole other part of the body disappears (both legs, tools, other arm and torso image). Is there any workaround for this? Greatly appreciated.
Anything that is in the same level/group in a file is called a sibling. So if you have files at the same level and use the exclamation mark in PS/AI (w!), or the "hide siblings" checkbox in the properties in character animator, that's what is happening. If you don't want stuff to disappear, move it out of the group. A lot of people will make a "Right Arm" group, for example, and put all their right arm poses in there. This got explained a little bit in the last live show, about 36 minutes in: https://youtu.be/H4J9tKuibVk?t=36m16s