10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2016 3:20 AM by finnandme

    TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.

    Ruth BB

      Hi everyone,


      Looooove this program! Just a quick tips  to other newbies from me, how to speed up the design process if you fiddle around alot with small changes to your character constantly.. (as I do)..


      1. Its easiest to create the character in Illustrator.  (My personal opinion..) -But Illustrator doesnt have groups.. - And if you havent tried it allready importing an Ill artwork into PS is no great success...


      2. So when you have constructed your character in illustrator,  take each layer and copy it into your creative suit Library. That means each element of your character becomes an artwork in your library. If you are smart you will name them appropriately as you copy them over to the library. Fex. right eyeball, left pupil etc. (Because the thumbs in Library are small and not always so easy to see what is what if you didnt name them)


      3. In photoshop, new document (make sure the canvas is big enough for any changes you might want to add to your character later and big enough so it will work well later in CH and AE,  and then open cs Library and add all the elements one by one onto your canvas and place them.  Now you can organize them in the correct hierachical groups and sub groups.  Save the doc with your puppet name and import it into CH.


      4. The great thing now, is that you can open your PS doc in Character, go back and make changes and fiddle around with stuff in photoshop, AND - double click the different layers in photoshop and they will open that library instance in Illustrator and you can edit, change them etc in Illustrator.  After editing them within illustrator, save, and the changes will show up in Photoshop. Where you can continue to edit if you want. And back and forth. To see changes in Character, just save the current PS file and they will show up.


      5. In addition, you now have a library with basic working parts that you can change over and over and over...


      6. The only thing to remember is that if you make changes in PS, and open in illustrator, Ill will ask if you should disregard the changes or keep them before continuing to edit. Answer Keep ps changes, other wise you will loose them in the new edit. (No problem if you accidentally said yes to discard them, just close that doc in Ill without saving. ). =)


      Win, win, win!


      PS. If any one have found a good way to implement a shadow that moves with the character, Im very interested in knowing how..

        • 1. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
          finnandme Level 1

          Good Morning Ruth... from Sunny England!


          Great information!


          1. I'm not a Ai user, but maybe I should give it a go!?


          2. This sounds like a great idea. I've just joined CC and there are a lot of new things to get my head around. In Photoshop, I opened the Libraries Panel and Dragged the Groups across as you suggested and works great!


          3. Size... that's one of those on going questions! I suppose in Illustrator it not a major problem, because it scalable images!? Do you have a preferred canvas? I seem to go  for 2000 x 2000 pixels and 150 as I'm in Ps. I've just been looking into the ArtBoards in Ps... looks interesting and possible useful with character creation too!?


          4. I didn't realise that about Ai.... will definitely have to have a look at Ai now! I use Mac and Graphics, but maybe now I'm on cc I should check out Ai too!


          Shadow idea sounds interesting.... what are type of shadow you looking for?





          • 2. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
            Ruth BB Level 1

            Good morning, Finn, =)

            I guess I should have specified point 4 more. The troubles I´ve had with Ill is that it has only allowed for 1 sub level when grouping. It might be due to my inaptitude with the program.. Searching help files and the net did not give any answers to how to make more or if that is even possible. But I do find it so much easier to design, change and make stuff in Illustrator. Also the Library part of CS is amazing for speeding up design and reusing parts of design, love it. And the fly in the soup so far is that PS work so much better with CH, (when changing around the layers and groups etc.) then Ill does.. So thats why I came up with that work flow. =)


            When it comes to shadows I have experimented by making copy parts of my puppet and made them into shadow-copies, and named them accordingly: head shadow, leg shadow etc.  I havent made it work yet..., but the idea was that I am trying then to bring those extra layers into character animator and attach them to the main character so I can add behavior and then have shadows acting correctly in CH. (Im trying to avoid going to AE by doing this. =) ) but again, so far, not worked out.


            But I have found one simple way that have worked on simpler characters. Fex. I have a "bat" without feet, so I added a Leg-layer as a shadow, and moved it physically away from the body in cH, and that does follow my character around. =) (See the attached pic. Though the shadows needs a bit more work before looking realistic.. =) )

            By the way, the shadow things are for placing my characters in real life physical places, like a photograph/video of a room, in perspective. Without shadows, the characters just float above the images..


            Do you have any other working solutions/suggestions?

            Skjermbilde 2016-12-02 kl. 10.28.17.png


            2, Size. I did tend to go for the same. Or lately I have been so worried about scaling up my characters that I have made them 4000x4000. But I do realize this is overkill as the original art drawings are vectors.. So Ill stop doing that. =)


            Back to 1, if you havent tried Ill yet, you should definitely give it a go. Its wonderful for creating and editing vectors.. =)

            • 3. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
              finnandme Level 1

              Hi Ruth!


              The names Richard... Finn's my support dog


              I found my interest in Ch when I was messing around with a video... I was trying to get Finn to sing... check the video... it'll make more sense. hopefully!


              Finn the dog, sings Benedict Cumberbatch's "Can't Keep It Inside" - YouTube


              I was asked to do some more videos, but I wanted to get Finn look better and here I am.... playing with Ch... it is an amazing app and think it'll get better and better, so we are in at the right time!


              As I want to use Finn's picture for my animation, my main interest is applying Ch to a photo and morphing/warping/transforming that.


              Think the Bat is magic and I like the shadow too...


              I think I would have worked on the shadow in the same way as you, but altough this is fine with a fixed image, it's the animation that will be the difficult bit. The idea of dropping the shadow layer is good and I suppose as long as it's in the same Group, it will remain attached and move accordingly. I'll certainly go and have a play with this.


              I'd suggest you start a new discussion here, turn it into a question and see what the Ch Team suggest, or any other users!? I'm always amazed at the level of creativity and skill that's out there!

              • 4. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                finnandme Level 1

                I've just been having ago with shadow Idea...


                As you found.. the shadow isn't the problem, it's getting to to follow the object above... left and right, while staying horizontal!?

                • 5. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                  oksamurai Employee Moderator

                  For shadows, check out the Walker character in this pack, he has a shadow: Adobe Creative Cloud


                  But yeah, honestly I would say this is a lot easier in AE (right now). Copy the comp, change the levels, add blur, flip it around, and you should be good to go.

                  • 6. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                    finnandme Level 1

                    Hi Dave..


                    Nice character... fairly straight forward to add the shadow post recording...but can it be added to live?


                    If the shadow object is added bellow, like Ruth has done...  and have both objects follow the head, but stop the shadow form pivoting side to side, but just moving left and right.. staying horizontal? I've tried adding pins the mesh but didn't work?

                    • 7. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                      finnandme Level 1

                      Hi again Dave... Please forget the rubbish I've just mentioned above... You were spot on! the 'Walkier' had the answers all the time.. I just didn't see it!


                      Just make a Shadow Group and in that group add several images of the shadow at different positions, add the Cycle Behavour to that group and set to run continuously. Now, make the character dragable and Bingo!


                      i think I was over thinking it... a little bit!



                      Character Animator just gets better and better!

                      • 8. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                        Ruth BB Level 1

                        Richard it is, hi Richard =)


                        Love the dog-video. Love your dog! He is adorable!. I do have a tip for you when it comes to animating Finn to sing. But be forewarned, I still havent actually used After Effects.. ..just watched How-tos at the AE video tutorial site.

                        One of them shows how you can extremely precisely track someones head, (even down to just eyes), and add a layer on top of that.

                        This means. Ben could move freely around, and you can just add tracking to his face and the mouth layer on top and you would get a whole new level of realistic singing from Finn. Here is the link for that:

                        Use Face Tracking in After Effects



                        Thank you for that tip. It will work great in fex a walking cycle.

                        But Im trying to make "real" shadows that will follow the arm movement, (when fex dragged in a scene, or by dangle), body and leg shadows that will move with my main character.

                        I guess for now thats not possible?

                        (Or I just dont know the program well enough yet to do it. Im still experimenting. =) )

                        • 9. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                          Ruth BB Level 1


                          Actually, sorry about that. You already answered it. I just have to finish my comp in CH and add it to AE and then add a shadow layer ( and that will actually work the way I want it to if Ive understood you correctly). I´m a bit slow here. So thank you. Ill stop fiddling around in CH for shadows and try it out in AE.

                          • 10. Re: TIPS =) -CH, PS and ILL at the same time, working efficient with all of them.
                            finnandme Level 1

                            Hi Ruth and thanks for advice about After Affects... Will definitely give it a look.... along with Illustrator too!


                            You have a great weekend!