Adobe Character Animator

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Adobe Character Animator
Adobe Character Animator icon.svg
Adobe Character Animator running on OS X
Adobe Character Animator running on OS X
Developer(s)Adobe Systems
Initial releaseJune 15, 2015; 4 years ago (2015-06-15)
Stable release
Version 3.1 / December 9, 2019 (2019-12-09)
Written inC++, Lua, JavaScript
Operating systemWindows 10 X64 only Version 1703 or later, MacOS 10.12 Sierra and later
TypeComputer animation
LicenseTrialware, software as a service

Adobe Character Animator is an Emmy-award-winning[1] desktop application software product that combines live motion-capture with a multi-track recording system to control layered 2D puppets drawn in Photoshop or Illustrator. It is automatically installed with Adobe After Effects CC 2015 to 2017[2] and is also available as a standalone application which one can download separately as part of a Creative Cloud all-apps subscription.[3] It is used to produce both live and non-live animation.


Character Animator imports layered Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator documents into puppets which have behaviors applied to them. The puppets are then placed into a scene, which can be viewed in the Scene panel and Timeline panel. Rigging is set up in the Puppet panel, though basic rigging is fully automatic based on specific layer names like Right Eyebrow and Smile. Properties of selected elements can be examined and changed in the Properties panel, including behavior parameters. Live inputs include a webcam (for face-tracking), microphone (for live lip sync), keyboard (for triggering layers to hide/show), and mouse (for warping specific handles).

Final output of a scene can be exported to a sequence of PNG files and a WAV file, or any video format supported by Adobe Media Encoder. Live output can be sent to other applications running on the same machine via the Syphon protocol (Mac only) or Adobe Mercury Transmit on both Mac and Windows. Scenes can also be dropped directly into After Effects and Premiere Pro, using Dynamic Link to avoid rendering.[4]


Character Animator was originally code-named "Animal".[5][6]

The following is the list of versions of Character Animator.

Ship Date Version Shipped with Major features added
June 15, 2015 Preview 1 After Effects CC 2015.0 (13.5) markerless face tracking; layered PSD & AI import; WAV & AIFF import; PNG sequence export; WAV export[7]
July 27, 2015 Preview 2 more accurate face tracking & lip sync; track reordering and snapping in the timeline; transparency grid; improved performance; bug fixes[8][9]
November 30, 2015 Preview 3 After Effects CC 2015.1 (13.6) “sticks” to control rigidity of the puppet mesh, multi-touch gestures to control character limbs, the ability to share rigged puppets, increased recording flexibility, performance improvements[10]
June 21, 2016[11] (announced April 12, 2016) Preview 4 After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8) visual layer tagging, improved lip sync, export via Adobe Media Encoder, Syphon support, Motion Trigger, Auto Blink[12]
November 2, 2016 Beta 5 After Effects CC 2017 (14.0) dynamic link to After Effects & Premiere Pro, shareable puppet files, Cycle Pause tag, MP3 import, PNG sequence import, speed improvements[9]
April 19, 2017 Beta 6 After Effects CC 2017 (14.2) automatic walk cycles, viseme editor, cross-platform live streaming output via Mercury Transmit, layer blending modes, workspace modes, additional languages (Simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Korean)[13]
October 18, 2017[14] (announced September 14, 2017) 1.1 part of Creative Cloud[3] Controls & Triggers panels, MIDI support, pose-to-pose Face & Eye Gaze animation, audio waveform in the timeline, copy & paste of visemes into After Effects, auto-attach, clipping masks, Layer Picker, Fader, Collide & Dynamic tags, improved lip sync[15]
December 11, 2017 1.1.1 minor UI changes and bug fixes[16]
April 3, 2018 1.5 particle physics, scene snapshots, improved triggers UI, copy & paste takes and triggers, countdown before recording, custom Controls panel button art[17]
October 15, 2018[18] (announced September 9, 2018) 2.0 Characterizer, replays, magnets, squashiness, shoulder and hip tags, history bookmarks[19]
April 3, 2019 2.1 Character Trigger extension for Twitch, jaw movement based on visemes, search filtering for behaviors, UI polish[20]
June 17, 2019 2.1.1 bug fixes[21]
November 4, 2019 3.0 keyframes, scene cameras, triggerable audio, motion lines, rigging issues pane, search filtering for tags and triggers[22]
December 9, 2019 3.1 trigger labels, search filters for project items[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Adobe Character Animator Receives Emmy® Award for Technology and Engineering". Adobe Blog. 2020-01-15. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  2. ^ "An In-Depth Look at Character Animator, Adobe's New Motion Capture & Animation Tool". 5 July 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Adobe Creative Cloud features". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Adobe Character Animator CC Learn & Support". Adobe. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  5. ^ "We've created an Animal - Creative Cloud blog by Adobe". Digital Video & Audio. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  6. ^ Kosner, Anthony Wing. "Adobe Character Animator Lets You Make Cartoons Speak With Face Tracking". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Adobe Character Animator (Preview 1) now available - Creative Cloud blog by Adobe". Digital Video & Audio. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Character Animator (Preview 2) now available - Creative Cloud blog by Adobe". Digital Video & Audio. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b "What's New in Character Animator - Adobe Community". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  10. ^ "After Effects CC 2015 v13.6 and Character Animator Preview 3 updates available - CGPress". CGPress. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Character Animator (Preview 4) Makes Animation Easier - Creative Cloud blog by Adobe". Adobe Creative Cloud. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Sneak Peek: What's Coming Next in Character Animator - Creative Cloud blog by Adobe". Adobe Creative Cloud. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Newest Release of Character Animator Adds Simplified, Powerful Workflows - Creative Cloud blog by Adobe". Adobe Creative Cloud. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  14. ^ "New Features - Adobe Character Animator CC". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  15. ^ Okay Samurai (14 September 2017). "New Features Preview - September 2017 (Adobe Character Animator CC)". YouTube. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  16. ^ "What's New in Character Animator". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Adobe releases Character Animator CC 1.5 | CG Channel". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Introducing Characterizer and More Game-changing Innovation in Character Animator CC". Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  20. ^ "Adobe releases Character Animator CC 2.1". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  21. ^ "What's New in Character Animator | Adobe Community". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  22. ^ "New features summary for the November 2019 release of Adobe Character Animator". Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  23. ^ "New features summary for the 2019 releases of Adobe Character Animator". Retrieved 2019-12-11.

External links[edit]