Bring Your Characters To Life: Exploring The Power Of Adobe Character Animator

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By Melissa Ng   |   Last Updated 10 May 2023

The democratisation of animation has far-reaching implications, extending well beyond the realm of traditional media. Aspiring animators, educators, content creators, and marketing professionals alike can harness the power of animation programs to engage their audiences in novel and captivating ways. From creating eye-catching social media content to developing interactive educational materials, the potential use cases for these tools are vast and diverse.

Adobe Character Animator has emerged as a ground-breaking tool in the world of animation, revolutionising the way creatives bring their characters to life. By combining the power of real-time live motion capture with 2D characters, Adobe has crafted a program that makes the once-complex task of animation both simple and accessible to the everyday person.

This review will delve into the features of Adobe Character Animator, shedding light on the benefits and shortcomings and how this program is reshaping the animation landscape for both amateurs and professionals alike.

Unleash The Animator Within You

This innovative technology has opened the door to a new generation of storytellers, empowering users to breathe life into their creations with ease and precision.

Adobe Character Animator, an app within the Creative Cloud Suite, empowers you to infuse life into your characters by mirroring your expressions, movements, and voice. There are two subscription plans available, catering to a range of needs:

  1. Free Plan: This entry-level plan offers essential features, enabling users to effortlessly animate pre-built characters with their computer’s webcam, microphone, and a collection of templated gestures and expressions.
  2. Paid Plan: Priced at AUD79.99 per month (at the time of writing), the Pro Plan includes access to all Adobe Creative Cloud Apps. It encompasses the Free Plan’s features and adds the ability to design and customise characters, create unique movements and gestures, utilise real-time face and body tracking, and live stream with your animated characters. Furthermore, you can seamlessly export your characters into other Adobe programs like Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Mastering the Character Animator involves four primary steps:

  1. Develop or choose your character
  2. Calibrate your character for control via your computer’s webcam
  3. Record and animate your character
  4. Export your character for further use

The Good: Animation Made Easy

Adobe Character Animator allows anyone with a computer, webcam, and microphone to delve into the world of animation effortlessly. Crafting animations for projects, social media content, or sharing with family and friends has never been more accessible.

Choose from an extensive collection of free pre-built characters in Adobe’s library, purchase characters from third parties, or design your custom characters using Photoshop or Illustrator.

Customise your character with Puppet Maker
Customise your character with Puppet Maker

While alternative animation apps on the market offer template-based animation scenes and videos, Character Animator stands out with its advanced customisation and face and body tracking capabilities. This allows you to personalise your character’s appearance and movements with remarkable precision.

For those who prefer to stay behind the scenes, you can record audio separately and animate your character using the program’s in-built expressions and gestures. You can even take your creativity to the next level by live streaming with your animated persona.

Integrating your character into a larger project within the Adobe ecosystem is seamless. Your character files can be effortlessly incorporated into Premiere Pro and After Effects. Moreover, any changes to your character file will be automatically updated, ensuring a smooth creative process.

The Bad: There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

The availability of a free version of the program provides an excellent opportunity to explore and experiment with its features. However, an upgrade to the Paid Plan is necessary to unlock the full potential of character customisation and body tracking capabilities.

Adobe Character Animator Plans
Adobe Character Animator Plans

Priced at AUD79.99 per month, the subscription may appear steep for an animation program, especially for those who have no requirement for the other apps in Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite. Yet, compared to the expenses associated with hiring a traditional animator, the investment becomes more justifiable and reasonable.

The Ugly: Tackling The Animator’s Daunting Learning Curve

As with any new software, Character Animator presents a learning curve. Upon initially launching the program, users may find it less intuitive, as they are confronted with an unfamiliar system and terminology without substantial guidance or a welcome tour.

Character Animator Interface

Fortunately, Adobe offers a wealth of beginner video tutorials to help users acclimate to the platform. However, be prepared to invest a significant amount of time, as completing all the beginner videos may require nearly four hours of your undivided attention.

From Novice To Pro: The Animation Revolution

Adobe Character Animator has successfully made the world of animation accessible to a broader audience. Its cutting-edge face and body tracking technology and the ability to customise characters set it apart from other animation software in the market. While the learning curve may appear steep initially, the comprehensive video tutorials provided by Adobe make it easier for beginners to grasp the program’s intricacies.

The Free Plan offers a solid starting point for users to experiment with the software, while the Pro Plan unlocks advanced features for those seeking a more professional touch. Although the monthly subscription may seem expensive, it is a justifiable investment considering you gain access to all of Adobe’s Apps and compared to the cost of hiring traditional animators.

Overall, Adobe Character Animator is a powerful tool for creators looking to breathe life into their characters and captivate their audiences with dynamic and engaging content.

Melissa Ng, the Business Development & Operations Manager at AppSalon, is a versatile professional with a wealth of experience across fintech, startups, content creation, SEO, marketing, product management, and QA.

Melissa's career journey is highlighted by her seven-year tenure at Credit Savvy, a fintech startup under Commonwealth Bank. Here, she wore various hats, including product manager, content manager, operations manager, lead QA, and account manager. Her contributions led to the remarkable achievement of growing the user base from zero to over one million Australian members, in just over 5 years.

Beyond her professional achievements, Melissa embraces adventure, with interests ranging from hiking, pilates, and baking to knitting. Surprisingly, she even finds relaxation in cleaning.

Melissa Ng is a seasoned expert in the realm of digital business. With both extensive experience and commitment to excellence, Melissa endevours so that every single client receives the best possible outcome.


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