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Animate Imports/File Types

Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2019 Apr 01, 2019

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Hello Adobe Community   ,  I wonder if anyone can advise me on the best/correct file type to use when importing my character artwork into Animate CC for animation. I think i am now a bit confused and baffled over which file types to export or which program to use for creating artwork.  If someone could advise me on a/the correct process that would be great. I use a combination of Illustrator , Photoshop and Affinity designer for graphics. My artwork is usually made in Affinity designer or Illustrator and then taken into Photoshop so i can assemble the parts of a character. Once this is done i am  importing to Illustrator because i am thinking it needs to be vector based for scalability. This process usually results in the effects applied in Affinity distorting or dissapearing. This led me to create artwork without effects but that is not ideal for me...  so instead i thought i could just import a PSD file in order to keep the applied effects intact. The effects remain as is   I now have Animate files containing artwork exported as PSD , AI , SVG and probably PNG as well.  I have one PSD file that seems ok with maybe a slight deterioration in text and another with some artwork thats a bit deformed....  I have an AI import that seems ok i think  and i have just imported an SVG file that also seems ok and something tells me it might be SVG thats the answer...

I would appreciate any and all advice as i am a beginner ,   it seems i am lost in a maze of File Types , Programs and rubbish YouTube videos ,  it has taken me a while to accomplish decent character artwork and graphics but now that i can create decent graphics/artwork i want to Animate them...

Thanks...

Cre8tiv Person..

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Guide , Apr 01, 2019 Apr 01, 2019
Hi again, mate,These are some big questions that you ask I'll try to limit this reply to 3-4 paragraphs, because otherwise it will spiral out of control.I'm not competent to give opinion on Adobe Character Animator. Haven't seen any pro use it, but that does not mean that it is not possible. I've only seen some demo videos about it, thought it looked like a toy and moved on. But this shouldn't mean anything. If it exists and is being used, it probably has merit. You have to evaluate for yourself...

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Guide ,
Apr 01, 2019 Apr 01, 2019

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Hi mate,

It really depends on whether you want to go against what is naturally the Flash/Animate look or accept it and go along with the vector, find your own mannerisms and slowly develop something of a style.

Good practice is that all character artwork should be created in Flash/Animate.

Backgrounds can be created elsewhere and if painted imported as PNGs (with alpha) or probably layered PSDs. If vector, whatever the currently supported vector import formats.

Any other approach is more or less a torture and you will be wasting so much time going back and forth that you will be frustrated and get no time to animate.

There may be other opinions, of course. And there are many different ways to organise production.

I have written extensively about good practices. As a beginner, you may find these two articles useful.

Classic Tween Workflow

Character Rigging

Best of luck in your animation journey!

NT

Nick – Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team – extensions for character animation – flash-powertools dot com

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 14, 2020 Dec 14, 2020

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LATEST

May the blessing of Don Bluth ever light our jaded twilight years in VR hell

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2019 Apr 01, 2019

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Hello ,      Thanks for your reply , I watched a tutorial recently that said characters should be created in Animate  and this will be the way forward for me eventually ,  i just need to get used to the drawing tools in order that my work is a good enough standard..    

As someone who has been using Flash since it was Flash what do you make of Adobe Ch animator ? , does the program integrate with your production methods , does it make sense to use it to save time ?   or would a professional like yourself have no need for it ?      just wondering if a professional animator would use it or stick to flash...

Thanks for those links i will probably spend the next month looking at them at least.. I wish i had come to this forum earlier instead of browsing through crap in other places..   I am sure i watched a funny animation on Youtube about a guy who spent 13 years creating his cartoon animation as he did it his way and had lots of amazing detail that took a long time to create ..  I think at my rate of progression i should complete an episode of my animated cartoon by around 2027..

Thanks...

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Guide ,
Apr 01, 2019 Apr 01, 2019

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Hi again, mate,

These are some big questions that you ask

I'll try to limit this reply to 3-4 paragraphs, because otherwise it will spiral out of control.

I'm not competent to give opinion on Adobe Character Animator. Haven't seen any pro use it, but that does not mean that it is not possible. I've only seen some demo videos about it, thought it looked like a toy and moved on. But this shouldn't mean anything. If it exists and is being used, it probably has merit. You have to evaluate for yourself. Look at what is being done with it and if the results justify the time-investment to learn how to use it.

There are two types of problems with beginning animators these days. Learning to animate and learning software. A program can usually be learned well in a year or so, while becoming a good animator takes much longer. The trouble now is that the choice of software shapes how you develop as an animator. Back in the day when I started it was all mostly traditional - pencil drawings on punched paper, so you could focus on learning to animate well and then with this foundation, you had points of reference what to look for in software and also desire to push it rather than letting it lead you.

Let's hope that someone will contribute some experience with Ch Animator to this topic!

Personally I'm so heavily invested in Flash/Animate (+ EDAP Tools) at this stage and getting such good results out of it, that I don't see myself having the time to explore other animation software unless I'm forced by circumstances. But things weren't always like this. In the 90s the software landscape was very different and then I was in my twenties, curious and excited to try new ways of doing things and new programs of which there were quite many. I was equally proficient in AE, early versions of ToonBoom, CTP, Retas Pro and others. But in the last 15 years, here in Australia, I have only had steady employment with Flash work - mostly for TV and more recently TV-style for web; also some interactive projects. Flash became a mainstay for a reason. It is very versatile and work can be done in it effectively.

Animate is Flash. There are some new things, some things were removed, but it is the same program and has the same power.

It is not ideal for character animation and that is why we started Flanimate Power Tools - to extend and improve the UX. So you see - we have invested about 10 years of work there too.

At this stage we're also trying to help the Animate CC dev team with opinions and feedback in our areas of expertise.

So, as you can see my situation and yours are almost non-relatable. I should not be giving you advice, based on how my life as a middle-aged established professional is, because it all developed in a completely different context.

I can and will be happy to answer specific questions about certain technical aspects of using Flash/Animate. And that is mostly what I do here.

I taught animation and character design at one of Sydney's animation colleges for 4 years, but lost motivation and quit, because of this gap - the journey is long and I had to always answer the same beginner's questions and by the end of the course we still couldn't reach areas that interest me.

I'll end with some advice though:

Keep your early projects simple and clear.

Finish them within 2-3 months. Don't aim for perfection.

Stick to your original plan (not constantly going back and improving) and seal them off.

Give yourself a break to detach. Then look at it with fresh eyes and be as critical as possible.

Reflect.

Apply the acquired knowledge to the next project.

I hope this helps

NT

Nick – Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team – extensions for character animation – flash-powertools dot com

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2019 Apr 02, 2019

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Hello ,  Thanks again , you have given me lots to think about ,  i think i need to commit to creating everything in Animate and learning how to use it correctly .

Thanks very much.

John..

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Explorer ,
Jun 26, 2019 Jun 26, 2019

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I have been looking into animating characters too. There just isn't info out there that really even tells me if I can use Character Animator and Animate together. That makes me think that they DON'T work together and that's not the way to go.

The only thing I did find talked about importing a video from Character Animator into an HTML5 Canvas Animate file as a component.

That didn't sound like what I wanted. You can't even see the video component until you test in a browser. No thanks! Not going to spend a lot of learning energy on something that I have no idea if it will work the way I want it to or not!

I have worked with Flash/Animate on and off since 2000, so I think I will just spend my learning energy on getting up to a consistent speed with the current version of Animate.

Thanks, to n. tilcheff, for the links. I will be looking more closely at those soon!

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 03, 2019 Jul 03, 2019

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I wonder why Adobe felt the need to make Ch Animator ,  does the fact that THEY DID  mean that Animate is not the programme for quick , simplistic animations ,  WHY create another program that does what your other super amazing program does. I spent a long time coming to grips with CH animator only to find that it doesnt matter what i do , whether its correct or not , the quality of the animations i can produce is determined by whether CH Animator feels like working. From one day to the next the facial tracking or the mouth does not work but that will be my computer , nothing to do with the program. The one day i got decent results felt like a freak ocurrence and then it was back to working , not working , working.. The fact Ch Animator was originally built into After Effects also bothers me , could it not have been integrated into Animate to let them work together , ie..  create character in Ch Animator then animate in ffn  Animate... All in all i still wonder what these products are for now....  Animate , no not animating use Ch Animator , Drawing , use illustrator ,, no use photoshop , no use Animate ,  animating , yeah use after effects or no use flash , or no use Photshop , no use Illustrator , Audition , dont get me started on that i just want to chop a clip and make it shorter and i am faced with user interface that looks like it should be on a ffn spaceship or a fighter plane...  how the f*** can After Effects animate better than the animation program , no sorry APP . Adobe produce ...Animate/flash/whatever   What is wrong with you people at Adobe...  and why does my Photshop crash every day several times.....Rant over....   i am currently using CT4 trial and getting somewhere much quicker than i would with Adobe products...  as i will not be able to buy it for some time i am going back to Ch Animator to see if if maybe it works better now...   (Still got a feeling Ch Animator only produces results that need edited and i have no confidence whatsoever in the ability to activate a character and live stream it on youtube or whatever... One thing i notice on youtube is the lack of videos that show subscribers of Adobe products showing off their Ch Animator creations...  not many if any...  not surprising...     Ps... Rant over

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 18, 2019 Jul 18, 2019

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Oh my God ... 189 views and only me and one other person with anything worthwhile to say..   I tried opening Ch Anim this evening against my better judgement. Rather than play around with the available puppets i used characterizer , (it should be CHARACTERISER , there ain't no Ffn  Z ,  NO , it's  S,   RECOGNIZE , NO RECOGNISE ,  APOLOGIZE , APOLOGISE , someone should be apologising for this P***...)   Anyway...  usd characterizzzer   to generate a puppet of my ugly mug , ok , great ,   Mic is ON ,  Camera is ON ,  i've placed a ffn 500 watt light behind me so there is no lighting issues ,  so what now ,  can anything worthwhile be achieved...   Sadly not ,   camera is working my ugly pic is moving his eyes , eyebrows , head , brilliant,,   lets try recording ,   start recording , nothing happens , no mouth working , no recording taking place ,   just my very very good laptop with      i7 processor humming like it's about to blow up ,  task manager shows Ch Anim chewing up 50% of my computing power and were about to crash ,  oh f*** it , whats the point ,,  is Ch Anim the shi****** program , sorry APP ever created ?    Is Dave the californian king of CH Anim using a ffn quantum computer to get a ffn result out of this piece of s*** app ?     Im ffn sorry Adobe ,  it aint me , it aint my laptop , Ch Anim is just a piece of ffn s***...

I'm no genius but i am not stupid either , i can follow instructions but Ch Anim is like looking at a ffn drunk wondering whether he's gonna kiss you or ffn punch you , you just don't know...     not saying it's great but what i have done in just a couple weks with Cartoon Animator 4 makes me think i should stick with it , no more timewasting hoping something might work....   Stewy on Brians novel on Vimeo      New HBO show : The Bum.. on Vimeo    I take no pleasure complaining like this it's pure frustration i cannot even get to use  Ch Anim..  it simply won't let me ...   insane rant over

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Guide ,
Jul 18, 2019 Jul 18, 2019

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Hi mate,

But this is the Flash / Animate forum, so why would you expect anyone here to be active on a topic about a different piece of software?

I honestly doubt that any of the users of Flanimate would use Ch Anim. It targets a different demographic with different expectations and goals.

Not worth wasting time and energy on something that gives you negative emotions.

Just move on and do what you enjoy doing.

Nick – Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team – extensions for character animation – flash-powertools dot com

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 19, 2019 Jul 19, 2019

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I was expecting someone might make a comment like that ,     i didn't expect it would be you ..

There is NO Ch Animator forum ,  which makes sense , it don't deserve one as it's a piece of s***...

I'd be interested to hear you elaborate more on the demographics of a Flanimate user as opposed to the demographics of a Ch Animator user , let me guess..   Flanimate user = I've got a degree in Animation and know what i am doing ...

Ch Animator user = 13 yrs old ...  still wondering whether boy or girl

Ch Animator is advertised as a Software that can let people achieve very professional results yet you are maybe equating it to

something not worth using by professionals .. 

I look at sites like Graphic Mama and others with plenty of content made by professionals ..  to buy for Ch Anim...  it seems to me if Ch Anim actually worked lots of people would be using it as an alternative to maybe Flash and After Effects , in order to make their own cartoons , just like Adobe man Dave has used it to make his own cartoon Evan whatsitcalled...   if others could use it to do what Dave has done then you might find some people might not be interested in Flash , or Flanimate or anything else...

I do apologise though , i bow to your superior knowledge as a professional ,  i'm just an idiot who can't even use Ch Anim...

I have moved on and for me Cartoon Animator is the Prog. for me to achieve something ,  as someone with not a lot of money i was trying to amuse myself , by trying to use Ch Animator again ,   until next week when i spend some money on Cartoon Animator 4..   

On  a side note:   How interesting that Adobe have hooked up with Cartoon Animator with the PSD workflow option

Again i wonder , WTF Adobe..... you have all your own animation products , now you hook up with what should be a rival....

Huh!  is that like admitting theirs is better , so you want a slice of the pie....

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 19, 2019 Jul 19, 2019

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I could see that it says 189 people viewed this , just found that interesting ,189 people with nothing to say...   I dunno , maybe it's a funny conversation , i don't know...

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Guide ,
Jul 19, 2019 Jul 19, 2019

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Hi mate,

Firstly, I'd like to thank you for pointing my attention toward Cartoon Animator 4!

I had not seen it until yesterday. I knew of their previous incarnation, but this now is at a completely different level.

I think that the UX is not optimal yet, but they have done many things right and I will be following the developments with interest.

I'll also say a couple of more things and leave it at that.

I did not know Ch Anim has no forum. Just by analogy with the other adobe products I assumed it had.

What I said about moving on is advice that I would give to any of my real-life friends if I see them in a state of prolonged frustration.

It is very difficult to fix the world, but fairly easy to help someone who has difficulty with a specific problem and you know something about the matter.

Finally, this forum here is really not about discussions. There are a bunch of ACPs who answer questions and many people like you, who come with problems.

The people who come with questions do not engage in discussions, many of them never return to even see the answers to their own questions. They are not interested in what problems the others are facing.

You'd expect people to engage in conversations, but they don't. How many other people's topics have you written in or engaged in friendly exchange of opinions?

The ACPs don't do that either. This is not a community where people discuss ideas or philosophy. It is just a quick information exchange.

This is the nature of the place.

Have fun with Cartoon Animator 4!

All the best!

NT

Nick – Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team – extensions for character animation – flash-powertools dot com

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 20, 2019 Jul 20, 2019

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Hello ,  I am happy you now know that Cartoon Animator is much improved.   I maybe share your thoughts on the UX a little ,  the timeline will take a bit of getting used to in CA 4..   When press stop the timeline won't stop on specific frame the user has stopped at , always back to beginning , which is a bit annoying when looking to edit facial movements with the lip sync..     UX and  UI is my main problem with Animate , can't stand it ...   I apologise if i come across as a bit rude , my contempt is reserved for Adobe products that don't work ..     only last weekend i had to uninstall Photoshop then Re-install , just to have it work with CA 4 , when it had been ok for weeks then suddenly not working  ,  the unreliability and unpredictability of Adobe products annoys me , I do appreciate what you say about moving on ,  it's just hard to accept some people are doing good things with Ch Anim ,   and mine does not work , EVER...  

I have not given up on learning to use Animate  and will be spending the next 4 or 5 days trying to find a way to use it without wanting to throw up , I am only continuing because i do want to integrate your EDAPT tools with Animate and see what can be done , what i can do ,  i was back on your site reading today , its great and has helped many people no doubt   ,  Thanks for your helpful advice ,   I suppose we should leave it at that....

Thanks very much ...

It occurs to me so many people have read this because they find it interesting and there will be info on this page that has pointed people in the right direction or maybe helped them..    thats great then , they don't need to reply , just read... 

Happy Days all animators , would be animators... and Ch Anim users....

I have absolutely no clue what an ACP is , no matter , i will sleep well....

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 20, 2019 Jul 20, 2019

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I wish i could go back to 2004 and use Flash MX , and Adobe Premiere 6.5 ,  that would make me happy ...

It's really , really difficult to understand Adobe's actions regarding this hook up with Cartoon Animator ,  i cannot comprehend the reason why and someone in the Adobe head office needs to bang some ffn heads together ,   says me , an idiot... 

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