I've been a user of Adobe products since 1985 starting with PS and AI and later Pagemaker, ID, and other programs. I lived and died on these platforms.
But I want to focus on Character Animator. I was so hopeful this application would help me escape the horrible kluge that is Flash and Flash Animation only to find that once again Adobe has somehow managed to take a powerful engine and make it a living hell to learn.
I want to animate. I have years of expertise and creative work experience in cartooning, illustration and even traditional cell animation. Yet somehow your development team has removed as much intuitive interface from this program, as possible. Actually, that goes for virtually all Adobe products. It's as though the purpose of the program is to master opaque and confusing interfaces and not create art.
It is no surprise to me that Behance is filled with the work of illustrators who are working in traditional media like ink and watercolor ands then posting it on a site supposedly aimed at things created with Adobe digital tools.
BTW - I'm practically going blind trying to read tool panels on my 13" MacBook Pro that are in the real world equivalent of 6pt type, even at the "large" interface setting.
On a brighter note. Fresco harkens back to a simpler time in your product evolution with a real sense of intuitive interface. But C'mon you can't do a contiguous color selection and fill it?
I'm sorry, but if I don't get some direct response from Adobe so that I can further assist in making products that artists can use, then well, it's hello Procreate and Affinity.
Hi. This is probably more for the "feature requests" area than the community support forums.
If you are a cell animator, I suspect the lack of precision control may be annoying at times. I am *not* an animator or an artist (well, not professional... or particularly good! Lol!), but it seeing how a nice anime scene is put together there is a lot more fluidity that is possible with frame by frame animation (a dress flowing in the wind as the character turns around). I think if CH as a useful tool for quick animations. It can save a lot of time to knock something up with decent quality.
I agree on the font size at times, but I have a bigger problem with Illustrator myself. The little icons for the pen tool test the quality of my glasses prescription for sure! 😉
Ol__Steve, sorry Ch isn’t working well for you. We’re happy to help. Can you start with one specific problem?
BTW, if you haven’t seen these tutorials you might find them helpful: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLq4LynfF_r15ZrovSAs2QTmhF4CxkVKCg
Let me give you a basic example of my frustration.
I was able to create a character in Fresco, put it through photoshop to create the rigging heirarchy, bring it into Ch where I appllied rigging and created a scene. But there is virtually nothing telling me how to make another scene that I can "cut" to.
I'm getting the distinct impression I'm going to have to deal with the steep learning curve to use After Effects to compile scenes or cuts. So is that correct our can I create scenes in Ch and then order them on a timeline?
The interface using a 13" MacBook Pro is practically making me go blind...
Your comments are well received. Back in the day I did create and produce a variety of animations using cells laid to video in back then in what were highly expensive video animation suites. All those capabilities and more are now available in After Effects.
In rethinking what I'm trying to get across to Adobe is that the interface challenge is not being met. In the early development of "paint" and vector programs for instance the interface was focused on a paradigm of "analog" medium. Brushes, pens, pain buckets, palettes. So, there was a certain amount of transparency and intuitiveness to these applications.
With an app like Ch it is really a whole new paridigm, (unless you happened to work for a high end digital animation company) and relationships that have no real world context.
Now that said, it isn't as though I can't wrap my mind around "rigging" or what a "trigger" is and how to do it. There are just a lot of things that can go south. For example the naming (and/or tagging) of and hierarchy of components that make up the "head" and "body" hierarchy in a puppet.
My goal is to create puppets with sound tracks in scenes that comprise animated cartoons. I really want the interface and the process to follow a logical process and steps to get to that end.
Dave Werner is a a really great instructor, but he suffers from having YEARS of production experience where much of what he does is for him as natural as breathing.
So please Adobe, you could create a virtual army of talented creative animators. Give us a break. If you feel the interface is perfect then at least explain it so we can focus on characters, plots, sound and scenes and not an array of arcane relationships between panels with itty bitty icons that require the Rosetta stone to translate.
OBTW: I found how to increase type size in my 13" MacBook Pro and am playing with sidecar to array panels in a way where I can at least see what's before me. 🙂
Did you watch Dave Werner's videos on YouTube?
If you do not put the effort into learning the software, yes you will find it confusing. Can you master everything any piece of software has to offer in a day or a weekend? Most likely not. But I do highly recommend watching Dave's videos and other videos on YouTube.
The Adobe Education Exchange used to do a free 5 week course on Character Animator.... alas they no longer do that. But I think you can find the course online as well as their videos... then walk through it all.
KShinabery212— I have been ploughing through Werner's videos (some twice already) and I think you can see from my YouTube above that I'm making slow, crude and ongoing progress... But thanks for your assistance.
There was a guy who put together a pretty good course in Lynda.com, but Ch has evolved to the point where it is almost non-relevant.
Thanks once again
I also want to get into Spine.
But right now I am pretty content with Character Animator. I have one other project I need to actually animate. I have six or so versions of myself. Been sitting on the characters for quite some time. But they are really awesome. I do not want to give the project away... but maybe I will do a Tech Wednesday on it.
I personally render each scene separately creating .mp4 files for each, then assemble the final video in Premier Pro so you get all the video transitions etc. CH you can create a new scene and drag other scenes into it, but its pretty basic support. No nice transitions etc. You can drag scenes into a PP or AE project (its called "dynamic linking"), but I don't use that much because my laptop is slow. So I render them out once, save the file, then edit the files together. But it means I have to rerender the file if I make a change. Dynamic linking gets updates immediately, but the render time is not always fast. So I personally decided to control when renders happen by doing them myself.
Thanks for the procedural tips on combining Ch scenes to Ae or Premiere. I also noted that possibly by exploiting "cameras" and "key frames" it might be possible to create "cuts" within a single scene.
Your insight is deeply appreciated!
Yes, the camera control is really useful for just moving the camera around. You could have a different background way off to the left next to the current background and move all the characters over to that other "stage", but I personally found I don't like scenes getting *too* long as I have to rerender the whole scene each time. Also, if part of a scene needs to change in length you need to move more around. So cameras and keyframing is great, but I would not go crazy at the same time. Depends on how long the videos you are doing are.
I actually don't do many real projects (!!!), but one I was cutting backwards and forwards between the two actors with an over the shoulder shot of one character, then flip to over the shoulder of the other. So I had lots and lots of really short scenes. Sometimes I would do longer ones facing one direction and then use Premier Pro to chop up individual scenes. But I ended up not doing this much. I just duplicated the first scene and adjusted the contents for the next shot. I just found it easier to manage having one scene per video clip. I used three digit numbers for the scene names ("1-2-3") for part, location, camera shot so they were easy to sort out later when in Prem Pro. As soon as I had to remember to chop a single scene up, redoing it was a pain (e.g. if I adjusted the puppet artwork, I would have to rerender). So I just used lots of short scenes. (The bin / folders in CH were useful then - I created a top level folder/bin for "1", "2", etc, then sub folders for "1-1", "1-2" etc, then scenes in there called "1-1-1 sam hi", "1-1-2 helen what do you want". Made it all easier to manage (camera shot number for ordering, actor, summary of script to help me remember what each scene was).
Thanks so much! You've laid out a pretty interesting approact for scene angles and cuts.
I'll keep you posted on how I progress.
A sample video and comic book version is here if you are interested. I used InDesign to lay out the pages based on screenshots from the animation. It was interesting to try. https://extra-ordinary.tv/watch/episode-1-friendship/
I also did a Webtoons version as well (they want the pages laid out differently for reading on a mobile phone).