Character Animator CC 2018- Foreground image

Community Beginner ,
May 24, 2018 May 24, 2018

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Hi,

Was just wondering how I add a foreground image that is drawn on a different program into character animator?

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LEGEND ,
May 24, 2018 May 24, 2018

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You can import PNG, Illustrator, PSD, JPEG (I think that is the list) files into Character Animator, which turns them into puppets.  If you want it as a foreground image (e.g. a desk in front of a character), you need to have transparency support in the image format (which means JPEG is not an option as it does not support transparency).   You cannot load an AutoCad file for example - CH does not Understand it.

You load the image (via “import”) and get a puppet, the only behavior you really need on it is “Transform” which allows you to control the position and scale. The puppet will by default be given face movements and all sorts of things which you can delete if you want to - just leave “Transform” in place.

So the background and foreground images are puppets - just ones without legs or arms. They just sit there in the scene, with the background images behind the puppets (at the bottom of the scene panel) and foreground images (e.g. a desk) that is in front of puppets at the top of the screen in the scene panel.

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Community Beginner ,
May 25, 2018 May 25, 2018

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I am unable to see the tree, is there something with layers that I need to change? I have imported it as a photoshop file from illustrator

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Community Beginner ,
May 25, 2018 May 25, 2018

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Never mind, I just had to change layers etc...

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Community Beginner ,
May 27, 2018 May 27, 2018

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@Alan


I have a sort of mid ground that i would like to add to the character, for example. I would like to have him sit at the office desk, but the desk is covering the lower body part, but the arm is above the desk image layer.  But don't want the desk image layer move with the head movement. Is there a good way to achieve this effect?

Also a question for the work flow, for an office scene, should i import all the background in AE or in Ch? 

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LEGEND ,
May 27, 2018 May 27, 2018

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This multi-layered type of use case can get complicated. If it is only head movement you are concerned with then I would suggest including the desk in the puppet as an independent group. Being independent you should be able to stop movement and warping of the desk. (Note you can use a keyboard trigger to hide or make visible the desk, so you can use the one puppet even though there is a desk hidden in there - if you want to.)

A similar approach is to create duplicates of the top level puppet (take your top level puppet and create two complete copies of it in the same puppet) and put the desk as another top level layer in the puppet between the two other top level layers. What happens is both puppets get all the same inputs and so behave the same (more, distort etc). But you can hide layers so the puppet behind the desk hides the arms and the puppet copy in front of the desk hides everything *except* the arms. (In the forums a while back there was discussion of "rear hair groups" which discussed this approach. The problem is when you want an independent head in front of the neck, but rear hair behind the body and neck but attached to the head. It is similar to the layering challenge with arms in front of a desk.)

Its a bit tricky to get right - but you need something like that if you want something in front of the desk to be a part of the puppet behind the desk. The trick is to make sure the desk is independent and not attached to what moves in the puppet.

I am busy on some other work at present, but drop a line if you don't get it going and I will try and mock up a quick demo.

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LEGEND ,
May 28, 2018 May 28, 2018

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Okay, here is a quick test I did. I created a Desk and inserted it in the middle of an existing puppet artwork at the correct depth. I used Chloe and added an independent layer "+DESK" (brown rectangle in my case) behind the arms but in front of the body.

I then adjusted the "attach to" in the properties panel from "Auto" to "fixed". This is a fixed handle in the body for the feet of Chloe to stop her from moving. The end result is the desk does not move, because its parent is a "fixed" point which does not move. Seems to work...

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Community Beginner ,
May 28, 2018 May 28, 2018

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Wow, you are the best, I've never pay attention to fix or attach style.

I will play around and let you know the result, Thanks a ton

Felix

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LEGEND ,
May 28, 2018 May 28, 2018

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Also a question for the work flow, for an office scene, should i import all the background in AE or in Ch” - sorry, I missed that question you asked. Personally I do as much as possible in CH because I find it quicker. But there is nothing wrong with using AE if you have a reason to.

Oh, and if you get it working, please do the forum a favor and mark an answer as “resolved”. It helps keep the forums clean and helps others spot answers amongst everything else Etc.

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Community Beginner ,
May 28, 2018 May 28, 2018

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Hi Alan

I see, that's what i thought as well, Since my scene is not so complicated I can do more in Ch. I assume if animated effect is required then AE would be the better choice.

I didn't create the original post, so there's no option for me to make it resolved, I think samh19821728 has to do it.

Thanks again

Felix

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