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Character Animator is still a buggy mess and not worth the struggle

Engaged ,
Sep 02, 2022 Sep 02, 2022

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As someone who has been around since the Beta versions and was part of the beta program...

 

I took a break about 2 years ago from CH to let it catch up and relieve myself of all the unneccessary stress. As a beta it had so much potential. It was worth the months of crashes, bugs, brute force workarounds, struggles, and redoing the same crap 40 times because the artwork sync method was so horrendous that the tiniest change would blow up 100s of hours of work in one second.

 

Now its late 2022, the new features were super enticing so I came back to try it out. I am remembering why I left. Using Illustrator with CH is the most unfriendly combo in history. Illustrator can't handle moving items in hidden (not locked) folders (which in this workflow is a fugging nightmare) it also can't duplicate layers without revising the layer name, and even if you can get over that, the files still corrupt during sync even when no layer structure has been changed. I have spent 12 hour today and literally have zero to show for it. Using Illustrator from a layer control heavy workflow opened my eyes to just how flawed Illustrator is. Hidden is not Locked, ADOBE! They are very different terms with very different purposes. CH Team: Your product will never succeed if you don't get better communication with the other product teams. Tell the Illustrator team you need changes to support your cross app compatibilty. Photoshop handles hidden layers correctly. Maybe go ask their team.

 

 

 

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Bugs , Crash , Dynamic link , Feature requests , Freeze or hang

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Contributor ,
Sep 04, 2022 Sep 04, 2022

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Totally disagree with all this. Not sure what system you are working on, but I have only crashed once or twice in the years I have been working with Character Animator. I find it really stable. And I have also been working with it since the Beta days. The artwork sync method works fine. So you are doing something seriously wrong there. I work between the two apps and haven't had any issues with it.

 

I use Illustrator for almost all of my puppets, and I've built HUNDREDS. Not sure what your issues are with locked layers. I don't use those, but I can understand your frustration with duplicating layers and having to rename them. There are scripts you can use to do this - or have you tried duplicating within Character Animator? I also get your frustration with not being able to move things that have the visibility off - but again, you can move everything (in say a head group) in Character Animator without having to turn on all the invisible layers in Illustrator.

 

You sound very frustrated, and I am sorry for that. But the community and the Character Animator team are some of the most helpful I have come across. What the Adobe Character Animator team are doing is AMAZING and they are so easy to get in touch with and help with any issues. So please take a breath and just ask for help if you get stuck with something. 
All the best!

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Engaged ,
Sep 29, 2022 Sep 29, 2022

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Do you create triggers with cycle layers and separate shareable puppets for heads, arms, and body, and cycle layer lip syncs? I may be trying to push the software a bit harder and that's why it's more a struggle for me. My problem is the limitations for advanced workflows. When you have 50 arm triggers, each with a minimum of 12 cycle layers, its impossible to see what you're doing, line up perfectly, and adjust a full trigger without having to make every cycle layer visible first. 

 

I appreciate your help, but we clearly approach CA very differently. 

 

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Contributor ,
Sep 30, 2022 Sep 30, 2022

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Yep - I create triggers with cycle layers. Also triggers that use replays and cycle layers. I also create triggers that work in multiple views. I use cycle layers in lip sync. I don't use shareable heads/bodies or arms. I experimented with shared assets (a while back) and didn't see performance gains. I think things got slower in my tests. So, I can't speak to issues you have with sharing assets.


I think the idea that you can build a puppet that does everything is a mistake. If you overload a puppet with too many views, behaviours, replays then it will slow down or crash (I imagine).

 

In my opinion you are better to break a puppet down when it gets too heavy. So you may have a sitting version. Or a jumping version. Or a version intended for full body tracking (as opposed to a puppet that is trigger driven). Too many outfit changes or heavy use of things like dangle can drastically slow the software down. Head turner is running all the views at the same time – so again – overuse can slow things down. Some of the features aren’t compatible with others.

 

A puppet that has 50 arm triggers each with a minimum of 12 cycle layers does sound like it would push things too far. I would be looking at simplifying that. But great to hear you pushing the software and finding its limitations.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 05, 2022 Oct 05, 2022

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Hello 🙂

I just needed to say to this conversation that the good thing about character animator is the really STRONG thing about "history". You can literally go back like o other program do (it's not a matter of undo, in Ch it's a matter of more like time traveling if you know what I mean), but I feel the instability also. I lost some things because of doing stuff that is perfectly normal, so it's a matter of dealing with the program very gently. It's buggy but Adobe is doing a great job and I have to deal with it.

do you want to know the worst bug I found? It's really annoying to me because I have a project with many scenes, and I have to change those "Live". So I use Syphon to transmit my scene to the software I use to do my live stream (OBS), but even if you check in Syphon Client App, it does the same thing, so the problem is not from OBS neither Syphon. Let me explain: if I have collide and dynamics objects in a layer (I tried PSD and AI), no matter if I go to that scene where I use those objects, or other scene that don't have that layer, every time I change scene in Ch, the Syphon Client receives another "Adobe Character Animator Scene", and they continue to appear every time you change scene, and it's the same name, but the thing is your syphon client sticks to the scene it opened, but the new generated scene in Ch won't be selected on your syphon client, so your receiving scene is frozen. If I don't have that dynamics and collide objects layer, it works perfectly well (so, I change scenes in Ch, and syphon client still only have one "Adobe Character Animator Scene" and it refreshes to the Scene you select in Ch, and you can do this over and over and it's ok, syphon works perfectly well. So what should o do? If you can, please try it in a new project, I mean I thought it could be my project that is complex, but no... if a creat a brand new project, and for exemple I create 2 scenes with different stuff (just put 2 different puppets, one for each scene, with static image so it's the simplest thing you can do), and open syphon client app. Change scenes in Ch, and you will see syphon stays with only one receiving scene, and that's perfect, it changes the scene you are viewing accordingly to the scene selected on Ch. Now, import a new puppet with some dynamic and collide objects, put it on one of your Ch scenes, and now change scenes in Ch and see what syphon Client receives... that's right, if you change for example  10 times your 2 scenes, it will generate 10 syphon scenes. For me this is a no-no, I am a live streamer that depends on this.

can you help me?

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 06, 2022 Oct 06, 2022

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@nunowonder Have you tried NDI instead of Syphon? We have had success working with the developers of NDI, but Syphon has no such support and isn't available cross platform.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 06, 2022 Oct 06, 2022

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Hello Daniel, of course, I use NDI a lot, but for this specific thing I do, Sypoh is completly Latency free. I know that NDI is almost with no latency, but there is (Like I don´t know, 20ms or something) that you might tell it´s unnoticeable, but for me that is moving something in real time with sound and looking at another monitor, it does matter a lot. And the thing is: Syphon is not the problem because it works perfectly. The thing is when you add this layers of dynamics and collide, it does what I explained. It would be very important if I could show this to you, by discord or something... That would be great for the community, and for all of us that helps Adobe every day to become better and better 😉

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