Small changes in .ai puppet file result in unrelated layers disappearing in record mode

Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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Hi, this is not my first puppet, but I am still a novice. I have a .ai puppet. I spent a couple days getting everything rigged and ready to go. But before I started recording, I thought the hand art looked a little off, so I went back into Illustrator and tweaked the finger positions a little. I DIDN'T CHANGE THE STRUCTURE, ANY LAYER NAMES, ETC. BUT when I went back into Character Animator, random layers were missing (an arm, a foot, part of a leg). They are still there in Rig mode, but they do not appear in Record mode. I tried going back into .ai and making other random tweaks to the artwork, and every once in a while different layers appear or disappear. It's really weird and annoying. Any ideas? I'm gonna keep trying stuff.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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One thing to keep an eye out for is that the content isn't actually disappearing, just getting shifted far out of range. For as long as I can remember, there's been an issue within CH that means that slight adjustments to the original file can have unexpected results in the current CH file. One thing to test is to take the latest AI file and import it as a new puppet and see if all of the parts are where they are supposed to be.

 

Another thing that can cause parts to dissappear are the addition of behaviors in layers that they are unexpected. If all else fails, export the puppet and share it here and we can take a look at it.

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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I'm a novice also, but, have you closed out both Illustrator and Character Animator? I find occasionally that will do the trick. If I make several changes, large or small, CA will get glitchy. Closing both programs sometimes allows them to reset.

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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Could you please File > Export > Puppet, and upload/share your .puppet file (via Google Drive, Dropbox, Creative Cloud, etc.) here or via DM so we can take a closer look?

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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Thanks for the quick replies, everyone! I'll get the puppet uploaded to y'all asap. In the meantime, a few more details. The character is a guy at a desk. He's got two hands always working away at the keyboard. And two other arms doing a multitude of other things. You can see a rough idea of the structure in the attached screenshot. That's in Rig mode, so nothing missing here. The second screenshot is what he looks like in Record. I tried restarting the software, and even the whole workstation.

 

(Quick aside: oksamurai, your videos have basically been playing non-stop over the last 2 weeks while I've been getting started with Character Animator. MUCH appreciated!)

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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Here's a link to the puppet file. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OY4nFs-Mfb1H02ZU6oCRotIrxkv-zyuw/view?usp=sharing

 

For what it's worth, if I re-import the artwork, nothing is missing. So, I think I'm going to just start over and rebuild all the behaviors, sticks, draggers, sets, etc. But I'd love to know what I did wrong and how I can prevent it from happening in the future.

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022

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Aha! One more update... I just tried importing the .puppet file, AND EVERYTHING WORKS! So maybe the problem had something to do with the connection between the Illustrator file and Character Animator?

I'm coming from 15 years of After Effects animation experience... seeing the tremendous potential in Character Animator, but I feel like an old dog trying to learn new tricks! 🙂 lol

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