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Where can I find a actual 'owners manual' for Character Animator?

Engaged ,
Jan 28, 2019

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I need to know how to work  in Character Animator - beyond the helpful training pages. I need to understand what to check for when stuff doesn't work. Nowhere have I found such a thing. Is there a resource I don't know about?

Now that I've seen the file, I can let everyone know what's going on. The layers tagged "Left/Right Pupil Range"(a layer named left/right eyeball is another way to get a pupil range tag) determine how far the pupils can move and these layers were about the height of the pupils, so our algorithm didn't know what to do. I'll file an internal bug. Perhaps in cases like these they can travel half the pupil's distance or some other sort of arbitrary distance.

I'd also like to see control over strength of the vertical and horizontal travel because right now you can only control the strength of them together.
Thanks,

Dan Ramirez

CH QA

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Where can I find a actual 'owners manual' for Character Animator?

Engaged ,
Jan 28, 2019

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I need to know how to work  in Character Animator - beyond the helpful training pages. I need to understand what to check for when stuff doesn't work. Nowhere have I found such a thing. Is there a resource I don't know about?

Now that I've seen the file, I can let everyone know what's going on. The layers tagged "Left/Right Pupil Range"(a layer named left/right eyeball is another way to get a pupil range tag) determine how far the pupils can move and these layers were about the height of the pupils, so our algorithm didn't know what to do. I'll file an internal bug. Perhaps in cases like these they can travel half the pupil's distance or some other sort of arbitrary distance.

I'd also like to see control over strength of the vertical and horizontal travel because right now you can only control the strength of them together.
Thanks,

Dan Ramirez

CH QA

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Valorous Hero ,
Jan 28, 2019

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At the top of the forums there are links to tutorials etc, including documentation. Otherwise try some Google searches! ;-). But there is a “User Guide” for character animator which sounds like what you are after. It lists each feature and the various properties.

Adobe Character Animator Help | Adobe Character Animator User Guide

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Engaged ,
Jan 28, 2019

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That's all well and good but what can I do when the head won't tilt to the side? Ever! Or the eyes don't follow what you do? Perhaps when you buy a vacuum they put a list of the possible problems you might have and offer a few reasons why. If there were a book I could follow but this latest version is in a whole new ballgame.

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Valorous Hero ,
Jan 28, 2019

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Books are normally note done by the platform - they are normally written by people trying to make a name for themselves in an area, or if a popular area they might make a profit from book sales. The probability of profit for CH is near zero because the audience is so small.

So what resources are there?

  • The User Guide. Terse, but lists all features available.
  • The video tutorials. Useful, includes examples.
  • Udemy I believe has an online video course with tutorials (never seen it)
  • Adobe MAX had a training session, but its a once a year conference
  • The forums here - feel free to ask specific questions and see if others know an answer
  • Blogs, videos, etc by community members (my blog is at https://extra-ordinary.tv/behind-the-scenes/ ; I have a YouTube channel linked from one of the latest blog posts)

But no books that I know of. The best way I can suggest is to ask questions here in the forum. A number of people jump on to help and the Adobe staff are here as well answering questions.

Regarding eyes, if you are having the problem, my blog has how I debug eyes (my most commonly referenced blog post).

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Engaged ,
Jan 29, 2019

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Thanks, this has helped me a lot. I can stop scouring the internet for manuals now. It turns out that Udemy is similar to Lynda. com. It offers classes in things you can't find in schools. The problem with those is that you can only find classes for last year's version (or older) of what your doing. I guess I'll use the forums and just plug away.

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Engaged ,
Jan 29, 2019

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I have used your PSD outline from you  .tv site and, with a few modifications, I was able to have the eyes work! The most important change was to have the right/left pupil range go down below the right/left pupil - otherwise she looked like a zombie. VERY helpful.

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Engaged ,
Jan 29, 2019

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Now the only problem is that in Character Animator, for no reason at all, the eyes will look to the right and left when they feel like it.  How can I correct this.

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Engaged ,
Jan 29, 2019

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Screen Shot 2019-01-29 at 3.38.04 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-01-29 at 3.42.19 PM.png

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Valorous Hero ,
Jan 29, 2019

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Do you wear glasses? It might be light reflecting from your glasses causing problems. Or poor lighting on your face.

To test this out, go to the face behavior and disable the camera and enable the mouse as input for eye gaze. then try dragging the mouse around the scene window - do the eyes move reliably? If yes, its something about camera tracking. If no, read up on the crazy eyes section at the end of the blog post.

There are sensitivity and snap settings you can experiment with as well.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 30, 2019

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Adobe Character Animator Help | Adobe Character Animator User Guide

This is the closest thing we have to a manual. It is quite frustrating when things aren't working the way you expect. If you post your puppet here(or PM me), I'm happy to take a look. My best piece of advice is to look at the behavior in the *Puppet* Properties panel. Here you can see the handles that the behavior is currently seeing. You cannot see these handles when using the *Track* Properties panel.

I help customers with puppets all the time and one of the most common problems is too many tags(e.g., multiple head handles fighting, often because a face background layer is named head as well as the head group) or layers/handles that are untagged, but should be(e.g., Eye Gaze not working because the pupils are untagged, maybe because they're named lpupil and rpupil)

Dan Ramirez
CH QA Engineer

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