Animate Yourself

Character animation is a fairly new interest of mine. I would generally rig and animate characters with After Effects, which is a bit of a chore. This makes the RubberHose plugin an essential add-on and has sped-up my workflow. The settings are intuitive and the guide is helpful. My bigger projects that need it generally turn into a complex mashup of value inputs and layers.

Then there's Adobe Character Animator. You can animate characters with any Photoshop or Illustrator file using your face or voice through webcam, which is known to as performance capture. I think it's a fun way to create new characters. The UI feels a bit like After Effects, but with one goal in mind.

The latest feature Characterizer, using AI facial recognition through Adobe Sensei, turns your face captures into a painting or sketch, making for some wild results. It's also a sneaky way of explaining the basics of face rigging.

But my favorite feature is the ability to livestream your character to Twitch or YouTube in realtime! Twitch streamers have caught onto this. Scribbled, features himself as a TV robot living (locked?) inside of a haunted house. The effort he's put into creating his character makes for what feels like a magical livestream experience. His setup involves running Adobe Character Animator on a separate laptop of the game, then syphons the scene through OBS Studio, which then streams the combined footage to Twitch. It's a bit annoying to setup, but worth the pain for it's awesome potential!

Unfortunately for you, my real first character attempt is the Barry Glazer. You've might of seen his bonkers and hilarious local TV commercials between an Orioles game, which seem to get more bizarre each year. I made a quick video showcasing some of the animation tricks I've picked up so far. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with the results with just two days of effort. You can also give Barry a try yourself with the link below.

Ultimately, I'm really excited to see how creative software can minimize complex tasks, enabling creative ideas to become reality. If you make anything, let me know!

Download the Barry Glazer puppet here.

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