Add Physics To Your Motion Capture Animations In Adobe Character Animator | David Miller | Skillshare

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Add Physics To Your Motion Capture Animations In Adobe Character Animator

teacher avatar David Miller, Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Learning Puppet Layers

    • 3. Creating Sub Puppets

    • 4. Setting Dangles

    • 5. Draggables 1

    • 6. Keyboard Triggers

    • 7. Rendering in After Effects + Project

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About This Class

Adobe Character Animator is an amazing motion capture sub-program of Adobe After Effects.  It utilizes your webcam and microphone to allow you to do live animations of puppets, but it also allows you to set the physics of your characters and animate without using keyframes!  We will cover gravity, wind, dangles, draggables, and keyboard triggers in this class.

Meet Your Teacher

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David Miller

Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio


I'm David, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, and my studio is Primordial Creative.  


I have always been interested in the visual arts from an early age- drawing, painting, and clay- but around my high school years I became interested in photography for the social aspect of involving other people, the adventure inherent in seeking out pictures, and the presentation of reality that wasn't limited by my drawing skills.


One thing in my work that has stayed consistent over the decades since then is I have an equal interest in the reality of the lens next to the fictions we can create in drawing, painting, animation, graphic design, and sound design.  As cameras have incorporated video and audio features, and as Adobe's Creative Cloud all... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi there. I'm multimedia artist David Miller speaking to you from my studio Primordial Creative in Tempe, Arizona. Today, I'm going to go in depth with adding physics here. Animations in the Dhobi Character Animator sub program of Adobe After Effects character Animator uses your webcam as an animation trigger, which saves you a lot of time sitting key frames and helps with creating more naturalistic movements. There are a lot of other ways you can add motion animation beyond over your head. Side to side will cover gravity, dangles, drag a bles emotion triggers, as well as teach you how to export your public to adobe after effects. Render final animation. Your project for this class is creating 12th example. Video isn't gravity and strangles and share it to the skills your project page. Let's begin. 2. Learning Puppet Layers: one of the things that were going to be messing with here is physics and the physics involved angles and gravity and wind a puppet I'll be working with. Is this here talking tree? And this is something I designed a while back, actually, almost two years now. They made this in, um, and iPad. App calls paper by 53. And it's just a very simple drawing up. Um, currently, there aren't a lot of physics to this guy. You might have a dangle already assigned to them. Not sure, but, uh, when I designed him, I'll show you what he looks like is broken down parts. I have a face, which is this whole entire section basically all the brown parts. And this was all drawn with my finger, by the way. And then I have mouth parts. Where's mouth? There we go. And the mouth parts are short of and the mouth parts are I signed by these phone ings These mouth shapes here. Neutral Smile. Surprise. Ah d e f k l m ah th w o using newer hobbit template. It's not gonna have th it's gonna have some other stuff. It's gonna have r and s not really sure why I had to be changed that. But like I said, I made this almost two years ago. All of these, um, photoshopped layers that you see that have things like front plus head origin. These are all actually from a puppet template that character animator gives you. So they give you this guy has a little character animator logo on its If we were to switch over character animator and I wanted to create a new puppet. It's up here puppet new empty puppet in our new puppet and Photoshopped. That's what gives you your layer template. All you do is paste in your parts where they need to go. So instead of the face background here, I had drawn my tree, my basic tree, and put it where the face goes here, which is Ah, as I recall, it was floating around down years drag all my mouth is over. Tear him off so you could see them with all of them turned on. It looks like a big mess, but that's my f That's teeth biting bottom lip. Okay. L m so forth in my other tutorials about Adobe character animator I go in a little more in depth about that. But I don't want to. Ah, replicate everything I did in those tutorials. This one, I really want to get onto the physics part. So needless to say, if you need some further insight, go ahead and take a look at those. 3. Creating Sub Puppets: So I'm going Teoh, open a really old puppet in character animator Just to show you how we can assign sub puppets within our puppet and anything that you want to have move around on. Your character needs to be a puppet. So let's see here, Mayor Templates. We're gonna pick 3/4 face. This is something that I created. Um, probably one of the very, very, very, very, very first things I ever made in character animators. So you could see all the mouths pile on to each other, and we have skin which does not have this little icon on it. These icons mean they are puppets, and they respond to behaviors that either programmed into character animator by default or that you program yourself. But if I wanted this skin to move around Ah, I'll show you what it looks like when it's just it's own face dragged and you see Okay, so this is what the guy looks like on his own. And you can see the eyebrows, the blinking, the mouth moving. Um, not so much on the face. Open it up. We convert skin to a puppet with this button here. Group s cup it. And now I can assign gravity to it and some physics and some keyboard triggers and handles . I will get into it. All of these are in a moment. But let me do a quick demonstration back to 3/4 face, turn up the dangle. And now you can see there's a little bit of movement Teoh his face, not the greatest thing in the world. Um, probably the ideal way to deal with this guy would be to have his hair on a separate layer and make his hair puppet so it has gravity and bounced to it. But you get the picture. 4. Setting Dangles: we got head, we got body, there's here. And I do currently have some dangles sent to dangle is a point where gravity will affect what you have. So I'm gonna pull all of these off here so I can start from scratch. Now, we have these tools down here and one I want, you know, is the pencil. Whatever I pinned down won't fly around. So let's fix just 1/2 of his hair. We put some pins here. Hopefully that won't work. The parts you want to be affected the most by gravity are the dangles and the dangles look like the cells swimming ball. This little pendulum, I'm gonna put some I'm gonna put him kind of randomly because I want you to see what happens. So I put two here, one Here, Let's go. One on the bottom, just for good measure. Okay, I'm gonna bounce back to our scene and a little bit of stuff happening. You can see his hair section is waving around a little bit independently of the other background tree. I'm gonna go over your is his dangle, turn it down, and then I'm going to mess with these settings so gravity generally comes from the ground. That's the default. Gravity direction is pointed straight down. One. If it's a little bit sideways, you can see this section is being pulled over here to the side. This part is not because it has the three pins put in it, and also the gravity's turned up to 4 42 which is pretty pretty high. It does affect those apples, which I think is pretty cool. That's that was my intention, but I want this to look for a cartoon. ITRI. I wanted to look realistic in its movements and its gravity, something to keep gravity pointed straight down. Minute. Turn it down a little bit. Spring stiffness. When it's up to 100 it stops it from looking like taffy being sex straight down wind strength. So wind would come from other directions besides down. And if you think about the real world, there are a lot of forces that are at work. There's gravity. Of course, that sucks is to the earth, and there's things that move side to side. And I feel like the more that you have those as part of what you're, uh, what's going on then the more realistic year cartoon looks. So when variation means that things are gonna change, let's reset. Set, rest pose. It doesn't look too good right now. And I will tell you the reason is we did not really position are dangles and our pins in places that are realistic. So start moving those around. First of all, the fixed points realistically would be where you're dangles attached to something. So if these were hearings on a person's head, then it's the part where the airing actually meets in the year is where you put the fixed point and then the dangle would be the loosest part of the airing. The tip of it correct. I'm gonna move this tangle here. So to reiterate, if I wasn't being clear, fixed point is a branch. 6.6 point Dangle is the furthest away parts of the book from the branch. So the edge of my leaves and was gonna kind of space amount nicely here. It's bounced back to our talking truth, all right. Kind of like what's going on with his hair? No. Let's turn the wind strength up a little bit. It's pretends a real windy day and the wind is coming from above. They were, in turn, the variation of just to give you a sense of what, what it could look like. It was a very windy day. It's a little jittery to me, turned the wind down and all this stuff down a little bit. Here we go. Looks kind of nice and blustery. 5. Draggables 1: So one thing you'll note on my tree is that when I move myself around his front route, stay solid and the rest of him kind of flow like their tentacles, almost. And ah, that would that my work if this was an octopus or a squid character or something? But it's not really what I want in this pot. Back over my puppet. Go to the body, use the pin tools, pin them down, switch back to scene. Here he goes. Now he's maneuvering in the way I want him to stay rooted in one spot. These other tools dragger tool makes drag a ble sections. Ah, your character. So with the mouse now that I have a dragger and they will have flipped him around and unfortunately it also pulls him out of the scenes away from his eyes if I was to be really crazy about it, but it could be very subtle with it, and also, unfortunately, because I've put a dragger now, it is no longer holding all the pieces together. It's good. Take that off of it. What could you use a dragon for? What would be an ideal subject to place a drag tool with. Well, what if I wanted one of these routes to come up and snatch? Somebody put it on. There still has the pin. Let's see what happens. The pin holds it down back here. Removed my fixed pin Close. Not perfect. Put it lower. I got a little bit of goo. Some reason by ultimately, if I did want him to go. Hey you! Yeah, You over there. I'm talking to you. I want you, Teoh. Mind your manners easily animate herbal because you could do Recording. Hey you! Yeah, you! I'm talking to you! Turn off! Here's our motion. And you say to yourself, That was great. What about his lips? Were about the things that I want him to say Import. We'll just find Cem. Quick. Audio here. Evil laugh. Why not? It's good tree. You get evil love position at the middle. Compute lip sync from seen audio timeline. So pretty cool, right? What about that weird line? I wanted to move around. Ah, let's see. Remember the fixed point Change anything? Think what's going on is that my drag a ble has to be at the furthest corner. Each time I move, it gets more and more of that in line out of there. We're gonna put it down in the bottom bottom. Bottom corner here. Everything around it it goes along all right. 6. Keyboard Triggers: Okay, So I wanted to show you guys, How did new motion triggers? And I decided to work on a little different face. So you were so sick of seeing that tree over and over, and this particular face, I'll go ahead and show you how it's laid out on photo shop. Right now, these googly eyes and these wax lips are totally not moving in relation, Teoh. Anything else? And the reason for that is they aren't even assigned as part of the puppet. So we'll open up this 3/4 face to here, and you can see googly eyes. Not a puppet has no motion to it whatsoever. So Step one is to group it as puppet. And now it is sub puppet number five. I need to give it a trigger. So when we go over here and some puppet five layer dont trigger, let's, uh, use letter D and hop back over to our scene. De makes it appear, and we have a problem. And that problem is, even though the googly eyes and the lips up here, everything else is still under our face, right? We push this and yet all the other stuff doesn't disappear so hot back over here. Hide all other layers in the same group when the trigger is active. What's this going to dio? It hides everything, binds our face. So not quite a solution we're looking for here. How are we going to deal with this? What we need to do is copy the regular face and have that be part of the layer with the googly eyes and the wax lips. So we'll bounce back over to photo shop, scroll down to find my skin. Duplicate this layer. I'm going to move it up under the googly eyes. I am going. Teoh, merge those two layers and you notice it doesn't say googly eyes anymore. It says in copy. All right, save it, Then I'm going. Teoh, bounce back to my character animator and let's check him out. Incorporating external edits Preparing corner. Okay, Googly eyes is no longer a puppet because I just altered it so radically that it decided to group it is about a group. It is a puppet again set my trigger and I'm putting a letter D But it could be any trigger that you want it to be hide siblings. That's back Here's my guy. Oh no, And that's how you set in motion Trigger. If you want any action happen, I believe on the dhobi. Cite their example. Has a dragon guy who's breathing fire when you hit the letter and certainly you could have a number of other layers if you wanted this character. Teoh have an inverted face. For example, it's bounce back over to photo shop. We're going to duplicate googly eyes layer and we're going to use image. Invert. So now I have this layer and this layer save it. So bounce back to character animator I reassigned these as puppets. So some puppet one is the invert in some puppet to is the goodly I face. You could have every key on your keyboard have some kind of effect. As you're doing your motion capture, you have quite a few possibilities 7. Rendering in After Effects + Project: so that was our adobe character. I'm in your tutorial. I have many other ones on my skill share page, and I encourage you guys to check those out. I love working in character in a matter aftereffects because it makes animation simple and natural. It almost feels like playing live when you're animating with Adobe character animator, and you don't have to go through the complicated things we had to do in the past. We wanted to lip sync things. Certainly you don't have to animate every single frame or set every key frame for your puppets because motion capture takes care of all of that for you, and you can actually get a performance out of your puppet to share your video on the skill share product page, simply export your animation from Adobe Character Animator as a PNG sequence in wave open Adobe after effects run character animator recording as a script, and then you have a composition of your work, rendering it as a quick time move file, Rendering your video with the H 264 Kodak will give you a small enough video that you can host it on YouTube or video and then post stealing to the skills your project page so we can all see what wonderful work you came up with. Thanks for watching. Talk to you next time.