Category Archives: Animation

Character Animator tips

Some of you may have started playing around with Adobe’s new creation, Character Animator. If not, I’d suggest you check it out – it makes character animation a breeze.

However, if you’ve tried creating your own characters, you have may run into problems getting them to animate how you’d want. Here are some handy tips on getting it right:

Dragging limbs skews the whole character

If you’ve got this problem, you’ve probably got the wrong ‘mesh shape’ for your character. You will almost always want a ‘contour’ mesh shape, but Character Animator (by default) tries to detect whether it should use a rectangular mesh for your character’s ‘rubber sheet’, or a mesh which hugs the contours of you character.

See the images below for how to fix this:
characteranimator2characteranimator3Limbs do not move like they have a bone structure

If you’ve added ‘mousetrack/draggable left/right hand’ anchors, but the characters arms are more like that of an octopus than a human, then you need to add some elbow and shoulder anchors:

characteranimator4

The feet move slightly when you tilt your head

Although the rest of the character may be set up correctly, you’ll probably want to ensure that your character’s feet stay firmly on the ground – at least while you are simply moving the head/arms. You can fix this easily from with Character Animator, by adding a couple of ‘fixed’ pins into each foot (and ideally ankle too):

characteranimator1

Hopefully, that’ll help you solve some of the most common problems encountered in Character Animator. If there’s something specific you think I should tackle, let me know…

Lurpak Breakfast – how it was done

I thought I’d give a quick insight into how the animation effects in one of my projects were acheived.

Scott Bedford, former Creative Director at Carlson Marketing, posted this video of a project we worked on a while back, for the Lurpak Breakfast campaign. I created all the animation prototypes for the various effects used throughout the site, some of which can be seen here. The site won two DMA awards, but I’m most proud of the crumbs animation and the code-generated interactive steam effect – similar to the one you’ll see on my homepage.

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