Animating History Tariq Butt's Learning Journal

Workshop 1 Assignment

Creating the Character

Although there are a number of stock puppets available for use in Adobe Character Animator, I wanted to create a custom character for my first assignment. Not only did creating a custom character re-introduce me to the familiar challenge of tracing a character, I also had to learn how to create separate groups and layers so that they could be individually tagged for rigging in Character Animator. There are lots of tutorials available, the ones I found most useful were:

To create the character of Tamerlane I started with the I went with the photo of a facial reconstruction of the historical conqueror. After importing the character in Adobe Illustrator I traced it using the shapes, lines and paths available in Illustrator. In order to make the process of rigging easier, I created five layers - background, head, mouth, left eye and right eye.

Creating the character in Illustrator


The next step was to create groups, sub-groups and layers in Photoshop. The first screenshot below shows the hierarchy in Photoshop and the second screenshot shows how the elements of the character were tagged in Character Animator based on how they were tagged in Photoshop.

Rigging in Photoshop and Character Animator


Recording was a one take effort because the character was well-rigged. However, I did have difficulty keeping the character positioned and he had a lazy eye. In order to fix the lazy eye I turned off the Eye Gaze in the Puppet Track Behaviors.

Final Product

Workshop 2 Assignment


Not much to say this week to be honest. The characterizer makes the job of capturing facial attributes and behaviours so easy. I felt like I was in auto-pilot. I wasn't sure which style I wanted to work with, but in the end I liked the pop art style the best so I tailored my presentation accordingly. Matthijs Clasener's tutorial was awesome.

Final Thoughts

I am really glad I took this course. The workshops were fun, challenging and a great introduction to Adobe Character Animator which was a new tool for me. I feel like I am well on my way to learning the app and its features thanks to the Animating History course. The only constructive feedback I have to offer is to make the workshops more challenging. I found that working with the Characterizer on workshop 2 was almost like being on auto-pilot. Or did Adobe Character Animator just make it way too easy?

Created By
Tariq Butt


Created with an image by Stephanie LeBlanc - "untitled image"

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