The Pros and Cons of Adobe Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator is a software application that allows you to bring characters to life using your webcam and microphone. With Character Animator, you can create animated characters in real-time by capturing your facial expressions, gestures, and voice. The application uses machine learning and facial recognition technology to map your movements onto a 2D character, making it appear as if the character is responding to your actions.

Over the past several months, we’ve been tinkering with Adobe Character Animator and wanted to use our platform to sort through the pros and cons of our experience.


Helpful Tutorials

If you’re an Adobe enthusiast like us, you’ve probably watched Dave Werner (aka Okay Samurai) on YouTube at some point. Dave is a Senior Experience Designer Lead on Adobe Character Animator and produces extremely helpful tutorials on his YouTube channel.  Some of the most helpful videos include the Intro to Adobe Character Animator, creating a customized puppet (for Adobe Character Animator) in Photoshop and Illustrator. If you are new to the software, Dave’s tutorials are extremely thorough and easy to follow.

Custom Characters

Most of the animation software we’ve tested allow for some form of character customization, but Adobe Character Animator allows you to use characters/puppets that you’ve created from scratch using Photoshop or Illustrator.

Live Animation and Puppetry

By far one of our features of Adobe Character Animator is its ability to capture live performances. Puppet characters in real-time, using a webcam and microphone, giving animators the freedom to improvise and make on-the-fly adjustments for a dynamic and responsive animation experience.

Fair Price

Adobe Character Animator is included in the Creative Cloud All Apps plan for $59.99/month. Not bad considering the package also includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Rush, After Effects, and more. Adobe also offers a free plan called Starter mode with a simplified interface that concentrates on puppet performance, recording, and exporting. You don’t need a Creative Cloud subscription to use Starter mode. 

The Pros and Cons of Adobe Character Animator 1

Easier Animation

We’ve demoed several character animation softwares, and Adobe Character Animator is by far the easiest to pickup. The ability to start from their extensive collection of free pre-built characters in Adobe’s library makes it a easy to dive right in. Also, if you’re already immersed in the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem, Character Animator seamlessly integrates with other Adobe applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. This interconnectedness facilitates a smooth workflow, enabling users to import assets effortlessly.


Advanced Features=Learning Curve

The basic functionalities of Adobe Character Animator are user-friendly, but we’ve found that mastering some of the advanced features can be difficult to implement. Many of the tools used within the Adobe Character interface link to other Adobe programs, so you’ll need to be familiar with how those programs work to get the most out of the software.

Character Rigging

While Adobe Character Animator does simplify most aspects of animation, we found that creating intricate character rigs is still a complex process. Users aiming for highly detailed or elaborate character designs may find the rigging process time-consuming and challenging.

Subscription Model

Adobe Character Animator operates on a subscription-based pricing model, which may be a drawback if you aren’t interested in the other apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.

Limited 3D Capabilities

Adobe Character Animator is primarily designed for 2D animation. While it excels in this domain, those seeking robust 3D animation features may find the tool somewhat limiting. It’s essential to assess your project requirements before choosing Character Animator for 3D animation tasks.

In conclusion, Adobe Character Animator offers a compelling blend of accessibility and advanced features, making it a valuable asset for animators looking to bring characters to life with ease. While it may pose challenges for those seeking extensive 3D capabilities or dealing with resource limitations, the software’s continuous updates and integration within the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem contribute to its overall appeal. As with any creative tool, the decision to use Adobe Character Animator should align with your specific animation requirements and the learning curve you’re prepared to undertake.

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