Working with Body Tracker – Different Ways to Animate in Adobe Character Animator

With the release of Body Tracker, there are now different ways you can use to animate characters. Tips for getting the most out of animation with Adobe Character Animator.

Adobe just released a new 22.0 version of Adobe Character Animator* introducing Body Tracker. This new and robust feature will add new possibilities and make it faster and easier to achieve great animated results using the software.

tips for new and old ways to animate with body tracker in adobe character animator

Up until now only the head movements and facial expressions could be animated using camera capture. With the release of Body Tracker behavior an entire, full-body, animations can be recorded using motion capture without requiring any special equipment or animation skills.

There are now several ways you can work with puppets in Adobe Character Animator:

We are currently in the process of updating all of our puppets to work with the new Body Tracker feature. We will now have a dedicated page for you to stay up to date with our updates and fixes.

3 Main Approaches

1: Old Style: Facial Motion Capture + Dragger Animation for the Body Parts

This is the standard way of working with puppets in Adobe Character Animator until the latest release.

To animate hand or leg movements this way the handles need to be dragged using the mouse across the computer screen.

To be able to work with the puppets this way in the new Adobe Ch version you need to:

working with puppets without the body tracker feature settings adobe character animator
turn on dragger behavior to use dragged handles instead of body tracking behavior in adobe character animator

2: Body Tracking + Facial Motion Capture

This is the new and the easiest way to animate in Adobe Character Animator. All you need to do is act out your animation in front of the camera  and record it.

For this work mode you need to:

Setting to work with body tracking and camera input in adobe ch

By default, you have 5 seconds to catch a pose in front of the camera to initialize it. That can be changed to 10 or 20 seconds if you go to the --> Timeline on the top menu, navigate to the ---> Body Tracker Countdown at the bottom, and select the time you need.

changing the time for body calibrate in adobe character animator
turn off dragger behavior for body tracker to work properly

To record Upper Body Movements: Head, Left wrist and right wrist

setting to record upper body movements with body tracker in adobe character animator

To record Full Body Movements: Head, Left wrist , right wrist, left heel, right heel and waist

setting to record full body movements with body tracker in adobe character animator

Factors that can affects the quality of body tracking:

3: Combining Body Tracker with Dragger Animations

To get good results when recording motion using a Body Tracker it is best to have the Dragger behavior turned off. But you might add additional “dragger animation” on top of the recordings made with Body Tracker.

For that to work well you need to animate the keyframes for the “strength” parameter in the body behavior.

keyframe animation for strength parameter of body tracking behavior

To switch between Body Tracker animation to Mouse Dragger animation:

Now What?

Download one of our puppets and tell us in the comments below, which is your preferred method to animate in Adobe Character Animator?

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