Adobe Character Animator Tutorials. Basic Puppet in Illustrator.

To start creating Basic Puppet in Illustrator, the most important thing is to name the layers and groups correctly.
Because the animator of the characters uses these names to recognize the parts of the doll’s body.
When working with Adobe Illustrator, when creating a puppet, it’s easy to arrange its layers correctly.
Next, use only one layer and several groups inside it containing different parts of your puppet’s body.

Now let’s take and animate this beautiful girl.

Adobe Character Animator Tutorials. Basic Puppet in Illustrator

As you can see, all the parts of this girl’s body are in one unnamed layer. You will need to give the layer a name or description of your character.
Since the girl’s name is Laki, then we will call the layer +Laki.
This + symbol in front of the name is very important for animation in the future.
This sign indicates that the layer or group is independent of deformation. Which means they can be moved independently of the rest of the body.

Structure of the header, body layer Basic Puppet in Illustrator

Now we will create a head and body group.

Basic Puppet in Illustrator

At the moment, you can see that in the +Laki layer there is a group with a head and a group with body parts.

The character animator recognizes the words “head” and “body” and assigns the appropriate behavior accordingly.
In order to avoid confusion in the program, you need to use these words only once only in the names of these groups.
This way the program will know that this is the correct head and body of your puppet.

Then, within each group, we group elements that will not move independently.

In the head group, this is the shape of the face, hair, eyes, nose, ears, nose, neck.
In the body group, this is the trunk, arms and legs

Next, let’s name the elements that we want to assign behavior to later.

Now you can see how the + symbol appears again. So Laki’s hands will be able to swing them independently.

Next, we name and arrange the doll’s facial features, which are automatically recognized by the Character Animator.

Eyebrows, pupils, blinking and mouth shape are recognized automatically by the program.
Interestingly, if you name and position these elements correctly, the program will animate them for you.
And now, in a few quick steps, you can revive the motionless face of our girl.

Structure of the eye layer

Let’s start with the eyes first.
They should be called the Left Eye and the Right Eye, according to your doll’s body, not your screen. Then we will name each pupil +left Pupil and +right Pupil.
Let’s put + before the names of the pupils, so the girl can blink her eyes.

Now let’s create eyelids and call them “Left Blink” and “Right Blink”.
Every time you blink, the character animator shows your doll’s closed eyelids.
Also makes invisible all other layers that are in the same eyelid group.
Therefore, the doll’s eyelids should be in the same group as their eyes.

Go to the eyebrow layer. Here we see the + symbol again.
We call them +Left eyebrow and + Right eyebrow.
These are the last elements in which we will use the + symbol.

Adobe Character Animator

Structure of the mouth layer

As already known, the shape of the mouth is the only element in the doll that is generated in accordance with the sound.
But this does not mean that the program generates mouth shapes by itself.
We draw the shapes for the doll’s mouth ourselves in the programs.
In general, there are fourteen different mouth shapes that every fully functional doll should have.
Another interesting thing is that three shapes from these mouths are actually generated by an image from a webcam, not by sound. They are neutral, that is, every time there is silence and your face is at rest.
The other two are a smile and surprise, which occur when silence comes and you smile or open your mouth wide.
All your mouth shapes need to be placed in a group named Mouth.

Adobe Character Animator

Also here you can see how the mouth shapes are presented in the program.

Adobe Character Animator Tutorials. Basic Puppet in Illustrator

And now we have a fully functional doll in Adobe Illustrator.

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