Adobe’s Character Animator software has us excited for the future of eLearning. Many a time we have showcased our world-famous cutout characters and a host of illustrated characters that can put a human face on your course. eLearning characters work wonders for humanizing a course, and even more so when those characters can talk, move, and emote like real humans. The tricky part about doing so however, lies in the animation process. Animation, depending on the software you use, can often have a steep learning curve.
Enter Adobe Character Animator, a fairly recent addition to Adobe After Effects. Do you have a voice and a face? If so, you have all the equipment you need to animate characters in Character Animator.
Using your camera and microphone, you can control the animation. Adobe’s sophisticated software maps your facial features and the position and scale of your head, transcribing your movements onto a wire-frame model and moving the selected character accordingly. Wink, nod, smile, raise your eyebrows. The character will do all of it. And you don’t even need to worry about syncing the lips up to the words you speak. Just speak your words live while you perform the movements, and the software will analyze what you say and move the character’s mouth into the appropriate shapes for what you’re saying.
In our minds this is a game changing moment in eLearning. It used to be that animation was a time and labor intensive activity that required lots of experience to do convincingly. Make no mistake, you still need skills and a bit of know-how to use Character Animator, but these advancements have removed many barriers for the beginning eLearning professional. Think of it like the home video boom of the 1980’s. Up until that time, film making was something that required expensive and complex machinery to do even somewhat successfully. Then, with the boom of relatively cheap camcorders that followed, any kid with a camera could make a movie in his backyard with a couple of friends. Were all of these movies good? Probably not, but they did open the door to budding filmmakers and provided a simpler jumping off point for learning more skills.
We believe that software like this and other innovations can provide valuable assets for tomorrow’s eLearning experts, as well as create more sophisticated methods for the professionals today. Learn more about Adobe Character Animator here!