Monday, May 10th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe releases Character Animator 4.2

Originally posted on 10 March 2021. Scroll down for news of the 4.2 update.

Adobe has released Character Animator 4.0, the latest version of its real-time puppet animation software.

Despite the hike in version number, the only new feature is a new example puppet, but there is one crucial structural change: a new, more robust, but non-backwards-compatible project file format.

Generate puppet-style animation from video footage of an actor, complete with facial expressions
First released in 2017, Character Animator generates real-time puppet-style animation from video footage of an actor, complete with lip sync and facial expressions.

Subsequent updates have added the option to trigger readymade character animations when streaming live, and keyframe and graph editing tools for refining animations offline.

As well as being widely used on YouTube, Character Animator has been used to produce US broadcast series like Our Cartoon President, and won a technical Emmy Award in 2020.

New in version 4.0: new, more robust project file format
The main change in Character Animator 4.0 is a new file format for saved projects, described by Adobe as faster, more compact and “more resilient to power loss and file-syncing conflicts”.

However, it isn’t backwards-compatible, so all changes made to projects in version 4.0 are “incompatible with older versions of Character Animator”.

Other than that, the only new feature is Hopscotch the Frog, a new readymade example puppet.

Updated 10 May 2020: Adobe has released Character Animator 4.2.

The release adds the option to import files to a project by dragging them onto the home screen, and to move or trim a scene’s work area during playback.

In addition, project files created in Character Animator 4.0 should now be automatically recovered if damaged by a software crash or power failure.

Pricing and availability
Character Animator 4.2, the May 2021 update, is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.14.1+. The software is rental-only, via Adobe’s All Apps subscriptions. They cost $79.49/month or $599.88/year.

Read more about the new features in Character Animator 4.0 and 4.2 in the online documentation