In this article, we will help you learn step-by-step how to use Adobe Character Animator for free through Adobe’s Newest Function Starter Mode and Performer Mode.
Adobe Character Animator gets more accessible than ever for everyone who wants to make fun animations for their projects. Although the tool is beginner-friendly and allows you to easily set up your puppet to lip-sync your voice and follow your facial expression and movement, it can sometimes get overwhelming for having to keep up with hundreds of layers. Fortunately, Adobe has the perfect answer for this.
1. Enter Starter Mode
Starter Mode is a new feature in Adobe Character Animator that lets you create simple character animations for free. All you have to do is pick a puppet, make a recording, drag in some triggers to add extra emotion, and voila! As a result, you have a video ready to export. For free!
Starter Mode launches in the Character animator beta application, which means you don’t need to have a paid Character Animator subscription.
All you need to start:
- Adobe ID
- Download and install Creative Cloud
- Download and install Adobe Character Animator Beta
Step 1. Joining Adobe Character Animator Beta
You will find Adobe Character Animator Beta in the sidebar menu in your Creative Cloud.
Once you click on the beta apps, Creative cloud will show you all Adobe apps with Beta versions that you can join. Click the Install or Update button next to Character Animator Beta to download it. This version will install separately from the current shipping version of Character Animator (22.2). You will recognize it by its blueprint-themed icon.
Step 2: Getting Started with Starter Mode
Congratulations! Now you’re ready to launch your Character Animator in Starter Mode.
The home screen welcomes you with a few free puppets to start with. All puppets are a slightly different variation from the ones in Pro Mode. However, they’re fine-tuned to work easier and faster.
You will notice the simplified interface where most of the text and panels from Pro Mode are missing. All you have is your camera in the right corner, your character in the center ready to follow your lead.
This mode gives you two easy options for recording right below your character screen:
- Start recording: click and record your performance.
- Import dialogue audio: import an audio recording of yourself or someone else you wish to use in the video.
You will also notice a few icons in the right corner below the character screen. These give you a few additional options.
- Aspect ratio: Your default aspect ratio is set as Landscape. However, you can change it to Square, Portrait, or 5×4, depending on what platform your video is for.
- Background: This option gives you a list of backgrounds to choose from. You can select a pre-made cartoon background or a solid color.
- Settings: You can use it to set up a webcam (if you have multiple ones), mirror camera input, and audio settings.
Step 3: Recording Your First Video
Okay Samurai makes a demonstration of how easily you can work in Starter Mode. Check out the full walkthrough:
If you, however, want a taste of Pro Mode and:
- Use it for free – combined with some free puppets, you don’t have to pay a penny to start animating.
- Have a Record option to animate and export
- Use the Stream option for games, video meetings, etc.
- Enjoy recording with premade puppets
- Use the Trial without inspiration
You can learn all about the Performer Mode in the next section.
2. Enter Performer Mode
The Performer Mode feature in Character Animator’s software is another way to use the tool for free, get to know the software, and try some cool animations. Adobe kindly provided us with a free unlock code for our customers for the Performer Mode so you can start animating right away if you don’t need to make some advanced animations.
Step 1: Activating Performer Mode
Start by downloading the Character Animator software from Adobe’s website.
You will be asked to sign in with your ID. If you don’t have an Adobe account, sign up for free in Adobe.
After the software is installed, it will automatically launch on your computer.
A trial window may appear – just press the blue Start free trial button.
Once the software has launched, in order to unlock the Performer Mode, follow these simple steps:
* on Windows OS, while holding the Alt key, choose the Edit -> Preferences menu option
Choose the Performer Mode option at the bottom of the list located on the left side of the dialog.
Enter the special GraphicMama code in the Unlock code field.
GraphicMama Performer Mode Code:
Make sure that the Performer Mode checkbox is checked and click OK.
Voila, you’ve unlocked the Performer mode!
In order to be sure that the version was successfully unlocked, you should be able to see the PERFORMER MODE text in the Menu Bar.
3. Getting Puppets for Starter and Performer Mode
Now, you’ve got as far as installing the free modes, you will need some puppets to animate, right? You can get both free and premium animated puppets from GraphicMama.
Alex The Businessman Free Puppet
Alex the Businessman is a free puppet of an elegant young businessman character. Our most popular puppet for animations, explainer videos, and more. He has triggers for pointing, showcasing, giving thumbs-up, and waving. Alex can also hold a Notepad, Pointer, Pen, and an Envelope. Walking left/right and advanced head movements included.Go To Free Download
Business Lady Free Puppet
Business Lady is a stylish black businesswoman character, prepared as a puppet with additional features such as head turn and walking in from left and right The file is ready to import and use in Adobe Character Animator.Go To Free Download
Brad The Gingerbread Free Puppet
Brad the Gingerbread is the favorite of many. This very merry, free puppet template is ready to go with pre-made triggers. He can point, wave, give thumbs up, express emotions, and lip-sync your holiday songs.Go To Free Download
Happy Chubby Fish Free Puppet
Happy Chubby Fish is a freebie cheerful and colorful fish character, you can use for animations, explainer videos, etc. He can make bubbles, flip his fin, show a sign, and talk.Go To Free Download
Papple The Penguin Free Puppet
Papple the Penguin can point, wave, give thumbs up, express emotions, and lip-sync your words. The sweet cubby puppet can also hold snowballs, so be careful!Go To Free Download
Mr. Geekson Free Puppet
Mr.Geekson is our geeky businessman character with glasses and a tie. He can point, showcase, give thumbs up and wave; he shows a variety of emotions and comes with accessories such as a pen, a notepad, and a pointer stick.Go To Free Download
Doodley the Christmas Elf Free Puppet
This jolly fella, amongst all other obligatory triggers and emotions, has a list and a pencil… So, were you good this year?Go To Free Download
You can also take a look at our article with 43 Free puppets for Adobe Character Animator
4. Other Free Adobe Character Animator Resources
Let’s start with 8 Exclusive free puppets by Graphic Mama that you won’t find anywhere else.
You can directly download each character puppet you like (or all of them) and import them into Character Animator.
Another important detail of creating your videos with Character animator puppets is to find the perfect backgrounds for each scene. For example, here we collected editable vector backgrounds for Character Animator to suit your puppets and give an atmosphere to your videos. Most of the backgrounds are for free personal and commercial use.
Everybody agrees with how important it is that the characters are expressive. If you’re in the process of creating your own animated character or editing an existing one, you can download these free mouth shape sets for Adobe Character Animator made by GraphicMama for achieving a well-animated lipsync function.
In conclusion, you can now easily up your online presentation game by using your favorite puppets with the Adobe Character Animator software has never been easier. Just pick Starter or Performer Mode and get creative with Adobe Character Animato for free.
In the meantime, you could also check some more insights, gather inspiration, or simply grab a freebie?