Creating Character for Adobe Character Animator
When creating a new file, a set of expressions are already prepared by Mannequin. These are ‘Default’, ‘Blink’, and several others labeled ‘Lipsync – [name]’. Checking those expressions will reveal what the differences are: ‘Blink’ has closed eyes, and each of ‘Lipsync – [name]’ has mouth expression matching the sound.
With all those expressions present in your character, choosing PSD as export format, then choosing ‘Optimize PSD for…’ – ‘Character Animator CC 2020’ will give you another option to ‘Combine Expressions’.
Enabling this toggle will show a checklist for all the needed expressions and their corresponding status (green check if present, red cross if not). Batch export mode is automatically disabled. If some expressions are missing (marked by a red cross) you can add a new expression to your character file with the name shown in the label.
With every expressions present, clicking ‘Export’ will generate a PSD with all the listed expressions combined into a single file. For ‘Blink’, only eye parts will be taken, and for each of ‘Lipsync – [name]’, only mouth parts will be taken.
Importing this file to Adobe Character Animator will give you automatic behavior assignment, such as lipsync, eye gaze and blink. At this point, you can continue by adjusting various parameters in Adobe Character Animator for best results.
Recommended Basic Settings
Below you can read more about basic, very minimal tweaks in Adobe Character Animator that you can do easily for most of the characters created with Mannequin. For a more advanced tutorial about rigging in Adobe Character Animator, you can visit Okay Samurai’s Channel on YouTube.
Fixed Handle for Heels and Waist
To prevent your character swaying around, set Heels handle to Fixed. To do this, find the Heel Layers from the list on the left side of the window, click on it, and then click the ‘Fixed’ tag on the right side of the screen. Do this for both left and right heels.
For better looking eyelid movement without clipping, reduce the Eyelid Strength. To do this, click your puppet name at the top-left side of the screen. Afterwards, in the ‘Behaviors’ section on the right side of the screen, find the ‘Face’ behavior and set the ‘Eyelid Strength’ value to around 20%.
Swap Eyebrow Tilt Value
In the same section as ‘Eyelid Strength’ above, you can also see ‘Raised Eyebrow Tilt’ and ‘Lowered Eyebrow Tilt’. Swap these values to make the ‘Raised Eyebrow Tilt’ less than zero percent, and ‘Lowered Eyebrow Tilt’ higher than zero percent.