Live Animation! Live Streaming!

Courtesy of AvatarLabs

by Erica Schisler

posted on 06-18-2018

Live animation is one of the more exciting ways to share your character. Think of it as being able to take your scene and broadcast it anywhere — whether it’s projected on a big screen at a live event, on broadcast television, during gameplay with an avatar on Twitch or Mixer, or on social media. This leads to exciting new creative possibilities like never before.

This new technology marks a historic change in animation. Now, any animated character can talk live with the audience. To get started thinking about those creative possibilities, check out these amazing character animator examples:

Live broadcast:

Social media live streaming:

Live animated gaming avatar:

Live, in person:

The set-up for live animation is as simple as sending your character to an external device or second monitor using the built‐in Mercury Transmit (Mac and Win) or Syphon (Mac only) support. In Character Animator, just click the Stream Live button at the bottom of the Scene panel to enable live streaming. The current scene displayed in the Scene panel is streamed — it’s that simple. Content outside the Scene panel is not rendered or displayed. To view the list of active devices and applications, hover the cursor over the Stream Live button. A tooltip is displayed, which includes the list of active devices and applications.

We’ve created the Live Streaming document to help with these projects. There you will find a compilation of best practices and instructions about live-streaming animation using Adobe Character Animator. This information is also found here.

Character Animator supports several streaming workflows. Use Mercury Transmit to output the content of your scene to the full screen of a TV or second monitor. Output a character, optionally, with a transparent background for compositing over live video or other background. Output to professional SDI video using a device that has a Mercury Transmit plugin. Output to live web services using a software switcher like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) or Telestream Wirecast. To do this, use Syphon or the NDI plugin from NewTek. Multi‐character live broadcast uses multiple machines: one for each character and, preferably, a dedicated machine for the software switcher. NDI is used to connect the video signal. To learn more about each workflow, check out the Live Streaming document.

Okay Samurai has also created a number of helpful tutorials:

The best live animations take full advantage of the live atmosphere. The live atmosphere is highly dependent on the voice and puppeteer talent, and the overall message that’s being conveyed. In some cases, the production might be highly scripted, in others almost entirely improvised, but the point is to bring the character to life and into the audience’s lives. We can’t wait to see your characters come to life.

Check out the Character Animator forum for quick answers to frequently asked questions.

Topics: Creativity, Video & Audio

Products: Creative Cloud