Who Loves You? Red Monster Loves You!
Love, kisses, and animated Valentine’s wishes.
by Erica Schisler
posted on 02-10-2020
You may know Red Monster (RM) as the lovable mascot of Adobe Character Animator. RM is so much more! He is also a lover of burritos and coffee (with a straw), and he loves his original creator, the extraordinary Experience Designer, Dave Werner. RM has gone on to become an accomplished dancer, choreographer, talk show host, thespian, and winner of season 4 of “Monsters Got Talent.” RM has fans far and wide, including motion designer David Arbor. Through their friendship and collaboration, they imagined a new dimension and the evolution of the Adobe-verse. Introducing Red Monster 3D! Download here.
Washington, D.C.-based and award-winning motion designer, video editor, and photographer David Arbor worked tirelessly with RM, like he does with all his clients. Adept at all kinds of designs and animations, David focuses his work on promoting public health and other positive messages. He’s very involved in the motion design community, and is a proud alumnus and now teaching assistant for the incredible School of Motion, as well as an Adobe Community Professional.
There was so much to consider. Would RM have a tail? Claws? What about his backside? What about texture? Brainstorming with RM helped to develop the plan. They white-boarded many different ideas.
Red Monster 3D — RM3(D) for short — emerged. He has five head turns or positions; several adorable props; pre-recorded animations or replays, some of which have sound effects; and these can all be controlled with triggers, which can be activated with keyboard shortcuts or icon-based buttons. RM3(D) is a unique puppet because he was first modeled as a fully 3D character. Working in Maxon Cinema 4D, David created a new model of RM with multiple views (five heads, five bodies, and shadow passes) and props. Additionally, he rendered mouth shapes in each view.
Fun new props include Adventure Mode: he has a sword, bow, and quiver; activating Adventure Mode also enables realistic shadows created by the props; in frontal view only, both the sword’s hilt and top of the blade have draggable handles that allow you to swing the sword; the motion lines behavior is also on the sword and moving it via the draggable handles or facial tracking will show motion lines. With the glasses prop, RM is ready to pay attention! These hip prescription glasses allow RM3(D) to concentrate all day long without getting a headache (again, we’re unsure about anatomically correct terminology, does he have a head or is he a head?) He has two ties — ready to attend a swanky cocktail party or business meeting, Red Monster is dressed for the occasion. While not explicitly props, there are also three additional triggers that help give RM even more character.
Replays make great use of new props and triggers. These include yawn, surprise turn, and shock. And be sure to check out hide and seek, a combination of keyframed and face-tracked animation; RM3(D) appears from the bottom of the scene, disappears, then reappears in different parts of the scene. Perfect for your valentine, try the smitten replay with the glasses and bowtie props, the “Hearts” particle, and his eyes that blink rapidly because RM has found someone that makes him feel butterflies in his stomach (or stomachs, we’re not sure how many he has). And hearts, triggered with the (H) key or during the “smitten” replay, emits heart-shaped particles.
All of Red Monster’s Triggers and Replays can be activated with icon-based buttons in the controls panel. The Replay icons have custom artwork giving you an idea of the animation that will occur when toggled.
In addition to the buttons, there are several sliders the allow you to conveniently control RM3(D)’s position and size, as well as the strength of head movements.
- Position X/Y, and scale: Standard Transform controls
- Head position/Scale/Tilt strength: The amount that your head movements, via facial tracking, will affect Red Monster
- Global head strength: A group that combines the previous three sliders as one simple control
RM was thrilled to work with David and get to show his many dimensions! And you can learn the whole history of Red Monster here. Red Monster wishes everyone a Monster-rific Valentine’s day!
Get RM3(D) here.
There are more fun free puppets, including the original RM, at Okay Samurai’s page.
Find out more about the story behind Red Monster.
Want to learn more about using Character Animator? Here you go!
Topics: Creativity, Illustration, Video & Audio
Products: Creative Cloud