Tips to Use Character Animation Templates Effectively

An animated explainer video is an excellent option for economically publishing video. Despite costing less than other types of video, it is highly effective in serving its purpose. One survey found that 83% of business people who deploy explainer videos on their homepage have got a satisfying result from it.


Image Source: Toolbox Studio

Coming up with an animated explainer video is a challenge of its own. If you want to create your animated characters from scratch, it can be even more challenging and time-consuming. Furthermore, you may come up with crappy characters if you are not an experienced designer.

One of the ways to drastically minimize the time for creating an animated video is by using character animation templates.

There is a wide range of character templates that you can choose and use for free. Let’s explore more about character animation templates.

How to effectively utilize character animation templates?

If you Google online, you will find plenty of character animation templates to download and use. You can use them for business videos, product videos, and more. In this section of this article, I will tell you how you can get effective harness the power of character animation software to make a fantastic video.

1. Make a list of character animation templates that you need

At first, you need to have a plan in mind about the type of video that you want to create.

Make a list of character animation templates that you would probably use in your project, as per the nature of the project. For instance, you can download plenty of animated characters with formal dresses if your goal is to make an animated video to explain a business concept.

When you come up with a concept and a story, you will have a rough idea of what type of animation characters you need for the video.

However, it is also true that you may not have the exact figures in your mind. That is why I recommend you to download the list of characters that you may use so that you have plenty of options to allow you to come up with the best version of the animation video.

Here is the list of free Adobe animation template that you can download. Check it out and use those characters to create your video.


Image Source: Graphic Mama

2. Use layer tools

Only downloading a character is not enough to create your video. You need to segment your characters’ parts to various layers. It will help you edit and make specific changes. You should name the layers, according to the nature of the parts of the character’s body. It will let you have better control of your character to create a fantastic video.

An excellent animation software will let you create layers and segment it. There are also plenty of great pieces of software that enables you to create head up display video, which is in demand today. It also allows you to do HUD video edit as per your need.

3. Turn your animation character to a puppet

The previous tip suggested you create layers for your characters. After the creation of your characters, you need to have complete control of your template characters. You can do that by turning your animation character to a puppet. It allows you to control the movement of your characters.

You can turn your animation character into a puppet by adding characters to a scene.

4. Give some life to your puppet by teaching it a real-life expression

Only turning your animation characters into a puppet is not enough. To get the most out of your characters and to be able to use it for your videos, you need to give some life to your characters. You can do it by using your facial expression and web camera. The animation tool like Character Animation After Effects lets you use a web camera and your face to teach facial expressions to a puppet.

To teach your puppet, you need to look directly at your puppet and keep facial expression neutral to start. After that, you should click “Set Rest Pose”. Once the red tracking dots appear in your face, you can teach the various types of facial expressions to your puppet. It will make your puppets ready to act in the real world.

5. Record, save, and edit

It is time to record the character movement now. Tap the record button for teaching facial expression and end the take when it is over. Try to explain one facial expression at a time. Make use of multiple expressions of properties feature of the animation software that you are using. For starters, you can use Adobe animation software, as it is simpler to use.

It is an excellent choice to separate lip sync behaviors from daggers and to record separately will allow you to do it. To check out the progression of your animated character, click play. It is challenging to get the exact type of behavior that you want in the role. For refining the character’s behavior, you always have an option to edit it.

6. Put pieces together and make a video

Once you finish editing all the characters that you will be using in your video, it is a time to put it together. Give every character the scene and facial behavior at first. After that, bring them together and start using keyframes for recording the video.

7. Troubleshoot

The final thing to keep in mind is troubleshooting. You may think that you have carried out your project correctly. However, that is a rare case. Most of the times, you will always have something to edit and solve. You need to make changes in character behavior, expression, and so on.

What else can you do?

Here are some additional things that you can do after you finish all the must-do stuff if you are carrying out your tasks in Adobe software:

  • Integrate the scene and characters via the dynamic link:

    It is possible to integrate Adobe After Effects scene with your Adobe animator using an active link. If you link each other, the character animator will update itself automatically, according to the changes of Adobe After Effects.

  • You can export image sequence:

    You can export PNG sequence and WAV file in the same location. It will allow you to import video in PNG sequence and audio in WAV file in After Effects.

Over to You

The wide range of character animation templates is a gift to an animator. However, you need to know how to use them effectively. There are plenty of ways to use the templates. The tips that I have mentioned are the essential tips that will help you move on and explore more creative ways to utilize your templates.

You can create a lot of alluring animated videos if you master the art of using templates. Explore courses and books that will lead to mastery. For now, follow the instructions in this article and start using character templates to make awesome explainer videos. Hopefully, you found this article helpful. Are you eager to share your thoughts with your community? Let us know your by commenting below.

Chehak Wadhwa

Chehak Wadhwa is a Creative Head at webdew and has an intensive 10+ Years of Experience in Designing & Animation. She has produced 500+ Videos with her team including some of the well know brands in the market like: UBER, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Calendar etc.

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