Adobe Character Animator vs Blender

If you are looking for a feature-rich program to create 3D animations, you’ve probably come across Adobe Character Animator vs Blender comparison tables. I decided to study the topic in more detail and prepared this unbiased review.

Adobe Character Animator is 3D animation software that allows animating characters in real time. For this task, you need a webcam and a mic attached to your computer or those built-in a laptop. The program is highly popular among beginner users, who have little animation experience but want to try their hand at creating unique animated characters.

Blender is open-source free animation software with a multitude of tools suitable for different tasks. For example, you can model, rig, animate, simulate, render, compose, perform motion tracking, enhance videos, and create 2D animations. However, all these manipulations require a clear understanding of the process, so beginners will have a hard time using the software.

What Is Adobe Character Animator?

adobe character animator logo

Adobe Character Animator CC is motion capture software and an efficient animation tool. It is very user-friendly and allows animating 2D characters, sharing and publishing characters, as well as displaying live animations without problems. It is also referred to as powerful cartoon making software with lots of interesting features. In fact, you can use the input of your camera and mic for real-time performance capture and automatically animate characters. This is a wonderful time-saving option.

The program has many character settings for a more realistic result. Besides, you can create puppets, tweaking built-in character templates or importing new characters. It is also possible to use a new Characterizer based on Sensei. Users can save movements as sliders, buttons, or knobs for more intuitive controls.

Adobe Character Animator is capable of performing many different tasks. Beginner and professional animators, video content creators, gamers, graphic designers, educators, and illustrators often use this program when they need to prepare a high-quality animation without dealing with confusing adjustments.

  • adobe character animator interface
  • adobe character animator interface

    Adobe Character Animator: Strengths and Weaknesses

    Smooth integration with Adobe. Being a member of the Adobe family, this program smoothly integrates with other software, which results in a seamless animation workflow. Thus, you can start working in Adobe Character Animator, then switch to Adobe Premiere or After Effects in order to spice up your project. This may be a decisive point for those choosing between Blender and Adobe Character Animator.

    Intuitive Characterizer Tool. This is a revolutionary instrument that brings original art into this 2D animation software. You can use it to record a sequence of sounds and facial expressions, and the tool will automatically create a character based on them. The slider controls make it possible to alter the degree of stylization and adjust mimics to produce the result you want.

    The process takes several minutes while the outcome may even exceed your expectations. No matter whether this is your first-time animation experience or you’ve done that before, you’ll get a unique puppet ready for a performance. You can rely on an embedded camera or connect an external device and start recording your performance. This is a really simple method of turning your image into fantastic animated art.

    Great lip-syncing feature. There is a separate feature that deals with a puppet’s mouth shape. After you’re done recording, you can use it to change the shape of a mouth in order to achieve a particular look – be it a sincere smile or a terrifying grimace. Since all elements of the UI are well arranged, so you can easily find this feature and cope with the task in a trouble-free manner. Besides, you can find tools to select, trim, delete, insert, and replace objects. 

    Easy to master. Unlike its rival in the Adobe Character Animator vs Blender stand-off, this software is very user-friendly. All features are easy to grasp and there are no distracting elements. The developer tried to make a program with an intuitive and non-technical animation workflow. Therefore, Adobe Character Animator is called a great animation software for beginners. Besides, you can find lots of useful Adobe Character Animator tutorials on YouTube and other platforms, so the mastering phase won’t last long.

    Allows live streaming animations. Those users who want to conduct live interactive performances won’t find a better option. The live output can be piped into YouTube streaming software like OBS. Then, you can share your projects on Facebook Live and similar sources. If you have several machines at your disposal, you can output multiple puppets and even create performances featuring different characters interacting with each other.

    Convenient replay feature. With the help of this feature, you can select the best laugh or perfectly scheduled fist bump and make a trigger for future use in recordings or live streams. Just set the length of the Replay trigger so it fits your scene.

    Lacks artwork creation instruments. Looking through the collection of tools, you will see none for creating artwork. However, this isn’t such a serious problem as Adobe Character Animator works “in a team” with Illustrator, or Photoshop. So, you can create a character with individual parts as separate objects in Illustrator or on separate layers in Photoshop, and then switch to Illustrator to bring them together for an animated puppet.

    No frame-by-frame animation. If you are interested in this particular activity, you should look for another program. Of course, it is possible to use Character Animator to combine series of animation frames, but you need to prepare them in advance using other software.

    What Is Blender?

    blender logo

    Blender is free, open-source CGI animation software suitable for different 3D development tasks. With a focus on modeling capabilities, the software also appeals to users with tools for texturing, animation, rigging, lighting, and 3D creation. The latest version is fitted with an integrated game engine, which is a special bonus for gamers, who can design and test models in one environment instead of hopping between several programs.

    Blender runs smoothly on all modern platforms, has an open-source nature, and is available absolutely for free. Such peculiarities make it a serious player in the Blender vs Adobe Character Animator battle. People engaged in design, fashion, architecture, marine and automotive design, animation, video enhancing, engineering, 3D modeling, and movie making, often choose Blender as their major instrument.

    • blender interface
    • blender interface

      Blender: Strengths and Weaknesses

      Lots of visual effects. Blender is frequently called the most powerful free VFX software and that is for a reason. There is a built-in compositor with an extensive library of nodes, which you can use as a basis for camera effects, vignettes, and color grading. Moreover, you can render multi-layer OpenEXR files, which are HDR images used in movies (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Signs, Men in Black II, and others).

      Useful Python API. The support for Python scripting gives the program an additional point in Adobe Character Animator vs Blender competition. Thanks to this option, you can increase the number of functions and script more areas of the software, including rendering, animation, import & export, object creation, and automation of common tasks.

      Advanced game engine. Gamers and those specializing in game development can fully level up their experience. Thanks to the addition of a special game engine, it is possible to code game logic and port models to third-party gaming mechanisms. Besides, now, it is possible to create interactive visualizations and prototypes for games.

      Path-trace engine. Another praiseworthy feature of this 3D modeling software is a powerful rendering engine called Cycles, which allows tracing rays. Actually, Cycles is a combination of codes that monitor the usage of materials, lighting resources, and the way an image is rendered in 3D scenes.

      Thus, it traces the direction of light as pixels in an image and provides users with relevant info so that they can add more realistic lighting to their scenes. In addition, this engine allows simulating the effect of interaction between light and objects.

      Quick rendering. Cycles significantly speeds up rendering, which now depends on a graphics card instead of the CPU. This process is known as GPU rendering. Thus, modern graphic cards can perform lots of number crunching, which means 3D calculations needed to develop video games and 3D-packed applications.

      Well-thought-out film animation. There is a section with tools developed specifically for animation and the creation of short, feature-length movies. You can make good use of a character pose animator editor, features for independent movement, and inverse kinematics.

      While creating posable characters, you can enable automatic skinning. When it comes to modifying bone layers and colored groups, pay attention to the fast rigging instruments aimed at simplifying your work.

      Steep learning curve. If you need to choose between Blender and Adobe Character Animator, you must define your level of expertise. The thing is that Blender is fully oriented at experienced users, who have a background in the animation field.

      Frankly speaking, even experts may need to spend some time to understand how the tools are arranged here and what to do to achieve a particular effect. For beginners, this may become a frustrating experience.

      No customer support. Since the program comes with open source, there is no round-the-clock tech support for users. If there is any issue you want to solve, the only way out is to visit the community board. Though it contains much information about the program, some secondary topics may still be noncovered.

      Too frequent updates. In general, updates are perceived as something great, but if they are not too frequent. People simply get tired of adapting to a new interface, shortcuts, and features several times a year. Besides, some functions and tools look really confusing. Another problem related to updates is a growing number of bugs and defects, which become evident only during work.

      Adobe Character Animator vs Blender: Price

      adobe character animator vs blender battle price

      Adobe Character Animator isn’t available individually and you can get it only as a part of Adobe’s All Apps plan.

      All Apps plan costs $52.99/month. In this case, you get Character Animator and 20 more desktop and mobile apps. Moreover, the plan includes 100GB of cloud storage.

      Before spending your money, you can test the program for a week free of charge.

      Blender is released under the GNU General Public License, which means it is available absolutely for free. In fact, you can not only use it but also distribute it without spending a cent.

      Adobe Character Animator vs Blender – Who Wins?

      Both programs can please users with top-notch tools for creating animation, but Adobe product attracts more people with its straightforward interface, gradual learning curve, and rich functionality. However, if you have a limited budget, Blender is your ideal option.

      Adobe Character Animator is suitable for those who want to create animation for cartoons, animated series, and live broadcasts in a quick way. Besides, it allows live streaming characters on social media. The software is absolutely user-friendly, and it can satisfy the needs of both newbies and experts.

      Many Hollywood studios, online content creators, and broadcasters use Character Animator for their work on a regular basis. Moreover, the program smoothly integrates with other Adobe tools, which means you can create really fantastic projects.

      Blender is a perfect variant for those people who want to produce effect-rich animations without going bankrupt. However, such a multitude of features and tools may be overkill for beginners, who are unlikely to master the program. Things get even worse considering the lack of standard tech support and too frequent program updates.

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