#CreativeFriday – Animating a Rigged Character for Photoshop CC using Mixamo

Creative Cloud 2014.2 update that was released at AdobeMAX introduced lots of enhancements to the Creative Cloud desktop apps, as well as the introduction of new tablet applications, all of which enable the Creative user to extend their creative identity and to create content on a mobile device. Photoshop CC 2014.2 had some amazing enhancements, with the inclusion of the ability to import Collada models and to play back the animation on the Photoshop timeline. To create the rigging and animation, there are special tools, like Cinema 4D (as one example). Rigging can be quite time consuming, to support this new feature, Adobe have also partnered with a company called Mixamo. The Mixamo service has been designed to allow anyone to automatically rig and animate a model and then bring this into Photoshop as an animated Collada file.

Mixamo can be found at Mixamo.com.


Let us focus on rigging a character that already exists in Mixamo, its a fast and reliable way to have a fully animated rigged model. Before you do anything, you might want to create a new account to get started.

Rigging of a character in Mixamo can be found under the Create menu and selecting Character Collection at the top of the screen.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 23.18.34

 Lots of standard rigged models will be displayed and are selectable for animation.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 23.20.51

Once you have chosen a model from the huge selection that Mixamo provides, then the model will be shown in the animation grid, at this point various pre-built animations can be selected for a wide range of actions. Before any animations can be added you will see the starting animation screen. this is show the initial model, and in this case, no animations have been applied, so nothing will happen.


Once a new animation is selected, the right hand screen will turn into a search panel, this can be used to find a pre-built animation.  Words like   walk, jump, attack etc can be used to filter the list.

In the following screen shot, the keyword fall has been used and a range of different animations are shown. If you hover over the thumbnail, the animation will play on the canned charter, to give an idea of the movement.In the following example, 5 animations have been selected.


Each animation can be customised by using the right hand panel, once the animation has been selected.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 23.34.20

Once the animations have been added (in the screen shot below, a few have been added for the animation that is required), the file can be paid for and downloaded in the required formation, for Photoshop DAE will need to be used for the animation to be supported. The beauty of this system is that you just pay for the animations that have been applied to the model.


The system will keep previous animations for you on your account, ready for download. Also this panel is useful to specify the quality of the textures, as well as other model properties for the download. At the bottom of the screen, an output format will need to be selected( for Photoshop Collada will need to be selected).


Once downloaded the object and materials will be stored as a DAE file as well as associated model textures. At this point, the DAE file can be logged into Photoshop CC 2014.2.


once the file is loaded into Photoshop, the new canvas dialog will be shown.



Once the file has been loaded, the timeline panel will open and the model will be displayed on the canvas. At this point, the space bar or the play icon on the time line can be selected.



To see the final animation, you can play the following video (there is no music to the video, but it’s not very long).


Once the animation is in Photoshop the file can be combed into a scene
Also, the model can be printed in a pose along the animation. To do this, just move the playhead (blue element on the timeline, within the red marked area) and print the menu option 3D / 3D Print Settings (marked in yellow below).
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 23.42.44 copy
Once the Photoshop Print pipeline has completed, the Photoshop 3D Printer preview will be displayed (in the example, a ZCorp full colour sandstone printer has been chosen).
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 23.45.13
There are many other things you can do with the Maximo service, one of them is upload your own rigged character and animate it. This will be covered in a future post. Why not have a trial with the Mixamo site.
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