Avatar API: Adobe After Effects Plugin Tutorials

While we offer a host of existing postcards, smileys and templates, you’ll sure want to create your own unique ones. Creating animated postcards could not be made easier! Just use the downloadable plugin for Adobe After Effects and watch the tutorials below to discover the world of animated postcards.

To install the Luxand Avatar plugin for Adobe After Effects CS3, please download the following files:

Note: the videos below feature Russian narration and English subtitles. Why the Russian narration? We thought it would be best if the clips were narrated by the same artist who actually created the work. Russian artists are the best!

1. Learn what kinds of smileys you can make with the plugin and discover the right way to choose the right facial photo to start using the plugin.


2. Get creative! This video gives inspiration and suggests creative ideas on making new smileys.


3. This tutorial walks you through the process of turning your idea into a frame sequence for a smiley.


4. Start using the Avatar API plugin and learn how to add emotions on the face.


5. Everything you wanted to know about smileys’ hair styles. Learn how to add haircuts to your smileys.


6. More than just a face: learn how to add body, surround objects and other things.


7. Learn how to manage skin tones. Save your smiley in the right file format.



The sample Adobe AE project can be downloaded here.

After you open the "surfer_cry.aep" file, open the Project contents, right-click "Avatar Solid" in the "Solids" folder, and choose "Reveal in Composition." This will display the resulting animation, rendered by Avatar Plugin. Navigating to "Effect Controls: Avatar Solid" will display the plugin parameters. The plugin first draws a Bottom Layer, then draws a 3D model of a face over it ("Face Layer"), and then draws a Top Layer. While this is animating, parameters like "Face Position," "Muscles L," "Muscles R," "Total Amount," and "Furrow Intensity" are adjusted and affect the 3D model of a face.

The plugin can adjust the facial color to match the body skin color, in which case you need to check the "Apply Correction Color" checkbox and choose the "Correction color" parameter to match the color of the skin. After your template is ready, click "Export - Save Template" in the plugin parameters (saving might take a few minutes) and send us the resulting .zip file. You may set the desired width and height of the template (by default, 128x128). We will make this template available in the Avatar API in your account.

The following hotkeys are available. To use hotkeys, you need to select the panel that contains the parameters of Luxand Avatar Plugin.

  • w - decreases OX
  • s - increases OX
  • a - decreases OY
  • d - increases OY
  • q - increases OZ
  • e - decreases OZ
  • same keys but with shift - increase/decrease by 10
  • arrow keys - move face by 1 pixel
  • shift+arrow keys - move face by 10 pixels
  • [ - decrease face size
  • ] - increase face size
  • same keys with shift – same function by 10
  • ctrl + arrow keys left/right - forward/backward
  • ctrl + shift + arrow keys left/right - forward/backward by 10 frames