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Are colors saved to CC Library currently useless in AE?

Explorer ,
Apr 19, 2019

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I really like CC Library for use in PS and InDesign, but I'm wondering if I'm missing something here in After Effects.

The colors I've saved are visible in AE, but I can't apply it to the current object. I can't even "edit" the CC color so I can grab the HEX values from the color picker. The only functions I can perform on my saved CC Library colors are to edit/copy/move them to other CC Libraries.

Is there something I am missing, or is there no way currently to directly use saved colors in a CC Library in AE?

Thanks,

Pat

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Are colors saved to CC Library currently useless in AE?

Explorer ,
Apr 19, 2019

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I really like CC Library for use in PS and InDesign, but I'm wondering if I'm missing something here in After Effects.

The colors I've saved are visible in AE, but I can't apply it to the current object. I can't even "edit" the CC color so I can grab the HEX values from the color picker. The only functions I can perform on my saved CC Library colors are to edit/copy/move them to other CC Libraries.

Is there something I am missing, or is there no way currently to directly use saved colors in a CC Library in AE?

Thanks,

Pat

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Apr 19, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 20, 2019

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You should be able to use the color picker on any effect or property that has one to sample any color on the desktop including your saved color themes. I do it all the time.

What do you mean when you say you can't apply color to "the current object?" If the object is a filled shape layer there is a color picker in the timeline or if you edit the fill there is a color picker. Just use that. You can't drag a swatch to AE and end up with a color change, but you can use the color picker.

I'm hoping that you will be able to save colors from AE as swatches, but for now, creating color themes is limited to other apps.

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Apr 20, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jun 23, 2019

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Actually, there does seem to be something wrong with CC Library Swatches in After Effects. While you can use the eyedropper to select a swatch from the library panel, the values from the eyedropper are incorrect. For example, a red swatch in the Library which on hover reads #ff4365 / R255 G70 B53 color picks at a completely different value of #EB5542 / R235 G85 B66.

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Jun 23, 2019 3
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2019

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As soon as I know, this only occurs when you are using color management in After Effects. I've tested in a new project and if color management is disabled, the color you select in CC Libraries for your objects will be exactly the same. But if you activate color management, there will be a shift in gamma (brighter colors).

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Jun 23, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 23, 2019

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As I explained in great detail in a previous thread, CC Libraries is not designed to be used with an eyedropper. Period.

After Effects does not color manage the user interface. CC Libraries does not create color-accurate swatch preview chips. In a very trivial case where everything is sRGB/8 you might get the right value - but it's simply not intended to be done. The only way to use an asset in a CC LIbrary is via the right-click menu or by dragging it into a receiver window. After Effects disables both those options for color swatches, and does so intentionally.

Other apps like InDesign have always had "swatches" panels because they can have very complex colors that must be accurately preserved, with RGB/CMYK/SPOT all mixed up together. CC Libraries can store those swatches, for those apps.

After Effects talks in RGB. Nothing else. Even if you type in every RGB value by hand the colors will change at render time, and change again when the video is played back. We only care if things look right.

In video, anyone who says "ZOMG we absolutely must use the corporate Pantone mauve on SnapTube!" should be made to lick the Tangent balls clean.

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Jun 23, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 23, 2019

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davechapfilms is correct that the color swatches in CC Libraries don't work in After Effects, but it's not "something wrong". They were never intended to work. CC Libraries swatches are only designed for the print/photo apps (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) but unfortunately they cannot be turned off in the video apps, because the code that draws the CC Libraries panel is shared across all of Creative Cloud.

Basically, if you can create a Libraries asset in an application, then you can use it. After Effects only allows creation of footage clips. Everything else is off limits.

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Jun 23, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2019

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Any color picker in AE can pick a color in the color swatches library. There is nothing to it.

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Jun 23, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jun 23, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Rick+Gerard  wrote

Any color picker in AE can pick a color in the color swatches library. There is nothing to it.

This is actually not the case, from my own experience, and from Dave Merchant's response above yours. While you *can* pick colors in the manner you describe, the chosen color values in AE are not accurate.

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Jun 23, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 24, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Rick+Gerard  wrote

Any color picker in AE can pick a color in the color swatches library. There is nothing to it.

And any fool can run for public office. Doesn't prove they can do the job.

Maybe you should read one of these:

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2588885

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2599346

Let me say this again, slowly, for the people at the back who just walked in.

  1. The swatch previews in CC Libraries are just that. Previews. Not color accurate, not intended to be.
  2. The After Effects user interface (outside of the video frame) is not color managed, not intended to be.
  3. IF you happen to have a swatch in sRGB/8 where the preview just luckily has a matching pixel value, and you are in an RGB/8 project, and you have linearize colors set properly, then the picker will give the "correct" result - in every other case it will not.
  4. Right-click on a CC Libraries color swatch. See the tools menu? No? That's because IT IS DISABLED.
  5. Worrying about whether blue is #000090 or #000091 in video is utterly stupid. Unless you're calling round to every audience member's house, one at a time, carrying an RGB master file and a calibrated IPS reference monitor, they will never see the colors you are "using". Go film a Macbeth chart, and try to make a video that displays the chips accurate to 0.5% on a TV, a cellphone and an IMAX theater screen. I dare you.

The only "bug" in all of this is that the shared code which draws the CC Libraries panel cannot simply hide assets that are not supported by the parent application. Welcome to agile design.

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Jun 24, 2019 2
New Here ,
Jun 26, 2019

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Try loosening your underwear a little.

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Jun 26, 2019 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 26, 2019

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And this is pertinent to you how exactly?

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Jun 26, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 25, 2019

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In other words, it seems Adobe excluded AE from being benefited, at least, in terms of sharing color palettes through CC Libraries. IMO the native AE color picker is really poor. When I am on a Mac I use the system color picker because I can save some colors for a temporary project on a swatch. The Windows color picker also seems to be stuck in the 90's. Why not redesign AE native color picker, or include ways AE can share color palettes via Libraries? The use of CMYK or RGB(A) should not be an excuse to previewing colors like whatever. Many people use InDesign, AI, PS, for web, or designing for video. I know color spaces can be messy, but is it so complex even Adobe developers can't deal with it between their own applications?

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Jul 25, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 26, 2019

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bontempos  wrote

I know color spaces can be messy, but is it so complex even Adobe developers can't deal with it between their own applications?

Basically, yes. The developers of each app do their own thing, and in some cases have no contact with the other teams beyond installing the apps after launch. ACPs are actually a useful conduit here because we're often in several beta programs, and can argue for more uniformity. Although it's slowly improving, the codebase of each app remains neck-deep in legacy code and home-brew features, so it's not simply a case of copy-pasting a C function from inDesign to After Effects.

As I said earlier, CC Libraries came from the print people. They gave it features they wanted. The code that generates the panel was bundled into the other Creative Cloud apps, but whether or not those apps could use it was left to each team. For AE, that pretty much means we're at the stage of a "hello world" example.

The fact in 2019 we still have to tell people to switch to the operating system picker in order to save a custom swatch value is just insane, but it reveals the underlying issue - that for many time-served video app developers color is only ever something you adjust by eye, or with scopes. If if looks OK, it is OK. Whether it's C0C0C0 or C1C1C1 is completely meaningless to their way of working. They never export in CMYK or spot, so if a file in that color space doesn't display, or doesn't even import, they just tell the ink-stained print designer who sent them the file to go away and "fix" it. It's not just an Adobe attitude - Resolve has no swatch library, and FCP users have been complaining about color picker problems for years.

Of course this should be a golden opportunity for third parties to sell "swatch gallery" type plugins - it's perfectly possible to write one with the features exposed via AE's SDK - and the fact it hasn't happened suggests that most people using After Effects either think the same about color as those developers, or have gotten used to it being awful and work around it. Either way it means there's no pressure on Adobe to change the status quo.

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Jul 26, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jul 12, 2020

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This is a missed opportunity in my mind, regardless of whether After Effects works as intended or not. And Dave_Merchant, you haven't worked with the sort of Creative Directors/Marketing Directors that I have! They absolutely care that the value is exact.

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Jul 12, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 13, 2020

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"you haven't worked with the sort of Creative Directors/Marketing Directors that I have!"

 

I deal with corporate livery rules every day, written for print with Pantone spot or foil embossed logos, and applied to everything from TVCs to YouTube - plus CAM specs that define color with RAL paint codes. I just make stuff that looks right, and in 20 years of production nobody has noticed their "Company Purple" is half a percent off in Rec.709 space. Outside of film and TV, corporate top brass don't have calibrated monitors!

 

..and I also use Resolve and Fusion for everything color-critical. They don't pretend to have fancy-schwancy swatch libraries but they can be trusted to keep colors accurate when you're given a bunch of weird footage, and they do ACES properly. After Effects has its uses (e.g. updating hundreds of text clips for video translations is a nightmare with Fu, wheras in AE you can one-click import from a spreadsheet) but you are correct about wasted opportunities. All the attention goes into stuff like "team projects", which is fat use if the colors are borked.

 

 

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Jul 13, 2020 0
digiguru LATEST
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2020

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That was my main point. Missed opportunity. I work within the limitations of the software that I have available to me, and being able to use the swatch library and eyedropper like I should be able to use it (given that it is there and why would you assume that it doesn't work?) would save hours.

 

Also still definitely sounds like "you haven't worked with the sort of Creative Directors/Marketing Directors that I have!". 

I'm not saying you haven't worked with corporate big bosses, but in my experience you don't want to be the one using the wrong colour values for brand work. All it takes is three people handling a project and then you might have your colour values out by 3 instead of one.

 

I think this issue comes from the same management/development break down in Adobe that gives us different shortcuts for the same processes in Illustrator and InDesign.

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Jul 13, 2020 0