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Eyedropper selects incorrect color from Color Library

New Here ,
Feb 27, 2019

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The blue color in my color library is #024DA1. When I use the eyedropper to select this color from the color themes toolbar, it produces a different blue (#1C4E9B). While the colors look visually similar, they will not suffice as I must adhere to brand guidelines and use correct colors at all times.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.54.27 PM (3).pngScreen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.54.50 PM.png

(Image left: The eyedropper is currently over the color theme blue, though it disappeared during the screenshot. As you can see the color is incorrect)

(Image right: The blue color in the color theme tab is clearly correct in the system.)

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Eyedropper selects incorrect color from Color Library

New Here ,
Feb 27, 2019

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The blue color in my color library is #024DA1. When I use the eyedropper to select this color from the color themes toolbar, it produces a different blue (#1C4E9B). While the colors look visually similar, they will not suffice as I must adhere to brand guidelines and use correct colors at all times.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.54.27 PM (3).pngScreen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.54.50 PM.png

(Image left: The eyedropper is currently over the color theme blue, though it disappeared during the screenshot. As you can see the color is incorrect)

(Image right: The blue color in the color theme tab is clearly correct in the system.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 28, 2019

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I'll admit this is a crazy hack but could there be something to it?

It's possible to add a Note to a color in a library. What if you were to add the hex color code as a note to each of the colours. Any time you need a color you could edit the note, copy the color, and then paste it into the hex field of a color dialogue box.

after-effects-libraries-colours.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 28, 2019

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Colors in video will change depending on the working space for the project, and how After Effects' "color management" engine is set up. Anything that involves the eyedropper is doomed to fail because the UI and the previews aren't color accurate.

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2019

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We have exactly the same problem (on OSX, AE2019). But the working space/CMS settings can't have anything to do with it.

We have been using this eyedropper in any previous version of After Effects and then it worked perfectly.

It is even so that the color displayed in the library panel is different from its value, and when it is displayed in the comp it is exactly its value.

Using the copy/paste as Michael suggest is no option if you have to use this constantly.

I am quite sure this is a bug in AE2019.

UPDATE: in our case, the problem is only there when you want to pick a color from a CC Library.

The problem is present on different computers, also with a new installation of AE.

We tried creating a new library, unshare it, share it, add colors, remove colors,

we tried deleting color preferences as in threads:

I've read the entire internet and didn't find an answer, so I am asking you.

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2019

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I have been having this problem for maybe three weeks and I hate it! Except my problem is, it doesn't even recognize the actual color, and just selects some variation of it.

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Explorer ,
Apr 20, 2019

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I'm now having this problem in AECC19.  This is nuts.  The library clearly shows Hex Code: #009AD7, but when I color pick it, it gives me #4898D2.  Sort of close... but no.  Our brand colors are very specific... and this could make a real mess of projects.  If I color pick something else on screen that is already #009AD7 it picks it fine.  It's picking every color from the library wrong.  Completely unacceptable.  That's the whole point of the library, and has always worked fine.  The color "looks" fine on screen, and matches colors elsewhere on screen in those colors.  It's just picking the color wrong from the library... which is attached to the HEX code. 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 21, 2019

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I agree that in a general sense this is a "bug", in that it's doing something that users don't want it to and contrary to the literature; but Adobe show no signs of changing the fact that the UI isn't properly color managed, and therefore the eyedropper will be out of whack. As far as the code is concerned, the software is working "as designed". It's just not doing what people expect it to.

All this would be easy to fix; the software is aware of the swatch data in the CC Library object, and of the pixel under the eyedropper, and it also knows how to accurately convert and back-convert those values based on AE's project color settings. It can understand that you have clicked on a CC Libraries swatch, rather than some random part of the toolbar. It can tell that even though the pixel on screen may not be exactly 009AD7, that's what it is supposed to be and evidently the user wants that value loaded into the swatch. But Adobe doesn't care. It's been broken like this for as long as I can remember.

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Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2019

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Sorry, but you're wrong.  Just flat out wrong.  This absolutely was working as intended.  I work for the Brand team at a large company.  We have a shared library of the company colors.  I see several arguments that the eyedropper has always been inaccurate.  Not true.  It worked in After Effects.  I know Photoshop had issues with it, but 90% of my work is in AE or Premiere.  Just to test, to make sure it wasn't an issue with my brand new imac, I went to my other computer.  A 2017 MBP.  I downloaded and then opened AE2019 and clicked the eye dropper in the character box and selected a library color... Wrong color.  I opened AE2018 and clicked on the eye dropper in the character box and selected a library color.  Perfect color pick as it has been for the past year and a half that we've been using the library.  This is a new bug in AE.... maybe it existed many years ago, and maybe in other apps like Photoshop, but it WAS working in AE2018.  Open side by side, 2018 works, 2019 doesn't. It's that simple.  See pic.  2018 on the left, 2019 on the right.  We all use this hundreds of times a day every day.  In case Adobe has forgotten, brand colors are VERY important and one of the main reasons they created the library system.  Please fix. 

Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 9.25.07 PM.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 21, 2019

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I'm not disputing that CC Libraries is doing strange things, and it may have worked for you in the past. What I am saying is that the eyedropper's return value has always depended on factors that it shouldn't, and Libraries was never intended to be an eyedropper target. You expect that sampling from anywhere on the screen will always give an absolute value, and I'm saying that is not how the code works. You also expect to use Libraries swatches in a video application, and... no.

The Libraries panel didn't come from the DVA team in Adobe; hence why there's only partial support for non-video stuff (and color swatches are, like it or not, non-video stuff). Right-click a Libraries swatch in Photoshop or InDesign and you get the menu to use the swatch properly ("Set Color", "Apply Color Overlay", "Edit"). None of that is in After Effects, not least because AE cannot cope with spot or CMYK. You can't drag a Libraries swatch onto a solid in After Effects. You can't create a swatch in After Effects, and you can't access the menu for those that already exist. Take that as a hint .

The concept of "client wants exact corporate RGB value in their video" is just dumb. Very common, but no less dumb. Not only will pixel values change at render time depending on the output codec (and change again depending on the software used for playback), but there's a huge range of RGB colors that physically cannot be rendered in rec709. Added to that, entire the audience is watching on a TV, monitor or phone with completely jacked colors. If you're designing packaging then it makes perfect sense to demand the printer use an exact Pantone spot ink, but in video we just make it look okay. Take frame grabs of every school bus on TV or in the movies - they won't be anywhere near the official #FFD800 paint code defined in US law, but nobody ever thinks it looks wrong.

To show the eyedropper's non-managed results are a general UI issue and not just a quirk of Libraries, create new documents/comps in After Effects and Photoshop, both with sRGB/8 working space, and draw some 009AD7 colored shapes in both. Now eyedrop the shapes from the other application (you can sample from beyond your current UI by clicking the eyedropper somewhere inside its own app, then dragging over to where you want to sample before releasing the mouse). According to the handwaving HELPX guides about Creative Cloud's color management, the return value should always say 009AD7, but... no.

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Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2019

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I don't doubt much of what you say, but the simple fact is this is something that clearly worked... and now doesn't.  Ironically, it seems to be working in PSD now.  Our brand team also went to great lengths to ensure all of our colors worked for all of the necessary applications, which is why we use specific HEX codes that are all video safe.  Do monitors change things?  Of course... I've been an editor for over 25 years including at some of the biggest post houses in NY.  I've been a devout Adobe user since 1995.  We've all had clients that tweak a hue 2 degrees knowing full well it isn't going to make a difference for most... but do we just give up?  Sounds pretty lazy to me.  We already discovered AE was lightening our darker brand color's brightness and made the adjustment.  Do you work for Adobe?  Because you sound like an Adobe apologist.  Regardless of its orientation, this is a feature that Adobe touted, clearly worked and now does not.  Personally, I wish Adobe would stop with the full upgrades... not once a year, but twice!  Why?!  By the time we figure out the bugs and work arounds for 1 version, they've created a new one with a whole new set of bugs and made updating older projects more difficult.  I lasted on CS6 for 6 years... less features? Sure... but knowing the program inside and out, its bugs, its limitations, I could do more, faster than we can now.  But working in a team environment, I have no choice but to keep up with everyone else.  I would stay on 2018, but we don't even have an option of down saving a premiere project... so again, no choice.    Take a look around...not just on this site, but across the net... a lot of us have obviously been using the feature as one would expect it to work in AE, as it did work in AE, and are now having a problem. And it's not simply a "little off" as one might expect from a picker... the color on screen is absolutely the same if I have it in the doc and put it next to the color chip on the library... the doc picks it perfect, and the library is waaay off... I mean dropping Sat by 30, changing the red by 60!  So while you may have explanations, the fact remains there is a bug in the new version of AE that should be fixable short of rolling back to 2018.  In this day and age, and the enormous cost to "rent" this software why 'splain away problems, and not stand up and insist Adobe fix the issue?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 22, 2019

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CCS18  wrote

this is a feature that Adobe touted, clearly worked and now does not.

I appreciate that you have a workflow which used to work and now doesn't, but if you read the documentation for Libraries in After Effects it is not, and never has been, claimed that color swatches are supported by this application. After Effects only imports and exports graphic assets (images, video clips and vector shapes) - in other words only the items in your Libraries panel with activated "Import..." right-click menus and items in AE's Project panel that you can drag into the Library. The swatch chip is just an icon, not guaranteed to match the numeric value in the library's JSON data (and of course for spot/LAB/CMYK it never can). Maybe in the past it was correct for sRGB, but evidently not now.

And it's not simply a "little off" as one might expect from a picker... the color on screen is absolutely the same if I have it in the doc and put it next to the color chip on the library... the doc picks it perfect, and the library is waaay off.

If you tried my 'sample AE from Photoshop' test you will see that the library swatch chips are not 'absolutely the same'. They are perceptually similar. Or take your screenshot of After Effects, import it back into After Effects as a footage item, and sample from it.

In the good old days if you wanted a corporate palette in AE for shapes and text, you'd create a reference paint card in Photoshop or Illustrator and import that as a guide layer (eydropping from inside the video monitor is fine, assuming the colors are within gamut). In Windows you could also switch to the system color picker, and save custom colors into the spare slots. Until engineering fully supports Libraries swatches (there's no guarantee they ever will, given the issues around non-RGB) that remains the simplest and most reliable route.

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Explorer ,
Apr 22, 2019

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All I can say is I hope they fix it.  Maybe they didn't intend to support it, but it clearly is something they have the ability to do, because it worked flawlessly in 2018.  They're constantly making changes, upgrades and improvements... since we've seen they can do it, it would be nice if they would.  What's even crazier... if I have AE2018 and AE2019 open at the same time, and I take the 2019 color picker and hover over the 2018 library chips, they all highlight the exact hex # in the picker... for a minute I thought I had found a ridiculous work-around... but alas, I could not pick on the color outside of the 2019 app.   

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 22, 2019

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SAMPLING COLOUR OUTSIDE AFTER EFFECTS

If you are, for example, creating a Solid and with the eye dropper tool you try to directly sample a colour outside of After Effects you will simply switch to another program. However, if you first click inside of After Effects to sample a colour but keep the mouse button held down, you can then move outside of After Effects and sample a colour from elsewhere.

BRIDGE

There is a Libraries panel inside of Bridge. Have you experimented with sampling colours from there?

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2019

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I'm having this same problem in Illustrator. Only in the past couple months. Eyedropper picks up one hex color then places a (close) but not exact hex color.

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New Here ,
Apr 22, 2019

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AE-glitch.gif

This is what mine is doing. No idea why it's doing it, I'm sure it will go away in a few updates, I am too busy to do much about it currently. I thought I would include a gif for a visual. This gif is a little wonky, the rest of my program works fine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 22, 2019

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SAMPLING COLOUR

In case the problem is with my original explanation...

  • With the eyedropper tool click within After Effects and keep the mouse button held down.
  • With the mouse button still held down, move outside of After Effects.
  • When you find a colour you want to sample release the mouse button to sample it.

RANDOM COLOUR SAMPLING

I just reread your original post and you may be having a different issue altogether. If After Effects is acting in weird ways you might want to try resetting your preferences.

Setting preferences in After Effects

To restore the default preference settings, press and hold the following keys while the application is starting.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows)
  • Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS)

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Explorer ,
Apr 22, 2019

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I spoke with a few people on my team and they've noticed the issues as well.  Definitely something that has changed between 2018 and the new 2019 version.  One of the gfx guys said it's like there's a filter over the library colors in AE now that wasn't there before, causing it to dim everything. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 22, 2019

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My eyedropper is doing a good job of sampling colours directly from the Library although, as previously discussed, the numbers aren't an exact match.

I'm  using…

  • After Effects version 16.1.1 (Build 4)
  • macOS Mojave version 10.14.4

What setup do you guys have?

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Explorer ,
Apr 22, 2019

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1 system is using...

• High Sierra 10.13.6 MBP

• AE 15.1.2 Is Fine

• AE 16.1.0

the other is my personal brand new imac

• Mojave 10.14.4

• AE 16.1.1

Team members at work are on High Sierra and 16.1.1 and are experiencing the same issue. 

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New Here ,
Apr 13, 2020

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When installing the latest version of Abobe, it will ask you if Adobe can record your screen. Check allow for this. I didn't the first time and it messed up color picker when I was using it outside of the window. 

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2020

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I have an identical issue, and our entire team has had Havok due to this unsolved bug that appears across multiple releases of CC. A basic premise of working for clients is of course that you are handling brands in a way that is lossless to their established identity, therefore, your brand red MUST be identical to their brand red. When eye dropping across CC in after effects using CC Libraries as the eyedropper target, as well as PS, AI, and ID, we have gotten different values for every program. This is extremely expensive and destructive to try to manage across teams, destroying the core premise of adobe CC Library sharing with teams. It creates the need to name each palette addition in four stages pantone, rgb, cmyk, and hex, and then to name each of those palette thumbnails by their values such as 20/25/100 or what have you, or #efefef. Even having taken that time, we cannot rely on using the eyedropper tool to colour anything in the program, creating an unbelievable time suck from every workflow across every piece of software Adobe makes. What is maybe a "low on the list of issues" bug for their engineering team is indeed a fatal error to (one of) their platforms end goals: allowing us to make professional creative work more seamlessly and with less error/more efficiency. 

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New Here ,
May 20, 2020

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Oof.

 

Please vote for this bug!

https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/37018681-color-picker-or-e...

 

@Dave_Merchant that's just apologetics for poor feature management. I just sat in front of a client and embarassed myself, swearing up and down that an element was the correct color. When it wasn't. Because of this BUG.

 

You know it's garbage-dev-teams-politics at Adobe. "It's not our problem." "Well, it's not our problem."

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