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RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect

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Ryan McCauley
RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 6:33:42 pm

Hi Guys,

I've spent the last 2 days searching for an answer to this with no luck. Please Help!

I'm working on a project in which the Client is VERY SPECIFIC about their Graphic colors. I have a Palette with RGB values and HEX values to choose from. HOWEVER, when I create a solid, shape or text object in AE and try to input these values, the color is no where close to what it is suppose to be. The Hex Value is Much closer than the RGB but still not quite there.

I've done another project for the same client using the same values about 6 months ago and everything went fine. I've tried changing color profiles in AE, on my monitors and so on, but nothing has worked!

Advice Please!
Thanks
Ryan


Mac Pro 2008 2.8GHz Quad Xeon
16GB RAM
2x Samsung T260HD monitors
CS5 Production
FCS 3
Cinema 4D Broadcast R12


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 6:42:50 pm

Have you turned color management off completely? Or at the least, gone to View > Simulate Output > and set it to none/off?

Why would you need to change color profiles on your monitor? Are you referencing a brand book or Pantone chip; did they give you an on-screen reference like a pdf brand/logo chart?


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Ryan McCauley
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 6:54:48 pm

I started out with everything "Off" and changing settings has had no effect other than to make the color look further off. Just tried the "Simulate Output" it didn't change anything.

After doing some reading on the Color management for AE, I came across a few articles that suggested changing your monitor color profile to sRGB IEC61966-2.1. So I did, and also tried Adobe 1998, Apple RGB and standard RGB settings to see if it made a difference.

The Client has provided me with an PDF that has swatches and includes Spot (Pantone), CMYK, RGB and HEX values of each color. I would import it and just color pick but the PDF is low quality and I don't trust the color resolution of it.


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 8:38:43 pm

When in doubt, use the HEX value and proof it on a different system (tv or otherwise).

It sounds, though, like you aren't wholly familiar with color management within AE so I suggest you look through http://www.adobe.com/designcenter-archive/aftereffects/articles/aftcs3ip_co...

I preempt this by saying I don't know how much you know about color management in general, so I'm going to assume the worst and explain everything worth looking at in this situation.

You're working with three color spaces and how they store or display color

Source - This is the color space defined by whatever created your video or graphics. Chances are you'll be working with a mix of mostly Rec 709 (HD digital video standard) and sRBG(graphics, or whatever other flavor like ProPhoto, Adobe1998 and so on).

Working Space - After Effects, with color management turned on, will allow you to pick a working space. This does a initial conversion of all your sources into one working space.

Rec 709 and sRGB share a lot of the same gamut space, except sRGB is 2.2 where Rec 709 is 2.4. On a computer screen they should behave nearly the same, but on a calibrated Rec 709 video monitor you may see the slightest gamma shift.

Display Space - Now you mentioned you changed your monitor profile. Are you doing this in Mac's monitor preferences? If so, remove all profiles. You're applying work space profiles to an output device and that won't lead to the most accurate look. You should be applying a calibrated profile (produced by something like a Pantone Huey, Spyder Pro, or other calibration device). This display profile is used to compensate any color shifts or deficiencies with your monitor. You don't really need this step if someone else will proof your stuff, but if your monitor is off at least you know that the PDF and After Effects are, comparatively, the same.

I would say, though, that PDFs are also color managed. Try bringing it into after effects (should work just fine) and comparing the swatches 1:1.

Beyond that, it may be some exotic setting that isn't coming to mind. You aren't applying an adjustment layer or effect that you're not aware of that's shifting the color for instance?


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Ryan McCauley
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 8:54:17 pm

Thanks for all the info on Color Management. I'm relatively new to this subject although I do have a general handle on the basics. As far as the Monitor Color profiles, I was just grasping at straws to figure out what could be wrong.

My main concern is that I'm creating graphics from nothing. Shapes, text and solids in After Effects. When I input the RGB values into the color picker, it's not even close. Hex is close but not close enough. I'm thinking that the palette I've been given to work with is based on 256 colors and I'm guessing that AE is running Millions. I'm not sure if this is something that should create this kind of conflict. When I input the Hex values, my Red values ten to be in the 1,000-1500 range as opposed to a 150-240 range on my palette.

Like I said in my previous post, I didn't have this issue on the first project I worked on for them, using the same computer, software, Monitor and settings. I'm guessing there is a way to change the color picker to 256 colors somewhere that I don't know about.


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Ryan McCauley
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:12:01 pm

I've just tried opening a seperate project and importing some RGB values from my Color Index book. Still no match. This is driving me insane


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 4, 2012 at 1:40:28 am

Yes, there is a way to change your color picker values.

Locate your info panel (if you don't see it go to Window>Info, ctrl+2 is the windows shortcut). In the upper right hand corner of the panel you have your panel menu. Select this and you will be given the option to see your color readouts as 8bit, 10bit, and 16bit. Change this as appropriate and it will also change how the Color Picker represents color as well.


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Ryan McCauley
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:04:17 pm

Thanks for this! Now at least my values are correct both in Hex and RGB. Apparently they were using 8-bit color and I was in 10. Now I'll have to play around with my export settings.


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Walter Soyka
Re: RGB/Hex Values in AE are Incorrect
on Feb 3, 2012 at 8:06:40 pm

[Ryan McCauley] "I have a Palette with RGB values and HEX values to choose from. HOWEVER, when I create a solid, shape or text object in AE and try to input these values, the color is no where close to what it is suppose to be. The Hex Value is Much closer than the RGB but still not quite there."

Hex is just another way of representing the exact same numbers as RGB. If they don't look the same on your screen, then there is a discrepancy in the palette itself and you should seek clarification.

If you have a calibrator, you can profile your monitor and use it for color management. If not, anything color-critical that you do by eye will be a guess, but numerically should be correct.

If you're creating an HD deliverable, you should be delivering in Rec. 709.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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