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Colour settings - client PDF, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects

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james sandifer
Colour settings - client PDF, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects
on Mar 31, 2015 at 12:47:19 pm

Hi, I'm trying to get my colour settings right in after effects - I've encountered similar issues before but hope to get this solved once and for all. I often get given a 'brand guidelines' pdf document from a client which has certain colours that need to be used. I take these colours into illustrator and "pick" from them when making vector graphics for the animation. Next I take the illustrator files into after effects, animate and render as a quicktime. I'm just looking at a project today - everything looks different along the way... The brand colour from the pdf looks different in my illustrator document - I guess this is a CMYK / RGB issue (the difference is minimal and I can deal with this - although if anyone has any tips for keeping it 100% consistent then I would be very happy). Next I've imported the AI file into AE and the colours are completely different. I know that the colour management options should solve this but I don't know whats best for this situation. I'm on CS6. The colours look much darker and also different when rendered. Basically I have four different colours in front of me - the original pdf is one colour, which is different to the AI file, which is different to the appearance of the file in the AE project, which is different to the render colour.

I'd love to have the same colour at every stage!

Any info or help would make me very happy!

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Richard Herd
Re: Colour settings - client PDF, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects
on Mar 31, 2015 at 10:46:39 pm

[james sandifer] "100% consistent"

It can't be done. Trying to explain this to a marketing department is useless. I've tried many many times. They just can't seem to grasp it. And there is no good solve. The whole issue arises from additive color v. reflective/masked color models. In Illustrator you can Recolor Artwork > Edit > Display Segmented Color Wheel.

That will give you the range of PMS that RGB can make (or more likely "get close to making"). After Effects cannot recognize CMYK, so it's best to always always always make a duplicate of the CMYK artwork and call it [file name] In that duplicate, Recolor Artwork (as above), and then change to RGB. It's also, I think, wise to make your own color swatches in the .ai document in their own layer, so when you bring that to AE, you have them sitting there waiting for you.

A couple other workflow ideas: rather than import the .ai file and convert to shape layer. Make a solid in ae, copy the ai vector and paste into the ae solid. That requires a bit of planning on your part.

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