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Adobe Kuler

Using Adobe's free color picker in your production pipeline By Maltaannon
Ever worked with Adobe Kuler? Ever wanted to use it's color schemes in After Effects? Now you can. It's fast, it's easy, it's simple, and it's free!

Adobe Kuler is a great website where designers from all over the world create and exchange color schemes. Kuler has several algorithms to help you create your very own color scheme, plus it allows rating and commenting on existing schemes, that can be downloaded in Adobe Swatch Exchange format.

Kuler Desktop is also available for download. It's a small AIR application that connects with Kuler service and allows you to browse through the schemes directly from your desktop. It's great.

However it is very hard to get the color schemes into After Effects. The simplest solution is to create a screen-grab and putting it in you project. Unfortunately that takes some time to do, especially when you are just starting your project and want to test out several different color palettes.

Jeff Almasol from has published a great set of useful scripts for After Effects that are available on Adobe Exchange. I just love his work. This package includes great script "Swatch You Want," however I personally find it a little bit difficult to use.

That's where this tutorial comes in. I found a very fast and efficient way of grabbing color palettes from Kuler Desktop and placing them directly in After Effects. Download the provided project file to check it out on your own. I hope you'll like it.

I said that it is possible to sample colors directly from Kuler Desktop using the EyeDropper tool. Thats turns out not to be true (at least on Windows XP x64).
If you want to have my KulerSwatches project imported automatically when you open up your After Effects please check out Lloyd Alvarez script.
Happy AfterEffecting!

You can find more great tutorials and tips at

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My name is Jerzy Drozda Jr (aka Maltaannon) and I?m a multimedia, motion graphics and vfx artist from Poland. I?ve been in the business since 1997. During this time I?ve created tons and tons of graphics, software, flash applications, websites, videos and other things that involve creative thinking and approach. In 2006 me and my friends have started up an advertising agency called Polygon Studio. We deal with 3D graphics, animation, web solutions, DTP, postproduction and compositing for film, commercials and video clips. If you need a professional assistance in any project involving creative thinking in any area of multimedia make sure to get in touch.
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