Last modified on 12 May 2010, at 00:50

Beginner's Guide to Adobe Flash/Color/Color Swatches

The Color Swatches Panel (Cmd/Ctrl + F9) is similar to swatches panels found in other applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator: swatches can be created and saved as color palettes and then loaded for use at another time. In fact, color tables created in Photoshop can be saved and then loaded for use in Flash. The options menu of the Color Swatches Panel gives you access to other palettes, as well as to reloading the default palette. The Tools Panel and Property Inspector both provide popup Color Swatches Panels, however they only represent the currently loaded palette and do not provide for the loading and modifying of other palettes.

Flash loads the Web-safe color palette into the Color Swatches Panel by default. This is a set of 216 colors determined to be consistent on both Mac and Windows platforms. Color in general is inconsistent and unreliable from one platform to another due to the fact that the Mac OS and Windows handle color differently. Custom color sets can be imported from photographs and GIFs when saved as a .act or .clr from Photoshop. An indexed color palette, loaded from a GIF, can contain up to 256 colors and is ideal for vector graphics with solid fills and strokes, but will create banding in photographic images due to the tonal nature of bitmaps. In Photoshop do a File>Save for Web, save as a GIF with adaptive color, or Image>Mode>Color Table after the image is coverted to indexed color.

Color can be applied from the Color Swatches Panel to objects in Flash. Color fill can be applied using the brush tool, Paint Bucket tool, and various shape tools, such as the rectangle tool. Color stroke can be applied using the Line tool, Pencil tool, Ink Bottle tool, Pen tool, and the corresponding shape tools as previously listed with color fill. The Tools panel and Property Inspector both have pop-up color swatches with colorchips for both the fill and stroke. The fill swatches also contain gradient swatches along the bottom of the pop-up panels. Depending on the tool selected, the panels may also contain a "no color" button for removing a fill or stroke color. The Tools panel will display the most recently selected fill and stroke color whereas the Property Inspector will display the fill and stroke colors for the currently selected item. These panels contain a field for input of hex color numbers, RGB colors in base 16 comprised of 6 digits, using numerals 0-9 and A-F. The first two digits correspond to the red channel, second two digits to the green channel and the last two digits to the blue channel. Web-safe hex colors use only combinations of 00, 33, 66, 99 and FF. The panels also have a button to invoke the Color Picker, which acts like a color wheel with all ranges of value and saturation available for selection.


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Color Mixer | Gradients