Beginner's Guide to Adobe Flash/Color

Dealing with color in Flash is similar to dealing with color in other screen based applications. To begin, let's review some color basics. Color can be referred to as either reflective or transmissive. Reflective color is also known as subtractive color and can be described as red, yellow, and blue for the primary pigment colors, and green, orange and purple for the secondary pigment colors. These colors mix to produce black, or, more likely, a neutral gray or brown. Transmissive color is known as additive color. It is made up of red, green and blue, the three colors of transmissive light, which when mixed together create white light. The secondary additive colors are cyan, magenta and yellow, which, along with black, make up the process printing colors. An example of how transmissive light works would be to consider how we see grass as green, even though actually green is the channel of white light that gets retransmitted to our eye, and the red and blue light gets absorbed.

Flash, being a screen based application, uses transmissive light with the three additive primaries of red, green and blue. Since Flash is primarily a web creation tool, it must adhere to some standards for color usage on the web. For instance, monitors display color in RGB in an array of pixels in a grid. Each pixel has an address and can be made up of red, green and blue colored dots, or a mixture thereof. Each color channel, red, green or blue, can range in value from 0, completely off, to 255, completely on. Black is created from all channels being completely off; white is created from all channels being completely on. Each channel can have 256 different values creating almost unlimited color choices for the designer.

In this section we cover: