Color Palette Questions and a Tip

I’m now at the point where I’m creating drawings in Animate. One of the reasons why Animate is so important for me is the fact that I can create custom palettes and when I change a color in the palette, all the colorzones that use that color changes to the new color.

That works just fine, so far.

So now I have many colors chosen/created for this palette. And the palette list is quite long and unorganized, as each color was created when I drew that part of the character. I searched the User’s Guide and the Getting Started guide for Animate on Colour Palettes, but there’s nothing there about how one could go about organizing it. It would be great if the List could be Alphabetical, or (better yet) customizable. That way I could have all the colors for the Pants in one area, the color for the Jacket of the character in another, and so on.

I recalled that I had a similar issue with another ANIMEation Studio type program and could open the color palette file with a text editor and change the order of the colors. I just did and and it works. I just triple-clicked on the line for the color whose order I wanted to change and dragged and dropped the line just before the first letter of the line I wanted it to go and Bam – order changed. BBedit is still my very special friend!

Make sure that you work from a COPY of the Animate Project when ever you hand-edit a animate-created file!

In your Animate Project folder look for a folder named “palette-library” and inside that should be a file with the name of your palette with the “.plt” extension. Open that file in your text editor ( I use BBedit on the Mac. Edit, not Write, on Windows – you need a plain text editor, not one that’ll save in RTF or other formats).

The first line announces that it’s a ToonBoomAnimationInc PaletteFile 2,

The rest of the file is just like a tab-delimited list (Although there’s no tabs, just spaces between the items on each line).

The first word is what kind of color it is, as mine all say “Solid” (there’s no gradients or bitmap fills in this palette I made).

The next section is the Name of the color. If you have colors with more than one word (that is, spaces between them) the name is within Quotes. If you use what’s called CamelBackNotation (were every separate word is capitalized as I did with the name) there’s no quotes.

The next bit is a hex number or something, followed by the Red, Green, Blue and Alpha value of the color.

I wouldn’t change any values in this list, unless somebody from TB says it’s cool. But I was able to reorder the color list with no adverse side effects. So far.

It would be cool if the Scripting in Animate allowed one to do this reordering via a script, even if it meant an alphabetical ordering.

Now if the color palette could have two columns so more colors can be seen at once… Or as a textless palette as Studio can do.

Hope somebody finds this interesting.

There is an import feature for palettes in the color window and the option to show/hide the “Palette List” which defines the loaded palettes.

Normally for cut-out animation I would create one palette per character and remove any unecessary colors. Creating a palette per character is easier to manage than creating a separate palette for pants, shirt…
This should allow easy access to the listed colors without needing to go into BBedit. This way you could keep the palettes for each character and use the Colour Window’s palette import functionality to bring the character palette into subsequent projects. This way you could also clone the palette for a day/night palette effect without affecting other colors. Another palette could be made for other characters, props, buildings, vehicles…

Managing palettes this way reduces visual clutter on any single palette.