Colour-override nodes are breaking

Hello, the show I’m working on is currently plagued by an issue concerning colour-overrides. Our animation team created colour-override nodes to change a couple of colors throughout the entire episode. They saved these nodes to the Harmony library and imported them to all the shots that needed the color adjustment. Only for these nodes to break as soon as the shots were handed off to the comp team / export team.

What’s happening is the colors in the node are crossed out, even though the colors exist in the scene in the palette library. They worked on the computers of the individuals who added the nodes, but as soon as they hand the shot to somebody else, they break.

One of the animators discovered that the colour-override nodes were actually deriving colors from other shots that were on the animators’ computers. Which explains why they worked for the animators, but not for anyone else, who didn’t have whatever files the colour-overrides were deriving from. I find this completely and utterly unacceptable.

So my question is, is there a way to force color overrides to only derive from the shots they’re in? Or is there a way to automatically fix them if they’re broken? This issue is a huge waste of time for our team, and I’m grateful for any insight anyone can offer to prevent this from happening again.


It’s exactly as you describe.
Colour Fades and Colour Overrides store paths of palettes pointing to the directory of the file in which the Colour Fade/Colour Override was applied or re-applied.

A workaround could be that your comp team/export team would copy the files the colour-overrides were created in on their computers.

I had made a feature request regarding this issue here:

Thank you for your response! I spent a long time trying to find any documentation of this issue and found next to nothing.

Do you think this workaround would work: Tell the animation team to create all colour-override nodes from scratch in each file, no saving those to the Harmony library, and tell everyone who’s using their files to update the folder name / xstage name instead of “save as”?

It’s really a shame these break so easily, it would be a really useful node if it worked as expected.

It’s worth trying. :slight_smile:

Otherwise, if you have a server and the path to it is identical for every workstation of your studio (same disk letter and name) you could try creating a file on the server that just contains the Colour-Override and creating a template from this (hoping that the template’s node will still point to the file on the server).
This template could be used by the animators instead of the one they created and stored locally in their computer’s Harmony library.

Ah, unfortunately we don’t have a harmony server, just using standalone. But I’ll try telling the animation team to create color overrides from scratch for each shot and see if that resolves the issue. I’ll try to remember to report back here with the results.

Quick update: I’ve just spoken to the team leads about this issue - our director suggested it might be an issue that happens because of scene palettes - she said she’s had a lot of issues when using scene palettes instead of element palettes.

This would explain why I’ve never had this issue happen before, even though I’ve worked on shows that used a lot of colour-overrides.

Not sure if this is the case, but it’s worth noting and looking into IMO.

I’ll keep posting updates on this thread if any come up.

No need for a Harmony server license.
What I mean could be done with any server the animators’ computers can acces to.
Your team(s) could have a shared library on the studio’s server even when using Harmony in standalone mode.

Yes, it would be great if you could poste if this resolved your problem. :slight_smile:

Right-click on your media in the Project panel. Select Modify, Interpret Footage, Color Management
maybe that would be help.

Short update on the situation: I discovered that if the color override node was added from scratch in the file, it can be sent to another person without a problem.


I did some testing comparing Colour Fades and Colour Overrides.

I realized that, in my case (Harmpny 20) Colour Overrides store their palette paths as relative paths and won’t cause any problems when you send the scene file to another computer.
Whereas Colour Fades save palette paths as absolute paths (pointing to the directory of the scene that it was created in) which will break the link if the initial scene file is missing.

That’s why I was wondering if your production was using Colour Fades or Colour Overrides.
If you used Colour Fades (which cause the error) maybe using Colour Overrides instead (if this is compatible with the needs of your production) could be a workaround.

We were using color overrides (harmony 21.1), but they were breaking. (unless we added them from scratch and not from the library)

Are you saying that color fades don’t have this problem? I’ll have to look into those as I’ve never used them before. Thanks for the suggestion!


I said the opposite. :slight_smile:

I realized that in Harmony 20 Colour-Fades were causing the problem, whereas Colour-Overrides didn’t. They could be transfered from one computer to another without losing their target palettes.
The test was made creating both, Colour-Fades and Colour-Overrides, from scratch.

Finally, I think that our problems are 2 different ones.

  1. Your problem was caused by Colour-Overrides not finding their palletes as they don’t seem to look for the pallettes at the right place after having been imported as templates.
    My theory now is that an imported Colour-Override (or maybe even already the stored template in the library) stores its internal palette path information as absolute paths, whereas Colour-Overrides created from scratch store these paths as relative paths.

  2. My problem seems to be due to the fact that, even when being created from scratch, Colour-Fades don’t save their internal palette target paths in the same way as Colour-Overrides do (relative vs. absolute paths).
    They will always store these information as absolute paths which will always cause the described problem when the project file is transfered to another computer.
    I think that it is a bug in Harmony 20. May, this has been fixed in Harmony 21.

To resume, if the workaround of creating Colour-Overrides from scratch and if Colour-Overrides do satisfy the needs of your production, I would advise you to stick with them.

Colour-Fades work like Colour-Overrides but they have the extra feature of being animatable.
But, unfortunately, they store their palette path information (at least in Harmony 20) as absolute paths which will cause the described problem.

… Hi again,

I just made anotehr test (still in Harmony 20) importing a Colour-Override that I had stored as a template in the library.

I was not able to reproduce the problem. The palette path information are still stored properly as relative paths and the Colour-Override works.

That’s why I would like to know you could double check, by chance, if the production’s Colour-Override template of the library is not actually a Colour-Fade.

It’s very easy to confound these nodes with each other.
They nearly have the same interface and do the same thing.

Thanks for your response!
We haven’t used any color fade nodes on our production, only color overrides, which is why I was confused about what you were saying about color fades. But it seems what you’re saying is correct - when saved as templates, they’re saving the absolute path of the palette they’re deriving from instead of using what’s in the current file, and there’s no way to re-link it to a palette from the current file, and no way to “collect files” in the same way as one can in After Effects.

As I mentioned above, my director thinks it might have something to do with scene palettes vs. element palettes, but we haven’t had time to dig deep into this issue and get to the bottom of it. Thankfully the rest of the episodes don’t have a lot of color changes so this issue isn’t coming up as much.