In animation, precise colours are used to paint each particular character and prop. In order to maintain absolute consistency, a colour palette is created for each character, prop and effect throughout the production. These are referred to as master palettes.
Before computers, painters used real colour pots (often big glass jars) mixed by a colour palette artist. The colour palette artists had to make sure to use the exact same amount of paint from each tint every time they would mix a new batch to make sure the colours would remain consistent throughout the entire movie. Now, using a computer process, a digital colour palette is created. This allows absolute colour accuracy by always having the same group of colours associated with each character.
Master palettes contain a colour pot for each zone to colour with a precise RGBA colour value.
- Alpha (contains transparency information)
Painting animation using a master palette is very similar to the paint-by-number concept.
Using a master colour palette has many benefits, including:
- Each character consistently retains their dedicated colours.
- You cannot accidentally use a colour which is not in the master palette.
- Standardization and colour consistency throughout the production.
- Multiple artists can use the same colour palette and produce the same results.