About Palettes


In animation, specific colours are used to paint each part of each character. In order to maintain absolute consistency, a base colour palette should be created for each character, prop and effect in the production. This is referred to as a master palette.

Master palettes contain a colour swatch for each area to colour. Each swatch stores a colour in precise levels of red, green, blue and opacity (the latter which is referred to as alpha).

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.

Harmony uses palettes to hold all the colours needed to paint your elements, allowing complete control and consistency in the painting process.

A palette is created by assigning a set of colours to each character, prop or effect. You will create a new palette and add a new colour, known as a colour swatch, for each zone of the character, such as the skin, hair, tongue, shirt, pants, and so on.

When you modify the colour of an existing swatch, it automatically updates all the zones painted with this swatch throughout the entire scene. The colour swatch has a unique ID number that associates it with the painted zones. This way, you can change the look of your character at any time without having to repaint it!

Another advantage of this system is that you can create complete palettes for different lighting situations. For instance, in addition to the regular palette for a character, you could have one for that character in the rain using colours that are duller and less vibrant than the dry daytime colours, or yet another for using in a night scene. Using palettes linked to your character in this way allows you to instantly change its colouring to suit the mood and atmosphere of the scene without having to repaint each element.

Colour palette example