Now, let’s say you first create your main title text saying MOTION GRAPHICS and then choose a nice color for it. Next you create your secondary text IN AFTER EFFECTS and choose a good color for this, too. Then you create your background, and also try to pick a good color for this. Why is this process so hard, and how does it result in poor color choices so quickly? The answer is that there is no ‘good color’. There are only good color combinations. Color is about harmony, and all the colors in your scene must fit together. So, you cannot judge if your main text color is a ‘good color’ until you’ve also seen all the other colors of your final design. What does this mean for your design? Put simply, you have to choose all your colors at once. Welcome to the world of color themes.
A color theme is a combination of a few colors (usually five) that harmonize well. At the beginning of your project, you should choose a single color theme and then use it for all the colors in your project. Adobe has a great tool for browsing and creating color themes, which you’ll find at https://color.adobe.com
You can use this tool to create your own color themes, and it supports various harmony rules (see the left side of the screenshot) to ensure the colors you pick always harmonize. If you have an image that contains the mood and colors that you want for your project, it can even extract a color theme from that image. But to get started, I recommend that you simply browse the huge number of existing themes.
Here I searched for the keywords ‘orange blue’, for example:
As you can see, many of the themes are based on images, so you’ll get a better idea of what you can do with them. Once you’ve found a theme you like, click on the ‘Add to Library’ button (which is only visible if you hover your mouse over the theme) and it will instantly show up in the Libraries panel within After Effects:
If you’re working for a client, ask the client if they already have a color theme you should use. If your client has an established corporate identity, a color theme or color guidelines will be part of it. Otherwise, make sure you pick a color theme that fits their brand, for example one that includes the colors they use in their logo.
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