# Color Accuracy

Have you ever transferred layers from Ai and felt like the colors were off, even though Ae tells you the hex colors match?

Color is weird.

2.4 gamma

You probably know to check to make sure Ai files are RGB and not CMYK, but did you know a color profile can make things look different?

# Convert to shape layers

Create Shapes from Vector Layer

Before Overlord, it was required to Import an Ai file, then Create Shapes from Vector Layer. Once it converts to shape layers, it's common to notice a color shift. This is because the Illustrator file and the After Effects project are using different color profiles.

Creating shape layers with Overlord has the same potential for introducing this color shift.

# Ai color profile

This is not intended to be an in depth lesson on color profiles. Check out what Adobe has to say about it.

TLDR: Color profiles are instructions about how colors are supposed to look. Shape layers colors are managed by After Effects, but imported footage (that includes Ai files) may have their own profiles that might not be the same as Ae.

# Illustrator color settings

Edit > Color Settings

This is where you will find the color profile that is embedded into saved Ai files.

Color profile Ai

# After Effects color settings

File > Project Settings...

This is where you set the Ae project's color profile. Note: it is possible for these settings to be different between different projects.

Color profile Ae

# Option #1: Disable Ai color profile

This works great if you need to match Ai art to an Ae project.

Interprete Ai
  • Select the Ai file
  • Click the Interpret Footage button in the bottom right
  • Select the Color Management tab
  • Add a check to Preserve RGB
Ignore color profile

# Option #2: Match your profiles

Our Ai file was created with the sRGB IEC611966-2.1 color profile. So setting Ae to match will fix our colors right away.

This may be done in the other direction too, by updating the Ai color profile to match the Ae profile, but it might change your Ai art in undesirable ways.

Match color profile

# ⚠ Beware linearize working space ⚠

Only use this if you know what you're doing. It is more for visual effects and rarely looks right for graphics.

Match color profile - Linearize

# Option #3: Mess with options

2.2 gamma

Working Gamma 2.1 - Our source image uses a 2.1 gamma (sRGB IEC611966-2.1) so if you prefer to turn off color management in Ae, try setting the Working Gamma as close as possible.

Using an Ae working space of None might lead to slightly brighter colors.

Wrong profile

Wrong color profile - Setting Ae to the complete wrong profile can have some pretty ugly results.

Blend 1.0 gamma

Blend using 1.0 Gamma - This doesn't make a difference to the flat colors but does affect the edges of the text.