Symbol Palette Control panel


Inter­ac­tive pan­el which allows users to cre­ate mul­ti­ple col­or palettes asso­ci­at­ed with a Sym­bol and then switch between these palettes.
Col­or palettes can be copied (cloned), mod­i­fied with col­or effects, reor­ga­nized, saved as files or loaded from a saved file.
Palettes can also be opti­mized, by uni­fy­ing the col­or of sim­i­lar swatch­es, thus reduc­ing the over­all num­ber of colors.
Col­or swatch­es can be mod­i­fied indi­vid­u­al­ly, grouped, regrouped or exclud­ed from col­or swapping.

Col­or palette infor­ma­tion is writ­ten as meta­da­ta into the Sym­bol Library item.

Note: Sym­bol Palette Con­trol requires Flash CS4 or new­er, i.e. does not work in Flash 8 or CS3.

Suggested use

1. Mul­ti­ple col­or palettes
Any sit­u­a­tion where it would be use­ful to have mul­ti­ple col­or vari­a­tions of an item.
In char­ac­ter ani­ma­tion it can be dif­fer­ent col­or palettes for day and night or col­or vari­a­tions that dis­tin­guish mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters based on the same design.

Exam­ple: Fox has default orange and white col­or palette, but also has a vari­a­tion with cool bluish tint­ed col­ors for night-time scenes.
If the night-time scene is a sep­a­rate doc­u­ment (FLA), the char­ac­ter col­ors are sim­ply swapped by using Sym­bol Palette Con­trol panel.
If the night-time scene shares the same doc­u­ment with day-time scenes, the Fox char­ac­ter sym­bol is first cloned using Dupli­cate Sym­bol Recur­sive and then the dupli­cate’s col­or palette is switched to ‘Night’.

2. Col­or opti­miza­tion / reduction
Anoth­er usage sce­nario would be col­or opti­miza­tion, when reduced palette is pre­ferred, but orig­i­nal­ly the design was cre­at­ed using many nuances.

Exam­ple: Fox has 12 dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of orange in a mul­ti­tude of elements.
A palette is gen­er­at­ed and then the clos­est orange col­ors are sep­a­rat­ed in groups where the nuance that will be kept is put (for easy iden­ti­fi­ca­tion) as the first col­or of each group.
The palette is then cloned and the clone is mod­i­fied. Click­ing on the small [ = ] but­ton at the end of a group will invoke the Uni­fy Col­ors dia­log. When press­ing OK all orange col­ors in the group will become the same as the select­ed one.
Then the Mas­ter palette is swapped with the mod­i­fied clone. The set is after that delet­ed and a new set can be gen­er­at­ed which will have few­er unique orange colors.

Where does it work?

One select­ed Sym­bol in the Library

Palette Sets are cre­at­ed and man­aged with­in the pan­el itself, but stored as meta­da­ta with­in the Sym­bol or export­ed as files.

EDAP Tools shortcut

n/a; open Sym­bol Palette Con­trol pan­el from Win­dow menu > Oth­er Pan­els (Exten­sions in Ani­mate) > Sym­bol Palette Control


Click on swatch to select
Dou­ble-click on swatch to edit color
Dou­ble-click on group to rename
Drag swatch to reorder
Drag swatch to Bin to delete


Sym­bol Palette Con­trol requires Flash CS4 or new­er, i.e. does not work in Flash 8 or CS3.

Known issues

Per­for­mance in CS4 can be very slow in any­thing but the sim­plest of files. This is just how CS4 is – one of the worst ver­sions of Flash to have ever been released.

Col­ors in Groups may not be processed dur­ing palette swap: Shapes in groups may fail to be re-col­ored, depend­ing on the con­tent of the Group and also how deep it is nested.
Avoid using Groups and use Unions, Lay­ers and Sym­bols instead.

Col­or Pick­ers do not work on Mac OS Mojave, Catali­na or new­er: Under cer­tain cir­cum­stances col­or pick­ers get blocked by the OS and users are unable to use them to pick col­ors from the Stage.
To enable col­or pick­er, go to Secu­ri­ty & Pri­va­cy set­tings > Acces­si­bil­i­ty and make sure that Ani­mate is allowed to con­trol your com­put­er. (Click below to see instructions.)

Enable col­or pick­er Mac OS

Buttons, Dropdowns

Full descrip­tion

SPC panel

Sym­bol name when palette is loaded. In brack­ets – num­ber of swatch­es in the loaded Mas­ter Palette.
Menu with var­i­ous selec­tion options:

  • Set Cur­rent Palette – allows to man­u­al­ly tell the pan­el which palette is ‘cur­rent’
  • Set Mas­ter Palette – allows to man­u­al­ly change the Mas­ter Palette
  • Delete Palette Set – deletes the cur­rent­ly loaded set
  • Delete All Sets – deletes all palette sets from the cur­rent document
  • Import Set – imports a saved palette set from file
  • Export Set – exports a palette set to file
  • Clear Pan­el – clears the panel

Main pan­el area where col­or palettes appear:

  • Palette name and indi­ca­tor in brack­ets which one is ‘cur­rent’. A but­ton to expand/collapse a palette.
  • Swatch area. Swatch­es can be reor­ga­nized in groups and groups can be exclud­ed from swap­ping by remov­ing the check­mark in front of their name. (Dou­ble-click on the group name to edit it); [ + ] but­ton at the end of groups in Mas­ter to add a swatch; [ = ] but­ton at the end of groups in oth­er palettes to uni­fy colors.
  • But­tons to add a Group, copy the palette or rename it. On the right a “…” but­ton which opens the Col­or Effects dia­log. Col­or effects can be applied selec­tive­ly to cer­tain groups and can­not be applied to the ‘cur­rent’ palette.

But­tons at the bottom:

  • Gen­er­ate / Palette Set – gen­er­ates a Palette Set (or loads an exist­ing set) for the cur­rent­ly select­ed sym­bol in the Library. If no selec­tion is present, but there are Palette Sets present in the Library and dia­log pops out, allow­ing users to choose what to load.
  • Swap palettes – pops a dia­log which allows the user to choose new palette for symbol
  • Find select­ed col­or – when one col­or is select­ed, the but­ton becomes active and when pressed will dis­play infor­ma­tion about the col­or in Output
  • Pick col­or to iden­ti­fy swatch – when pressed a mini-dia­log with col­or pick­er appears; a col­or can be picked on Stage and upon press­ing OK, its swatch will be iden­ti­fied and select­ed in the cur­rent palette.
  • Bin – func­tion both as a but­ton delet­ing the cur­rent­ly select­ed swatch in the Mas­ter palette or as a hot spot where a swatch can be dropped to be deleted.

Video demonstration

All our videos are 1080p. If for some rea­son full HD is not avail­able here, try watch­ing them on YouTube.

Time Stamps:
00:00:00 — Introduction
00:01:33 — Where SPC is; How it works; Cre­at­ing a palette
00:03:59 — Select­ing swatch­es; Find­ing col­ors; Iden­ti­fy­ing swatches
00:05:35 — Orga­niz­ing palettes; Groups; Delet­ing swatches
00:06:22 — Dupli­cat­ing palettes; Cor­re­spond­ing swatches
00:07:04 — Apply­ing col­or effects to palettes
00:09:39 — Edit­ing indi­vid­ual swatches
00:10:18 — Swap­ping palettes
00:10:44 — Sav­ing palette to a file
00:11:13 — Set­ting cur­rent palette in case of mismatch
00:12:46 — Refin­ing a palette
00:14:38 — Sav­ing doc­u­ment with palette; Load­ing exist­ing palette
00:15:20 — Refin­ing a palette
00:16:28 — Exclud­ing a group from swapping
00:17:33 — Cre­at­ing a deep copy of character
00:19:04 — Find­ing and iso­lat­ing spe­cif­ic colors
00:22:19 — Cre­at­ing palettes for a prop
00:23:55 — Opti­miz­ing a palette; Reduc­ing the num­ber of colors
00:27:31 — Uni­fy­ing colors

This pan­el is part of the Flan­i­mate Pow­er Tools pack­age. Down­load the lat­est ver­sion from the Down­loads page.

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