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Video Tutorial: How to Create a Color Theme for Adobe Creative Cloud

Jason Boone

Using Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, you can create custom color themes to use across the platform. Here’s how.

I’m working on video series about Vincent Van Gogh, and I need to create some motion graphics elements for this project — mainly an opening animation, some simple lower third titles, and a few other elements. Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter known for using bold colors, so naturally, I want to sample some of these colors in my graphics. Lucky for me, Adobe has just the tools I need.


Adobe Capture App

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Color Theme for Adobe Creative Cloud — Adobe Capture App

The Adobe Capture app does many things, but one of my favorite features is the ability to capture color themes using a camera phone. I’ve come to the Orsay Museum in Paris to take a closer look at a few pieces from Van Gogh, and this is the perfect place to test this app out. All I need to do is take photos of a few paintings, and the app will sample the colors. I can let the app automatically select the colors, or I can manually position the selectors to specify what I want.

The beauty of this app is that it lets you edit and reselect different areas of the image at a later time. Also, when you capture a photo, the color themes will automatically sync to your Creative Cloud account. Now that I’ve captured a few colors, I’m going to head back to my office and see what I’ve got.


Adobe Color Website

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Color Theme for Adobe Creative Cloud — Adobe Color Website

In addition to syncing up the color themes with your Adobe CC desktop applications, you can also access all of the saved themes via the Adobe Color website. The website has almost all of the same features as the app, allowing you to significantly customize each theme. Let’s say, as an example, that I want to create several additional themes based on the “Self Portrait” painting.

First, I’ll sign into my Adobe account on the Adobe Color website and then select “My Themes.” Next, I’ll open up the Self Portrait color theme I captured at the Orsay Museum. Since I want to create additional themes, I’ll select “Edit Copy.” Adobe Color gives me a detailed look at my color theme via a color wheel, including information and slider bars for RGB, CMYK, LAB, HSB, and HEX codes for each color. For this particular painting, I want to create a few variations based on the orange color of the existing theme.

If you look at the original painting, you can see the majority of the image is different shades of blue. If I want to put some graphics over the sides of this image, orange colors would contrast quite well. To create a new theme, I’ll set the orange color as my Base Color. Once set, I can now quickly create additional looks based on six different color harmony styles. These preset harmonies include Analogous, Monochromatic, Triad, Complementary, Compound, and Shades. Once happy, I’ll click on “Save Color Theme.” I can choose to either save over the original theme or create a new one — I’ll create a new one. Now let’s have a look at how to use these in several Adobe programs.


Adobe Color Themes Panel

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Color Theme for Adobe Creative Cloud — Adobe Color Themes Panel

For this particular project, I’m creating my graphics using Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. For both applications, you’ll find the Adobe Color Themes panel by going to Window > Extensions. The layout of the panel is very similar to the website. Both programs allow you to create new themes, explore other themes, and edit your own just as you can on the website and with the Adobe Capture app. Photoshop has a few additional features, such as the ability to quickly create a swatch or set the active color via the panel.

So there you have it — I have a number of color palettes from which to pull, and I’m now ready to create some graphics.

As you can see, you don’t have to use the Adobe Capture app to create new color themes. I can make something new from the Adobe Color Themes panel in the program, or I can import an image via the website. There are many possibilities.

If you don’t already have the Adobe Capture app, I highly suggest that you download it now. It’s a powerful tool to add to your arsenal.


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