When animating a 2D project, a big part of my time goes into creating the design on illustrator first. (The other part consists in trying to find inspiration and appreciating the general existence of pizza.)
You can discover ways to make your life much easier for the animation part of the project by first fixing the illustrator file accordingly.
One feature we’ve all enjoyed on Photoshop, other than editing pictures of dinosaurs chasing little children, or creating memes, is altering the colors with a simple click of a button from the hue/saturation panel. Few people know that the same feature exists in illustrator too.
Let’s say below is our artwork. It contains 72 images with different hues of colors.
You could select each color alone and change it, then undo, and change another and waste precious minutes of your life, when you could be watching Netflix, OR you could go to Edit – Edit Colors – Recolor Artwork. Make sure you select the region or artwork whose colors you want to alter with the selection tool first.
Illustrator will open up a window with all the different colors you’re using under the “Assign” part of this feature.
You could double-click to the right color column and alter any color you want individually as many times as you want, while having the “previous” color as a reference to the left. You could also change the hue, saturation, and brightness of the color with the bottom options H S B (while making sure “Recolor Art” is selected).
Illustrator can also pick a random color or brightness, change the order of colors, or even find a color in the artwork by highlighting it for you. All of this can be done with a simple click of a button.
Let’s say we select the background color by double-clicking on the right and selecting a nice yellow.
(It looks terrible, I know, but it’s to highlight an obvious change.)
You could access the default color swatches, or swatches you’ve created for a possibly more interesting result.
If you go to the “Edit” part of the window and click on link harmony colors icon, you can change all the colors together simultaneously.
This allows you to change colors easily and more effectively. You can always cancel and go back to your initial artwork if you didn’t find any pleasing alternative.
A plus feature of editing colors is converting the artwork in grayscale, which can be achieved by going to Edit – Edit Colors – Convert to Grayscale, and voila, it’s effortless.