5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2009 11:47 AM by jendehaan

    Why have the Color Effect Advanced values been capped in CS4?

    Matt McFaul Level 1

      Up until CS4 the Colour effects dialog box was incredibly powerful. These 8 little fields were never the most intuitive, and it took a lot of fiddling before I realised their true power: the first column basically controls the contrast of an asset - and the 2nd column controls the brightness.

      Using these experimentally, you can acheive inverted colours, high contrast effects and colourising effect far superior to tints(see image).
      Well, you USED to be able to - when you could put high numbers in those fields.
      But the CS4 version of these controls caps any entered values to 100% and 255 respectively.

      It seems that it is only an effect of the interface - as I can cut and paste clips with the old settings from CS3 into CS4 and they display correctly.

      Is this an oversight on Adobe's part, or is there another explanation for the loss of a great design feature?

        • 1. Re: Why have the Color Effect Advanced values been capped in CS4?
          jendehaan Level 4

          If you change the values in CS3 to the values displayed in CS4, do they still look the same?  (over 255 looks the same to 512 in non nested clips). Or, are you working with nested clips?  The attached image is still saying queued so I may be interpreting the workflow incorrectly.

          • 2. Re: Why have the Color Effect Advanced values been capped in CS4?
            Matt McFaul Level 1

            Thanks for the quick reply. In answer to your query, all colour effects originated in CS4 appear the same when recreated in CS3*. But this is no surprise as the problem is that the current range allowed in CS4 seems to be a subset of the range allowed in CS3.


            I suspect the problem is a simple one: whoever developed the Colour Effect interface component didn't realize that higher values were useful.

            I should point out that prior versions of the Colour Effects Advanced dialog box did in fact cap the values also - but to much larger numbers (-1000 to 1000 in the first column and -512 to 512 in the second) It also threw up a dialog to tell you this, rather than silently capping as CS4 does.

            To further consider the issue, here's an example: imagine I want a bleached out effect on an image in a movie clip: prior to CS4, this could be achieved with values of, say,  400% in the first column of fields. This will multiply all RGB values in the movie clip by 400%. Black, being zero, mid grays become white anything brighter than dark grey becomes white. This effect cannot be done in CS4 now as it won't allow values in the first column over 100%.

            If I try to do it, all I end up with is 100% in the first column - which is the default, neutral-effect value.


            *The exception that proves the rule is if I created the high contrast effect in CS3 and pasted the 'effected' clip into CS4. The high contrast effect is retained - but if I look at the first column of values for the effected clip in the CS4 Colour Effect Advanced interface they are capped at 100%. If I recreate THESE values in CS3  I'd get no success: 100% in the first column is a neutral value.

            Overall, this suggests it is really is just the CS4 interface that can't handle the values - not the Colour Effects engine behind it.


            P.S. I am aware that Color effects change depending on nesting - but this issue exists outside of any nesting issues.

            • 3. Re: Why have the Color Effect Advanced values been capped in CS4?
              jendehaan Level 4



              Yep, I know that CS3 accepted higher values than CS4 does - I'm interested in the workflow that you're using when you require values outside of 255 or 100% alpha. Because it would present a usability issue for many users (due to hot text funtionality and how it differs from CS3), I'm trying to determine the range use cases for having values ouside the capped ranges - and yep, Alpha is one of them (it also applies to nesting, which is why I was curious if that was the workflow you were using). If you have other cases where you use alpha or brightness beyond the regular values these cases would be great to know to support this issue. Presently, using ActionScript would be needed to work around the issue, but I will make sure we have this filed in the bugbase for the panel with this example.

              • 4. Re: Why have the Color Effect Advanced values been capped in CS4?
                Matt McFaul Level 1

                Hi Jdehaan, thank you once more for looking at this.

                I generally use Advanced Colour Effects on Movie clips or buttons containing bitmaps or greyscale gradients. It's particularly useful for colouring a single asset many different colours.

                In terms of workflow, this amounts to putting the raw asset on the stage, converting it into a symbol, and using the Colour Effects dialog box to create the effect. That clip or button then resides on the stage in place until export. Alternately, I might then nest the clip inside another one that is called from the library dynamically.

                In general I don't nest one colour effected clip inside another colour effected clip - although there are some effects that con only be achieved this way - for example a super high contrast effect that splits all values above mid grey into white and everything below to black involves those values being multiplied by 12800% and then reduced by an amount of 16320 (255*64). These high numbers could only be achieved by nesting the clip repeatedly.

                In terms of creative usefulness, I feel that CS4 is limiting the creative potential of the Colour Effect engine, firstly because to cap the first column to 100% is equivalent to having a contrast control that does not go above 'Normal' contrast.

                The creative usefulness of high ranges in the second column - the brightness control effectively - is illustrated in the attached image; you can achieve 'duotone' colouring effects - this allows the re-use of a grayscale asset and is obviously great for file-size.

                From the accessibilty and hot text issues you mention, I am inferring that the accessibility of the IDE would be affected if the values aren't capped: if that's the case - is there any scope for capping the sliders - but still allowing the manual input of higher values in the fields ?

                I hope I've gone some way to illustrating how creatively useful the Color Effect is - and thanks again for logging it.

                • 5. Re: Why have the Color Effect Advanced values been capped in CS4?
                  jendehaan Level 4

                  Hi Matt,


                  Thanks once again for very helpful feedback and illustration. I have added some of your notes, and pointed to this thread, in the bug notes for the use cases that are affected.


                  Regarding the sliders - that is indeed the issue, and hopefully the functionality can be revised to support this kind of case if something isn't already possible (in that they're used across products so there could be something in there available we haven't used in Flash yet).  


                  Thanks again!