1 2 Previous Next 54 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2010 7:38 PM by soozphillips

    Dull colored images in CS3


      Hi everyone,


      I'm working on my online portfolio and then realized once it got time for me to add the pictures that the images were dull, light, and just overall horrible looking. I've looked at a bunch of forum posts, most of which didn't actually reveal a solution just a statement that flash didn't support color profiles or something to that effect. I did notice that all these posts were from sometime between 2005-2007 so there must be some kind of solution out there by now that I'm just not aware of.


      So I've tried exporting from photoshop as a jpeg and a png both through "save as" and "save for web devices". I've tried changing the color settings to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 and set RGB to "convert to working RGB". I've tried turning off the assigned profiles in photoshop. I've tried dragging the picture from photoshop or illustrator directly into Flash. I've tried changing the jpeg quality in "publish settings" to 100% in Flash. I've tried right clicking on the image in the library and changing its settings. I've tried adding script like "stage.colorCorrection...." into my file.


      Nothing has worked and I am at a loss. I haven't found any other solutions in all the threads that I've read to try. I really don't know how I'm going to continue on with my site if I can't get my images to show up right. I refuse to put bad quality images to represent my work. Please help =(. I'll try anything at this point.



        • 1. Re: Dull colored images in CS3

          Hi, I am experiencing the EXACT same problem as you, and I absolutely need to get it resolved today. I created a portfolio for a very famous photographer and she is upset at the way the images look in flash, as am I.  I think I'm going to call Adobe even tho I'll have to pay for a tech support call. Will share with you anything I learn. Meanwhile if you happen to come up with a solution please let me know!!!! My email is: s@twcny.rr.com and my number is 315-469-7865. Thanks, Susan

          • 2. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
            Chipleh Level 3

            Have you imported the image into Flash and then rescaled the image to a smaller or larger size?

            If so, you can try resizing the image in Photoshop to the exact dimensions that you will be using in Flash. Overall, Flash does a terrible job at rendering images when they have been resized. I don't know why, but I know it's true. Generally, if you import an image and and don't rescale it, and publish at 100% there may be a slight loss of fidelity based on how flash renders images, but ti won't be nearly as bad as if the image was resized after it was imported.

            • 3. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
              Chipleh Level 3

              One other thing you can try is to import the image dynamically at runtime via Actionscript into a textbox that is rendered as html. I've found that rendering images as html in Flash look just fine, i.e.: they will have the same quality as if you were embedding the image in an actual webpage.


              Hope one of these solutions help,


              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                soozphillips Level 1

                Thanks so much for your note. No, I never resize images in Flash, I do 

                that in Photoshop. The images are all set to go when I import them. I 

                have tried saving them as PSD, JPG highest quality, and PNG. They look 

                great in Photoshop but the moment I import them in Flash, the colors 

                are hugely degraded and dull.

                • 5. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                  soozphillips Level 1

                  Thanks, appreciate your suggestions. Are you an Adobe tech support 

                  person? I was just about to call Adobe tech support, is this their 

                  official solution for this problem?

                  When I import them I can see the difference in the quality immediately 

                  in the work environment even before publishing. So something is 

                  happening in the import.

                  Thanks much!

                  • 6. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                    Chipleh Level 3

                    Interesting, you can try having a look at the Bitmapdata class, it might give you some insight.




                    Do you have the mentioned images online right now? If so, I'd suggest grabbing an image that's rendering incorrectly, embedding it in a webpage, then embed the flash movie with the same image in the same webpage for a compare and contrast, and post the link in this thread. I'd be very interested in seeing the difference you're talking about and may be able to help you troubleshoot further, if I could see what you're talking about.

                    • 7. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                      Chipleh Level 3

                      Nono, I'm not a tech support guy, I'm just a an art school grad turned software engineer who enjoys working with and learning about Flash

                      • 8. Re: Dull colored images in CS3

                        I had this issue happen to me.  When I imported images from photoshop, many of the colors would not just dull, but change (cherry red to brown).  Though a lot of trial and error I discovered that if you convert your images to 32 bits (under mode) they will appear as you originally intended them when you import into Flash.  It works.  Good luck.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                          soozphillips Level 1

                          Wow, I can't thank you enough. That did make quite a difference!  It 

                          still diminishes the quality a bit so there's not as much detail - i 

                          wish i could deepen the darks like in photoshop's levels, but the 

                          colors are a LOT closer to the original! Thank you thank you thank 

                          you, you are my hero and have saved my behind today!!!!!

                          • 10. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                            Artistes Level 1

                            Hurray!!  So glad I could help!!!!


                            It drove me nuts when nobody at Flash or Photoshop could help.  That 

                            came from total hail-mary messing around!

                            • 11. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                              pixelpixie7 Level 1

                              Wow this problem had me up so late last night that I woke up late and it looks like I missed the party. Soozphillips, I'm sorry your having the same problems. It seems like it should be such a huge issue and I'm surprised that I haven't found more direct solutions for it, especially from Adobe themselves.


                              Chipleh, thanks for the responses. I resize all of my photos to the exact size in photoshop before putting them in flash. I have thought about using the photos externally through an image loader like I have in the past for a website where I was having the same issues. While that did solve the problem, the navigation and the way that I want my website to look doesn't really allow me to use that method. I'm attaching links to the images that you asked for so you can see what I'm talking about.


                              Hand.made.art your suggestion with the 32-bit mode really did improve the image quality in flash. But like Soozphillips said, its still not as vibrant and the contrast is really taking a hit. I might still use this solution as a temporary means though until I can find a way to really fix the problem.


                              Thanks everyone, for the help. It means a lot to me.


                              Edit: Sorry, I forgot to add the links. Here they are:


                              This is my oringal file in photoshop:

                              This is a regular high quality jpeg in flash:

                              This is what a 32-bit mode psd file looks like in flash (Better but still not the same):

                              • 12. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                Chipleh Level 3

                                Hiyas Pixelpixie,


                                I sent you a private message, please check out the link I sent you. I imported your images into Flash and exported a movie and placed it on a file sharing site. You'll have to wait a few seconds for the file to load up. Let me know if the first image is the desired outcome you are expecting.


                                I think you tried this already, but I'll mention it anyways. In the Library, I right-clicked on the image, selected "Allow Smoothing" - Compression = Lossless (PNG/GIF).


                                My next question is: What procedure and development processa re you going through before exporting as a Flash movie? What version of Flash are you using?



                                • 13. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                  Chipleh Level 3

                                  One more trick you could try; in Flash, go to:


                                  Modify>Bitmap>Trace Bitmap:


                                  Color threshold = 100    


                                  Minimum Area = 1 pixels    


                                  Curve fit = Pixels


                                  Corner threshold = Normal


                                  That will convert your bitmap data to vector data, which tends to be a bit more friendly inside of Flash, and much more lightweight when exported. However, depending upon how big your bitmap/jpeg/png is, the process time for tracing the bitmap may be time consuming. Make sure you save your work before starting the Trace Bitmap process, I've had Flash crap out on me before when tracing bitmaps.

                                  • 14. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                    soozphillips Level 1

                                    My customer is still not happy. Too much detail missing from images. 

                                    I'm on the phone with tech support now, they have me on hold. So far 

                                    not very helpful but hopefully this guy will get me over to someone 

                                    who knows something. Or at least speaks English.

                                    Oh #@$# they just cut me off.


                                    Chipley, really appreciate your efforts to help me and pixelpixie7. I 

                                    tried your suggestion of  "right-clicked on the image, selected "Allow 

                                    Smoothing" - Compression = Lossless (PNG/GIF)."  but that didn't seem 

                                    to make a difference.

                                    I'm using CS4, exporting with highest quality setting.


                                    I will share anything I find out from Adobe TS.  Meanwhile I 

                                    appreciate any other suggestions!

                                    • 15. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                      Chipleh Level 3

                                      No problem sooz. I'm going to take a wild guess here and say you're using an Apple and not a PC. I've been PM'ing with Pixie and she is using a Mac. I am on a PC and have never seen this problem. It seems as though Flash installed on PC's and Apples treat the importing of images differently; I have never used an Apple so I can't even begin to guess why that might be.


                                      So, question to you, are you using an Apple?

                                      • 16. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                        pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                        Hi sooz, I'm still having problems with my pictures as well. Are you using a MAC by any chance? Something strange that me and Chipleh have discovered is that when he does the exact same procedure as me, imports the jpeg into the library and then changes the settings, the image looks perfect but when I do it it looks bad. The only difference is he's using a PC and said he's never had a problem with image quality in any file format. I'm about to make a new thread asking what this difference in platforms might be. Maybe If you see this before getting a hold of adobe you could ask them too. I wonder if the solution for us both will be different seeing as your using CS4 and I'm using CS3. Either way, I hope we both get answers soon. I'm currently looking for a full time job and really would like to finish my online portfolio to show along with my resume to help aid me in my search.



                                        • 17. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                          soozphillips Level 1

                                          Yupper - I am using an iMac, running OS X version 10.5.8.

                                          • 18. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                            Chipleh Level 3

                                            There it is then. So, I'm going to go out on limb here and say that this problem may possibly exist for all installs of Flash on the Apple platform, since you two are using 2 different versions of Flash. This is the first I've heard of it, so someone out there must have found a workaround for this issue. You might also want to investigate the Photoshop forums and see if there's anything special mentioned for preparing files in PS for importing into Flash.


                                            At least you guys found some commonality with your issues and a possible root of the cause of your problem. At the very least, you have some ammo when asking for support from Adobe.


                                            I'm heading home for the day, but I'll be following this,




                                            • 19. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                              pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                              Just for comparison. I am using a Macbook also using OS X version 10.5.8

                                              • 20. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                soozphillips Level 1

                                                Hi Alexis and Chipleh, this certainly is interesting about the Mac vs 


                                                I'm still waiting for Adobe TS to answer the phone, they cut me off 

                                                earlier and you'd think they'd call me back but no. If I ever get 

                                                through again I will see what they have to say about the Mac vs 

                                                Windows image processing.

                                                I don't think the CS3/CS4 makes a diff as I have tried saving as CS3.

                                                • 21. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                  soozphillips Level 1

                                                  Thank you soooo much Chip!!! I can't wait to see what Adobe says about 

                                                  the possible Mac issue, if they ever answer the phone. Maybe this is 

                                                  one of the reasons Apple doesn't like Adobe, their software really 

                                                  created for Windows and any Apple development is just an afterthought.


                                                  Thanks again, people like you make the world a little better.


                                                  Have a good one!


                                                  • 22. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                    pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                    Yeh, thanks again Chip! I put up the other forum post already, I'll let you guys know if I get any responses. I started searching for even more info on exporting from photoshop to flash and also about to start searching to see if anyone else has noticed this difference between Mac and PC. I'll keep you posted on those updates as well. It sucks your having this problem too Sooz, but I have to say I'm glad I'm not the only one.

                                                    • 23. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                      soozphillips Level 1

                                                      I feel the same way Alexis - it is a little easier to handle all these 

                                                      frustrations knowing I'm not on my own with this!

                                                      Still waiting for Adobe to answer the phone. Meanwhile I'm preparing a 

                                                      sample they can look at online, and plan to try sending them a 

                                                      question via their online support thing at https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/support/index.cfm?event=portal

                                                      • 24. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                        pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                        Wow I can't believe it's taking so long for Adobe to take a phone call. Still no luck on the other thread and I haven't really found anything of use in my online searches. I tried a couple different things to try with changing settings and what not in photoshop, but none have worked so far.


                                                        I am a bit curious... I have access to my bf's PC. Do you think if I were to create swfs containing the images on his computer that I would be able to call them into a uiloader in a swf that was made on my MAC? I'd try it now but he's using his computer and he doesn't have Flash installed. But if I can't find a solution before too long I might just try that.


                                                        This really is frustrating. You would think that since most artists/designers work on MACs that they would make sure that all things Flash work right on it. Also, there is no way that we are among the first people to raise this problem. People have been using Flash for how long?.. and nobody complained about images being awful?

                                                        • 25. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                          pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                          I found a recent post that's related but no real answer there either. But looks like pete_hughes has also found our same dilemma.. "Generally that is not a problem when coming in with 24 bit sRGB but there have been a couple of recent reports involving Macintoshes. You might search old posts and contact those involved if possible to see if they found a resolution. I don't see it in tech support anywhere."

                                                          • 26. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                            soozphillips Level 1

                                                            Yes I'm sure that would work, since SWF's are not machine dependant. 

                                                            Like image formats, the same SWF will work on all platforms.

                                                            I did finally get through, then transferred again, then put on hold 

                                                            forever, then she comes back and informs me that there is no image 

                                                            quality difference between an image in flash and outside of flash... 

                                                            in other words, I got another lackey who had no clue. She didn't even 

                                                            say anything about settings, can you believe it. She also stated that 

                                                            it wouldn't make a difference in image quality if the SWF was created 

                                                            in Windows or Mac, but given her other claim I wouldn't give that one 

                                                            much credence either. Anyway, I politely disagreed with her on the 

                                                            first point and nicely asked her if she is telling me there is 

                                                            something wrong with my eyes, and she hung up on me, lol! After all I 

                                                            went through to get through to them. Gonna try their online support 

                                                            portal next.

                                                            • 27. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                              pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                              lol OMG! I can't believe she hung up on you. There definately is something wrong here. But I did manage to find something called the ColorMatrixFilter class which I've begun to look into. It looks like you can change the hue, saturation, and contrast of images once in flash. Unfortunately I have not yet figured out how to use it. I read through this tutorial but I'm not familiar with how to use packages =X so I got all kind of errors in my file... http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2009/04/28/understanding-as3-colormatrixfilter-class/. You can take a look and see if you can figure it out.

                                                              • 28. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                soozphillips Level 1

                                                                I couldn't believe it either, it wasn't like I wasn't frustrated enough!

                                                                You don't need to go through all that. You can change the hue, 

                                                                saturation, contrast and brightness by containing the image in a movie 

                                                                clip, then click on the mc and go to Filters in the property 

                                                                inspector. I tried that and was not able to bring back the missing 

                                                                image detail. Though upping the saturation by 3 or so did improve the 

                                                                colors a tad.

                                                                • 29. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                  pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                                  Well I learned something new. Can't believe I didn't know you could do that >.> . It did help my image some actually, though I do see what your talking about with the details. I might be able to use that as a fallback though.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                    soozphillips Level 1

                                                                    Cool! Who wants to mess with classes and stuff, not me!! That's for 



                                                                    OK here's the comparison page I made:



                                                                    There's not a HUGE difference but the flash image quality is 

                                                                    definitely still degraded. Do you think it's enough of a difference 

                                                                    that if I show it to Adobe via their online tech support,  they will 

                                                                    see the difference?


                                                                    This is what my client said after I imported as 32 bit:

                                                                    >> It is better.

                                                                    >> However her face and the wall color are not there yet.

                                                                    >> Overall It is not dynamic enough, her face looks washed out, lips 

                                                                    >> appear same as skin color, skin tone is way off.

                                                                    >> The wall color is off as well and unfortunately is not very 

                                                                    >> flattering; her face or the wall.

                                                                    >> Colors still appear, flattened, not as much but still not there.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                      pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                                      I take it the "image in flash" in your example is after changing the colors with the classes thing or did you switch the labels by accident? It looks more saturated than the original and more contrasted and thats the opposite problem I was having. It would be really tough for you to change the colors in the classes to what your client wants seeing as they definately have their own vision of exactly how they want everything. For me I just change it to what works for me =/. A difference is definately noticeable though and Adobe should recognize that and try to help.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                        Artistes Level 1

                                                                        sooz and pp7,


                                                                        glad to still be on this thread.  I'm looking forward to hearing what 

                                                                        you come up with.  I can certainly see the difference, and I tend to 

                                                                        crank the saturation and contrast before importing to make it work.  

                                                                        In photographs however, it can be too sensitive to do that.  My 

                                                                        client's work was in watercolor (children's stories) and originally it 

                                                                        shifted some colors dramatically and others almost not at all.  Very 



                                                                        I'm also on Mac.  MacBook Pro 10.5.8 and working with CS3.   I've 

                                                                        heard of other people's workarounds, but they tend to be fussy and 

                                                                        frankly I don't think they do the job as well as the 32bit plus 

                                                                        cranking the saturation and contrast settings.


                                                                        Like I said, you might lose too much information in a picture if you 

                                                                        try to do that, but I think in your example it should be pretty 

                                                                        obvious to adobe that something is going on.


                                                                        I had done the same thing, btw, sent screencaptures where the cherry 

                                                                        reds were rust and I just got a lot of run-around and blank holds from 

                                                                        them.  I look forward to hearing if you can get a better solution.


                                                                        Probably will involve an upgrade though, huh?


                                                                        Good luck and I'll be following this.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                          soozphillips Level 1

                                                                          The first one is the flash version, and yes I did up the saturation 

                                                                          just a bit using the filter thing. But the original has deeper colors 

                                                                          and more detail. If Flash had the equivalent of Photoshop's Levels I 

                                                                          would be able to darken the shadows and get more depth and detail. 

                                                                          Can't do much more with the saturation thing.

                                                                          You're right, I probably will never get this exactly to my customer's 

                                                                          satisfaction. But Adobe's claim that there is no difference in quality 

                                                                          inside or outside of flash, is just bs.

                                                                          So I'm down to 2 more ideas: one to try that online tech support form, 

                                                                          and the other to install Flash on my slow-as-molasses Windows Vista 


                                                                          • 34. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                            soozphillips Level 1

                                                                            Welcome back hand.made.art! Thank goodness for your 32 bit suggestion 

                                                                            or I'd REALLY be in trouble.


                                                                            I'm about to pass out from not eating all day, will continue working 

                                                                            on this issue after I get those brain cells fed and hopefully revived. 

                                                                            Thanks and talk to y'all later!

                                                                            • 35. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                              Chipleh Level 3

                                                                              Mornin' Alexis and Sue, (being on the East Coast, U.S. - it's morning for me ),


                                                                              Looks like you two have been busy; just curious if you're any closer to a resolve on this issue; I'll be interested in knowing what the solution is in case I run across anyone else who has this issue in the future.




                                                                              • 36. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                                soozphillips Level 1

                                                                                Hey there Alexis, Chipleh and hand.made.art!


                                                                                I was up all night tweaking the images for my customer's portfolio, 

                                                                                and now they look identical if not even better than the originals! 

                                                                                Even my insanely fussy client is happy!! So yes, resolution has been 



                                                                                There's no loss of image data when importing to Flash, it just seems 

                                                                                to be a matter of Flash not dealing well with the color profile. Not 

                                                                                sure if that is a problem specific to Mac.


                                                                                Here are the steps that solved it for me:


                                                                                1) in photoshop, change image mode to 32-bit and save as psd

                                                                                2) import psd to flash, then r-click on it in the library and change 

                                                                                it to lossless with smoothing checked. (though i never tried it 

                                                                                without the smoothing)

                                                                                3) make it a movie clip, select the mc, then in the lower left of the 

                                                                                property inspector click on the icon for Add Filter and choose Adjust 

                                                                                Color. Here's where the fun begins. You can tweak the saturation, 

                                                                                brightness, hue & contrast to be identical to the original if you find 

                                                                                the right settings. Here are the settings that seemed to work best for 

                                                                                me in most cases:


                                                                                brightness:  -16

                                                                                contrast:  4

                                                                                saturation:  4

                                                                                hue:  -3


                                                                                OK gotta go finish up now. Thanks ALL of you for your help - I think 

                                                                                we each contributed to solving this - what a great team!!!!  Will 

                                                                                share the link when I make the site live.


                                                                                Thanks again!


                                                                                • 37. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                                  pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                                                  Thanks for checking in Chipleh and hand.made.art. Glad you found something that works for you and your client Sue. I stuck with an identical solution. I've been using high quality jpgs instead of psds though. And putting the "lossless" and "allow smoothing" settings on it and I upped the jpeg quality to 100% in preferences. I don't know for sure but I believe that the file size would be smaller for a jpeg over a psd which means faster loading? I'll have to check into that, if not I might switch to psds. But I am pretty happy with the images I have now even if they are jpgs.  Glad we figured this out together. Thanks everyone for all the help.



                                                                                  • 38. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                                    soozphillips Level 1

                                                                                    The resulting swf will not be larger if you import as a PSD, because 

                                                                                    it will convert it to a png format internally upon publication. You'll 

                                                                                    still see it as a psd in the library, so the fla is larger but who 


                                                                                    Jpeg is a lossy format, so when you tell it to use lossless you are 

                                                                                    telling it not to convert it to a jpg but instead to a png. Lossy 

                                                                                    means every time you save it, it loses more image data in the 


                                                                                    • 39. Re: Dull colored images in CS3
                                                                                      pixelpixie7 Level 1

                                                                                      Thanks for the info Sue, I guess I'll be converting them to PSD then. I only did about 5 pictures anyway. Good looking out.

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