Showing posts with label color. Show all posts
Showing posts with label color. Show all posts

Creating Colour Palettes with Gimp


In the first two parts in this series of colour palette tutorials we showed How To Generate Colour Palettes With Palettable, Colormind, And Coolors, then then how to Create Colour Palettes Using Cyotek Palette Editor. In both cases colour schemes were created by starting with one colour then generating others to form a harmonious palette. In the first tutorial the palettes were exported as images, whilst the second showed how to export a palette as a native Gimp palette file.

This final colour palette tutorial will follow on from the others by showing how images in Gimp can be used to create colour palettes. It will then show how to import the Gimp palette file created in Cyotek. We begin however by explaining how to create colour palettes from gradients.

The Palettes Dockable Dialogue

Before we can work with palettes in Gimp, we need to make sure their dockable dialogues (tabs) are visible. In the standard Gimp set up the tabs can be seen top right (highlighted in green). If they're not visible select Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Palettes and they will appear.

Creating Colour Palettes With Gradients


Gimp comes with many gradients already added, and its easy to create your own. Whatever gradients are available, they can all be used to create colour palettes.



1/ With the Palettes tab active, right click anywhere in the list of palettes then select Import Palette.



2/ The above window will appear. Select the Gradient radial button.




3/ From the drop down list, select a gradient to use.



4/ The colours for the palette will be displayed in the preview window. 



5/ The default number of colours for a palette is 256, but this can be edited with the Number of colors slider, (the total number of colours a palette can have in Gimp is around 10,000). The number of colours above has been changed to 35.

The default number of columns palettes are displayed in is 16, although this too can be edited, this time with the Columns slider.


When you're ready click Import



6/ The new palette will be visible, top right.




7/ The image above shows the palette with the Palette Editor tab active. In the space provided the name of the palette can be changed. Here its been changed to Gradient Palette Example.


Creating A Colour Palette From An Image Using The Colour Picker Tool

Probably the simplest way of creating a palette is to load an image in Gimp and use the Color Picker tool to select colours. 

1/ With an image loaded in Gimp, select the Palette tab, then right click anywhere in the list of palettes. From the drop down list select New Palette.




2/ A blank space will appear where the new palette will soon go.



3/ The palette can be given a name.



4/ Select the Color Picker tool from the Tools panel on the left. 


Because there are thousands of colours in this (and most) images the Sample Average option has been selected (highlighted in red). This will average out the colour within the radius of pixels selected. Here a radius of 9 has been used. This step is by no means essential, but it can be a good way of evening out colours and making them easier to select.


5/ Under the Color Picker tool options Use Info Window has also been selected. With the left mouse button held down, this window will show the colour under the cursor as it moves around the image.  Information about each colour will also be displayed, such as RGB colour percentages, the hex value and its X,Y coordinates.

6/  release the left mouse button and the selected colour will be added as the foreground colour, highlighted in red, above.


7/ Click the icon highlighted above to add the new foreground colour to the palette.



8/ Use the color Picker tool to select the next colour for the new palette. Add the colour to the palette by repeating step 7. Repeat this process until you have all the colours you need for the new palette.

Importing A Palette From An Image


1/ Although a standard image could be used for this method, the resulting palette would be made up of thousands of colours, so a work around is to change the image to a GIF which will limit the colours to 256.


The first step is to select  Image > precision > 8 bit integer, so the image exports correctly as a GIF.





2/ Export the image as a GIF.


3/ Load the GIF version of the image back into Gimp. With the Palette tab active right click anywhere in the list of palettes. From the drop down menu select Import Palette.



4/ The above window will open. Select the Image radial button and the preview area will show as many colours of the palette as will fit.


As you can see, the Number of colors slider is greyed out and can't be used. This is because a GIF image was used for the palette. If the inability to edit the number of colours is a problem the next method offers a better alternative.

When you're ready, hit the Import button.




5/ The palette can now be seen under the palettes tab.




6/ Under the Palette Editor tab the full range of colours in the palette can be seen, The palette can be renamed in the space provided.


Creating a Colour Palette From An Image



1/ As with the previous method of creating a palette from an image, the first step is selecting Image > Precision > 8 bit integer.



2/ Now select Image > Mode > Indexed.




3/ The above window will open. Select Generate optimum palette.



4/ As you could see in step 3 the maximum number of colours for this palette is 256. However, in this instance we don't need that many so this has been changed to 25. Here we can edit the number of colours for the palette, which we couldn't do when we turned the image into a GIF.


When you're ready hit the Convert button. 




6/ The new palette can now be seen under the Palettes tab.



7/ Although we can see the palette under the Palettes tab, if we were to close down Gimp the palette would be lost. To make sure the palette is saved click on it, then hit the duplicate icon, highlighted in green.



8/ Under the Palette Editor we can see the palette. 


When a palette is visible in the Palette Editor, it is the active palette, and if any palette color is clicked on, it will become the active foreground colour, seen to the left of Gimp. 

9/ The new palette can also be renamed in the space highlighted in red.


Importing a Palette File Into Gimp


As with many graphics software Gimp has its own native palettes file format. These palette files can be imported into, and exported out of Gimp.

In part two of this series on colour palettes we exported a palette file from Cyotek, and now we're going to import it into Gimp. If you'd like to see how this works for yourself, the colour palette file can be downloaded here. The file is stored on Google Drive so you can be sure its a safe download.


1/ With the Pallete tab active, right click anywhere within the list of palettes. From the drop down list select Import Palette.



2/ In the window that opens select the Palette file radial button. Click the icon highlighted in green.


3/ Using the window that opens, navigate to where the palette file is stored on your PC. Select it then hit the Open button.



4/  Now hit the Import button.



5/ The palette will now be added to the Palettes tab.



6/ The palette will also be visible in the Palette Editor tab, where it can be renamed etc, although its ready to use as it is.

Now that we've covered a lot of ground with calour palettes it should be much easier to generate a range of colours for a project. Colour seems an easy subject, until you start thinking about it, so hopefully this series of tutorials will take some of the guess work and stress out of using colour.

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How To Generate Colour Palettes With Palettable, Colormind, And Coolors


Using colour palettes to generate harmonious colour schemes is a time saving process when creating digital imagery and graphics, and is especially useful when the same set of colours need to be used on a number of projects. 


A basic example of this could be graphics used to brand a club or store. Once the colour scheme has been established, a palette makes it easy to add the same colours to new logos, posters and whatever else comes to mind.

To help get a perspective on generating colour palettes, the subject is going to be covered in three tutorials:

In this first tutorial we'll look at three well known and easy to use online platforms, and cover the essentials of using them to start creating palettes.


Palettable is a very straightforward website that allows visitors to generate palettes of five colours. This may not seem much, but Palettable is quite a stripped down palette generator for anyone who doesn't need bells and whistles.

1/ When the Palettable page is first opened it will display a random colour with its hex value.

2/  To edit the starting colour click on the icon below the hex value and drag the cursor within the rectangle. The cursor in the colour slider can also be dragged  to change the initial colour.



3/ When you find a colour you want to keep, hit the Like button. Hitting the Dislike button will start the process from scratch with another random colour.


4/ A second colour will now be displayed. Clicking the Dislike button will remove this colour and another will be suggested.



5/ As with the starting colour, the second one can be edited by clicking the icon under the hex value.



6/ Once you've finished editing the second colour, click the Like or Dislike button again, then repeat the above steps until there are five colours. To save the palette hit the Export  button.


 7/ The palette can now be exported as a link or a PNG image. Although it may not be clear how the PNG file can be of any use, in the final tutorial in this series we'll be showing how the image can be used to create a Gimp palette.


Assuming the PNG button has been selected, now navigate to where you want the image to be saved on the PC, name it and click OK.

You've now created your first colour scheme in Palettable.


Colormind is another simple colour palette generator, although it does have a few more features than Palettable. One thing it lacks however, is the option to export palettes. This is not much of a problem though, because by using software such as Greenshot to grab and save a defined area of the screen, this can easily be bypassed. Once a PNG of the palette has been saved, as with Palettable it can be used to create a Gimp palette.

As with Palettable, Colormind palettes are also limited to five colours.


1/ When Colormind is first opened a random palette will be generated at the top of the page, with the hex of each colour clearly shown. If this palette doesn't appeal, hit the Generate button for a new one.

2/ If you like just one or two colours generated in the palette, hit the padlock icon beneath the ones you want to keep before hitting the Generate button again.

3/ Each colour can be edited by clicking the icon highlighted in red above, then dragging the cursor to find a more suitable hue. The marker in the colour band can also be dragged to search for a new colour.


4/ The order of  the palette can be changed by clicking the arrow icons under each colour, highlighted in red.

These are essentially the main tools within Colormind that can be used to create palettes, although there is one more that allows users to generate limited palettes from images..

Generating Colour Palettes from Images With Colormind

Using images to generate colour palettes be a useful tool, and its one that Colormind can handle. The one drawback however is that again, it will only generate a palette of five colours.

1/ To the top right of Colormind is an Image Upload link button.

2/ This page will open. Hit the Image Upload button to the left.

3/ The image will load under the palette.

4/ Five colours from the image will be displayed in the palette. 

5/ There aren't any options to edit the palette, but if the Generate button is clicked another selection of colours from the image will make up a new palette.




Of the three online colour palette generaters discussed here, Coolors has the most comprehensive features, and whilst the other two are good for creating limited palettes quickly, this option far out strips them. In fact the only real downside to Coolors is the small screens that appear the first time its opened. After that, apart from a few small advert windows that can also be closed, they won't appear again, (Coolors is free to use, so I don't blame the owner for trying to make a little ad revenue from it).


1/ To start creating a colour palette, hit the Start the generator button, show above.

2/ When the generator is opened a random pallette is displayed, along with its hex and colour name.

3/ Hover the cursor over a colour and a column of icons appear: 

  • The padlock locks a colour, so the generator can find other matching colours.
  • The double squares icon copies the hex value.
  • The double headed arrow enables a colour to be dragged to a different position in the palette.
  • The star saves the colour to favourites
  • The grid icon displays a range of shades of the colour within the column. Clicking one of the shades will replace the original colour.
  • The X removes the colour from the palette.


4/ If you know the hex of a colour that you'd like to form a palette from, click the hex shown in any column in the palette. In the window that opens, add the new hex.

5/ Click the padlock icon in the same column to lock the colour. Now hit the spacebar on the keyboard to generate a palette.


6/ A new palette will be displayed, including the locked colour originally added from the hex.


7/  When a new palette is generated, each colour you want to keep can be locked. Hit the spacebar again, then lock each colour you want in the palette. If more colours are needed, hover the cursor over the border of two colours and a plus sign will appear. Click it and another column will be added to the palette. Altogether, there can be ten colours in the palette. Repeat these steps until you have all the colours you want.

8/ Towards the top right of the Coolors page is an Export button. Click it and the above window will open, with a lot more options than Palletable and Colormind. However, we're still going to use the export image option.



9/ This window will now open with the options to name the palette and select a color space.  Here we've stuck with hex. Under Labels each colour can be named.


When you're ready, hit Export. Navigate to where you want to save the palette to on the PC, then hit OK.


 Generating a Colour Palette From An Image With Coolor

This is another fully formed feature of Coolor, which allows users to generate colour palettes from images. Although the full range of image colours won't be included in the palette, up to ten can be, and all colours can be edited.

 1/ Towards the top middle of the Coolors page is a camera icon. Click this to start creating a palette from an image.

2/ The above window will appear. Navigate to where the image is stored on the PC then drag it onto the window.

3/ The image will load into the window with a palette of five colours.


4/ Click on a colour in the palette then click on an area of the image, and the colour under the cursor will replace the original.

Dragging the slider handle, (bottom of the window), will scroll through colours of the palette generated from the image. The circle in the image will move to the position of the colour as you scroll. Whilst many colours will be displayed as you scroll, its worth remembering only ten can be exported as a palette.


Click on the + icon to add more colours to the palette, and the minus icon to remove them.

5/ When you're ready to export the palette hit Next, top right. From the drop down list hit Export Palette.

19/ The Export window will open again with the same export options as before. Just follow the same steps as above to save the palette.

Thats all there is to generating palettes online and saving them to your PC. Although all of the palettes here have been exported as images, they easily can be converted to palettes in graphics software such as Gimp, and we'll be covering this in the third and final tutorial in this series.

As a final note, palettes can also be exported from Coolors as a colour scheme alongside the image it was generated from. Instead of clicking on Export Palette from the drop down menu mentioned above, select Create Collage. Play with the options in the window that opens, and when you're ready hit Export


In the second in this series of colour palette tutorials we'll be looking at free palette generating software called Cyotek Palette Editor.

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