Miscellaneous Features

Selecting Colors

Last updated on 10/6/10

There are several places in Stykz where you are able to set the color - for selected figures, segments, and even the Stage. To set the color, you will usually see a "color swatch" (a rectangle of color) and next to it is a checkbox that says "Web". Here's an example from the Figure Properties palette:

Full Color vs. Web Safe Color

When you click on the swatch, if the Web checkbox is unchecked, the color picker native to your operating system is displayed, allowing you to select a color from the full spectrum of colors - this is an example of the Mac's native color picker:

If the Web checkbox is checked, the Web Safe Colors color picker built into Stykz is displayed instead:

This palette only lets you select from the a list of 216 colors that are considered web-safe. The hex in the center with the "X" on it cannot be clicked on (1), and the hex with the white dot in it is the currently selected color (2), which is also represented by the hex code and color swatch in the lower left corner of the window (3). To use this, simply pick a hex with the color you want and click OK.

Why Do I Need a Web Safe Color Picker?

The reason is that the primary exported animation format used by Stykz, Animated GIF, only supports a maximum of 256 colors to render each frame of the animation. If you were to pick from the full range of colors, when you exported your animation as Animated GIF the color would change to either the closest solid color representation to what you picked, or it would "dither" the color (use a mixture of different colored pixels to try and approximate the originally selected color. This produces an animation that is (at best) not the colors you were looking for, or (at worst) an animation with fuzzy, banded colors that can just look bad.

This is why Stykz defaults to having the Web checkbox turned on everywhere.

Choosing Colors Based On Your Export Format

As mentioned above, Animated GIF is best when using Web Safe colors, but QuickTime doesn't have that restriction. Here's the breakdown:

"Export Animation" Format Use Web Safe Colors?
Animated GIF
Sequence of GIF Images
QuickTime Movie
Sequence of PNG Images
Sequence of Transparent PNG Images

"Export Frame" Format Use Web Safe Colors?
Transparent PNG

    NOTE: that you should make this decision before you start animating; if you want to change things in the middle of developing your animation, you may have to go back and reselect colors from a different palette.