The Color Picker

The Color Picker lets you edit the colors of Max objects. You can choose from among several different schemes for specifying colors. You can add transparency to the colors you specify by using an opacity slider located at the bottom of every Color Picker tab. Opacity corresponds to the alpha channel value in ARGB or RGBA color specifications, with an alpha of 0 being completely transparent and and alpha of 1 being completely opaque. When working with the Color Picker, you can save the colors you create as individual swatches or as groups called palettes , and specify colors in Max object Inspectors by dragging and dropping from the Color Picker.

Note: The standard Macintosh Color Picker does not support selecting colors using floating-point values in the range 0. - 1.0. However, the Macintosh Color Picker can be enhanced with third-party plug-ins, so there are easily available solutions that will add this functionality to your Color Picker. If you are running a Windows version of Max, this functionality is already available to you as one of the tabs.

Click here to download a floating-point RGB extension to the color picker.

Showing the Color Picker

  • Click on a Max object to select it and choose Paint Buck icon from the top toolbar to bring up the Format tool bar. On the left side of the Format toolbar you can click one of the color panel icons, inside of the drop down of colors you will see the rainbow colored circle, click this to bring up the Color Picker.
  • In an Inspector window, click a color swatch to open the Color Picker.
  • To hide the Color Picker, click the close button at the top of the Color Picker window.

Specifying Colors

The top of the Color Picker includes a set of tabs that let you choose different ways of specifying colors. Click on a tab to choose the method you want. Max will remember your choice and always show you the method you chose last.

  • The Color Wheel tab allows you to set color and opacity manually. Click and drag in the color wheel to set the color. The vertical slider on the right sets brightness.

  • The Color Sliders tab allows you to set color value numerically, using various modes such as RGB (0-255), HSB and CMYK and grayscale.

  • The Color Palettes tab allows you to create color palettes you can save and recall as an aid to consistent design.

  • The Image Palettes tab is the image picker, which allows you to sample colors from an image. The default image, usefully, is a full spectrum.

  • The Crayons tab is the crayon picker which allows you to select a color from a friendly box of crayons.

Each and every one of the Color Picker's tabs has a rectangle that shows the currently selected color located at the top of the picker, and an Opacity slider and swatch drawer located at the bottom.

Working with Swatches

When you have specified a color you think you'll want to use again, you can create a swatch . The Color Picker includes a swatch drawer which is always visible at the bottom of the Color Picker. The Swatch drawer can hold up to 256 different swatches. You can 'open' the swatch drawer by clicking on the dot at the bottom of the window and pulling down.

You can store your own swatches here as you work. Once stored, you can drag and drop these colors to apply them within the Color Picker itself, of drag and drop them to set colors in a Max object's Inspectors.

Saving a Swatch

  • Click in the color display are in the upper part of the Color Picker and drag down to a square in the swatch drawer. When you release the mouse, the color will be saved. If you click and drag onto a previously stored swatch, it will be overwritten and the new swatch color will be saved instead.


Using a Swatch

  • Click in a swatch or the color display and drag it to any swatch in a Max object's Inspector or attrui object to set the color.


Creating A Color Palette

  • Click on the Color Palettes tab.
  • Click the gear icon and choose New... to display a blank palette.

  • Click the add button ( + ) to add the current color to the palette or add colors by dragging from the upper Color viewer or by dragging swatches from the swatch panel. You can type in names to help you identify colors for future reference.