Learn how to link color across your entire project. In this tutorial, I show how you can use a color expression control to drive color for text across a project. This can also be used for shape layers or any other single-color element. Why would you do this instead of just setting all colors individually? This makes it easier to change colors for a few reasons—in my case, while I’m concepting, for later client changes, and versioning a video to different brand/product/style colors.

As you use this technique, I’d recommend defining color controls based on the color use, rather than the color itself. For example, I have “Item”, “Brands”, and “Price Point” instead of just “Blue”, “Gray”, and “Red”. This makes it easier later when colors inevitably change.

Steps in this tutorial:

  • Setup a comp, in my case called “_control”.
  • Create a new adjustment layer and Add an expression control – Effects:Expression Controls:Color Control.
  • Lock Effects panel so it is still visible from other comps.
  • Add a Fill effect to the text layer you want to control – Effects:Generate:Fill.
  • Option-/Alt-click the stopwatch for color.
  • Pickwhip the color control to your expression control.
  • Copy & paste effect or text layer as much as needed.
  • Change the color control as needed and see it reflected across your project.