Illustrator teases tool to recolor an entire graphic in a few clicks

Designers struggling to find the perfect color palette for a graphic could soon have a new tool at their disposal — and it only requires a photograph. On Thursday, April 25, Adobe released a sneak peek at a potential upcoming Adobe Illustrator feature that recolors entire graphics in just a few clicks, using a photo as the inspiration.

While matching a color found in a photograph or another piece of artwork is as simple as using the eyedropper tool, replacing each color in a design is a much more tedious process. The tool, currently just called Color Transfer, adjusts each element inside a vector graphic at once, allowing designers to quickly switch to a new color palette, or experiment with different color options.

The tool works by taking the color palette from an existing image imported into the Illustrator Libraries. (Libraries also allows users to add photos from Adobe Stock.) Adobe didn’t share how the software determines what color goes to what part of the graphic, though based on the company’s focus for previous updates, artificial intelligence could be involved and bringing the tool to life.

Adobe says that artists aren’t stuck with the exact placement of the color palette that the program chooses either. Once the palette from the image is applied, Adobe says users will be able to go in and fine-tune the results.

Besides simplifying the process of recoloring complex graphics, the tool could also help artists find realistic color palettes to work with, along with the possibility of opening up more color inspiration. In a sample video, Adobe recolored an illustration of tiles from images of real Spanish tiles.

“Color shapes how we feel and think,” Adobe’s Wayne Hoang wrote in a blog post. “Harnessing the right colors is just as important as the actual artwork itself. That’s why we’ve been working on something to help you apply the just right colors to your designs — all done seamlessly and easily in Adobe Illustrator.”

Shared during the OFFF conference in Barcelona, Spain, the teaser offers a glimpse at what could be headed next to Adobe Illustrator. The design program turned 30 years old in 2017, at the time, being responsible for 180 million graphics generated a month.

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