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How do you change the color of multiple objects in After Effects?

Changing the color of multiple objects in After Effects can be done quickly and easily using a few different methods. Whether you want to change the color of several layers at once or modify the colors of multiple shape paths, After Effects provides some simple ways to apply color across multiple elements.

Using Adjustment Layers

One of the easiest ways to change the color of multiple objects in After Effects is to use an adjustment layer. Adjustment layers act as a blanket effect on everything below them in the layer stack. By adding an adjustment layer above your elements and applying color effects to it, you can easily change all the colors beneath it.

Here are the steps to use an adjustment layer to modify colors:

  1. Create a new solid layer by going to Layer > New > Solid. Make sure it’s set to the Comp Size. This will be your adjustment layer.
  2. Place the adjustment layer above all the elements you want to affect in the layer stack.
  3. Apply a color effect like Color Balance, Hue/Saturation, or Curves to the adjustment layer. Tweak the settings to shift the colors.

The advantage of using adjustment layers is that you don’t have to apply the color changes manually to each element. Simply modify the adjustment layer and it will impact everything underneath it.

Using Pre-Comps

Another way you can modify colors for multiple objects is by pre-composing them. This involves:

  1. Selecting all the layers you want to adjust and hitting Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + C to pre-compose them.
  2. Open the new pre-comp and apply the color effect inside of it.
  3. Because all the elements are now in one comp, changing the effect will modify all of them at once.

This is helpful if you want to limit the color changes to only certain objects in your overall composition. And it keeps things organized by separating the adjusted elements into their own pre-comp.

Modifying Shape Layer Paths

When working with shape layers, you can quickly change the colors of multiple paths like this:

  1. Select all the path properties you want to modify in the timeline.
  2. Right click and choose “Reveal in Essential Graphics”.
  3. In the Essential Graphics panel, there is a color control section. Change the color swatch here to modify all selected paths.

This provides a simple way to adjust the fills and strokes of shapes, text paths, and brushes all at once.

Using Master Properties

You can link controls from multiple elements to a Master color property. This allows adjustments made to the Master to automatically modify the linked colors:

  1. Apply an effect like Fill or Stroke to the elements you want to color link.
  2. Alt/Option click the color parameter to add an expression linking it to a new Master control.
  3. Rename the Master color control to something descriptive like “Primary Color”.
  4. Modify the Master to shift all linked colors at once.

Master properties are powerful for creating color schemes across layers and compositions. And you can reuse them by dragging and dropping the Master control from one project to another.

Color Correction with Lumetri Color

For broader color adjustments across your scene, you can apply the Lumetri Color effect from the Creative Cloud library. This works similar to adjustment layers but with more advanced color grading capabilities.

Here is one workflow:

  1. Create a new solid layer sized to your comp.
  2. Apply the Lumetri Color effect to it from the Effects & Presets panel.
  3. Place the layer at the top of your stack.
  4. In the Effect Controls panel, use the color wheels, curves, creative looks, etc. to alter the colors.

Lumetri Color is often used as one of the final steps for overall color correction and grading since it offers motion picture-style tools right in After Effects.

Tips for Modifying Colors

Here are some additional tips for changing colors across multiple elements:

  • Add the Change to Color effect rather than Change Color if you want to shift hues while retaining luminance values.
  • Use the Replace Color effect to modify a specific color range rather than the entire image.
  • Try stacking Color Balance and Hue/Saturation for more control over shade and intensity.
  • Pre-compose duplicate layers before changing them to easily switch between color versions.
  • The Tint effect provides a simple way to tint all colors towards a target hue.


Modifying colors for multiple objects is easy in After Effects using techniques like adjustment layers, pre-comps, path selection, master properties, and color effects. The key is understanding how to apply changes across multiple layers at once rather than manually altering each one.

Using these methods, you can quickly shift colors to create looks and schemes for consistent, professional-looking projects. Adjustment layers give blanket control. Pre-comps isolate changes. Master properties link color values. And Lumetri Color offers advanced grading. Combine these to efficiently change colors across your comps and shots.

With a solid grasp of the color workflow in After Effects, you can speed up your edits and focus more on creativity rather than technical repetition. So explore these techniques to colorize, stylize, and grade your animations and motion graphics more effectively.