Better Label Colors in After Effects

The default After Effects label colors are very muted, desaturated, and ugly. Most importantly, they don’t make layer groups pop or standout. You can actually change the label colors in After Effects to something more pleasing to look at, yet bright and functional so you can distinguish groups faster.

Go to Preferences > Labels. From here, you can define all 16 label colors as well as their names. You can also define the default label for certain elements such as comps, text layers, shapes, etc.

Here’s a popular color scheme, inspired by Google’s Material Design:

The fastest way to change the label colors (without using a script like Labels3) is to save the image above and import it into an After Effects composition. From there, just eyedrop each label color and change the name. Below is a copy/paste friendly list with hex.

  • Red: #F1463F
  • Pink: #E62A65
  • Purple: #9936AC
  • Deep Purple: #6344B2
  • Indigo: #3C57B0
  • Blue: #1F9AEE
  • Light Blue: #0DACEF
  • Cyan: #1CBCD2
  • Teal: #199588
  • Green: #54AC58
  • Light Green: #8FC057
  • Lime: #CFD952
  • Yellow: #FFE858
  • Amber: #FFBF3B
  • Orange: #FD9731
  • Deep Orange: #FC5934

Have fun with your labels, make them stand out, and start organizing your layers!

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