Release Notes for Colorway 5.1

Release Date: 1st December 2021

Supported Operating Sytems

macOS X:10.14 Catalina and above

Windows: 10 64-bit (SP-1), and above

Colorway Hardware Requirements

A stable internet connection is required for login-based license installation.






Dual-core processor

2.5+ GHz quad-core processor


4 GB

16 GB

Hard drive space

4 GB

16 GB


1280x720 pixel resolution

1920x1080 pixel resolution


2 GB RAM, Vulkan 1.0

4 GB RAM, Vulkan 1.0


Colorway Kit for Modo Requirements




Modo Version




Intel processor(s), Core i3 or higher

2.5+ GHz quad-core processor


4 GB

16 GB

Hard drive space

10 GB

250 GB


1 GB RAM, OpenGL 3.2

2 GB RAM, OpenGL 4.4+

New features

Vector Shape Tools

Users now have the ability to create and manipulate vector shapes directly from Colorway - these include rectangles, ellipses, lines, and arrows.

The new creation tools are available in the right panel. After selecting the tool, click and drag on the canvas to create the respective shape type. You can pick the color of the shape you are about to create using the Color Picker panel.

The new ‘Shape Style’ panel, which will automatically make itself visible upon creation of a vector shape, allows users to control the position, size, fill color/opacity, stroke fill/opacity, stroke width, stroke style, as well as line endings (i.e. arrows) for line types.

If these same simple vector shapes are parts of a larger SVG item, they can also be manipulated within the item. Selecting the part(s) will allow you access to the panel to control the parameters mentioned above. Users can also select the ‘Shape Edit Tool’ to utilize shape transform handles and control position, size, and path points directly in the canvas, provided the parts are selected.

Merging SVGs

Multiple SVGs can be merged into a single image item which can optionally be exported to a new SVG.

This functionality is under the ‘Merge Items’ option in the context menu when multiple applicable items are selected in the canvas, or also available in the ‘items’ menu.

Separating SVG parts into multiple items

SVG parts / part groups can be split into separate, disconnected image items, which can optionally be exported to new SVGs.

This functionality is under the ‘Separate Selected Part(s)’ option in the context menu when part(s) are selected in the canvas, or also available in the ‘items’ tree context menu.

Drag/Drop images directly onto parts in the canvas

Users can drag and drop images onto parts to add new texture layers or their variants.

By default drag and drop of images onto a part would add new variants to the top texture layer of that part (if one exists). If there are no texture layers yet, one will be added.

Holding the cursor above the part(s) for a moment after dragging will show a menu of different drop options. Newly created texture layers will try to automatically detect ffect type based on the texture name making it easier to add PBR materials by simply dragging and dropping all of their textures onto a part in one go.

Undocking Property Panels

Property panels and sub-panels can be undocked more easily by dragging the tab title to ‘tear off’ the panel. The source tab will remain in place and a new, undocked version of the panel can be repositioned.

Start Screen Redesign

Colorway now has a completely redesigned startup screen which allows users to save their own new project presets, gives users easy access to tutorial videos and information about newly added features.

Convert Texture Layers to Materials

Users can now convert selected texture layers to materials by using the new ‘convert to material’ option in the right-click context menu. The material editor will pop-up and allow users to control properties of the new material and apply to the material library.

Apply Changes to All/Selected Variations

The ability to apply various assignments/properties to all/selected has been added.

This includes:

  • Color - using color slots in the right dock (e.g. text color), color assignment dots in the items tree panel, or right-click context menu of the selected item/part.
  • Metadata - using the metadata panel or right-click context menu of the selected items/parts.
  • Part subtree configuration - using the context menu in the items tree. Users can also copy/paste the part subtree from the current variation and paste to the selected ones.
  • Variant selection - using the variants panel or right-click context menus of selected items/parts.

Global Preferences

A new setting has been added to the preferences dialog to specify a ‘shared settings’ file (admins can modify this setting with .reg file on Windows or scripts that edit .plist file on MacOS). Admins can also override this setting with a COLORWAY_GLOBAL_SETTINGS_URL environment variable.

Settings that are defined in the global settings file will be disabled by default. Users have the ability to temporarily override these global settings values by checking the “Allow changing shared settings for the duration of this session” box in the preferences dialog. Once this is enabled, global settings might be distinguished from local settings by the font being bold for the global ones.

Shared settings can be loaded from local drive, mounted network share or automatically downloaded from an online location with the use of HTTP protocol.

Line Review

Users can now use Contact Sheet Item to show variations stored within external projects. To achieve that, they need to select “External Project” as the source of data and add one or more projects as variants of that Contact Sheet Item.

If there are multiple variants added, users can toggle the Contact Sheet Item to use its sheet as a template - this will automatically spawn a new sheet for each of the available variants.

Color Pipette Redesign

Color Pipette tool has been redesigned across the entire application and now shows zoomed-in preview of the area below the pipette cursor. There have also been fixes to its operation when multiple screens are used on Windows and also allows picking colors from other applications also on the latest MacOS releases.

Color Extraction

Colorway 5.1 allows users to extract palettes from raster images.

Users can add a Texture Layer or Image Item, right click on one of their variants and select the “Extract Palette” action to open the Palette Extraction window. The action can be also accessed from the viewport context menu for the Image Item. In the dialog users can select how many colors they would like to extract and also edit those extracted colors by dragging their pins around. Once extracted, users can save those colors to one of their existing project palettes or create a new one. Users can request to match the closest colors available in their color libraries.

Another way of using the Color Extraction feature is to dynamically extract them from a group of items or entire sheet. To do that users need to:

  • Create a Palette Item and link it to a Sheet, Group of items or individual Item
  • Change its data type to “Extracted Swatches” (bug: this selection is not preserved on save yet)
  • Select number of colors they would like to extract
  • If a Palette Item is linked to a Sheet, it might be worth to toggle the “Ignore sheet” option, to ignore its color when generating the list of extracted swatches.

Texture Subdivision / Recoloring Tool Enhancements

  • Users can now choose to apply preview colors to texture layers when leaving the recolor tool
  • Multiple enhancements to the look and operation of the tool
  • Zoom in/out improvements

DCI Performance Improvements

Rendering of DCI files has been optimized to minimize GPU memory use and thus speed up the overall rendering process. Some of those optimizations are transparent to the user and are always enabled (e.g. if a DCI file has large transparent margins, Colorway will allocate memory for the non-transparent region of the image). However, there are two rendering options that we have exposed to the users so they can control if they prefer speed or quality at a moment. Those two options are accessible from a combo box placed in the bottom-right corner of the viewport:

“64 bit colors” - this option controls if DCI files should be composited using 64 or regular 32 bit color precision. In the past Colorway has been using 64 bit precision, but now users can choose to use 32 bit, effectively decreasing the size of GPU memory needed for the DCI composition by half. In most cases there shouldn’t be noticable difference in the quality of color representation.

In most cases there shouldn’t be noticable difference in the quality of color representation.

“scalable DCIs” - this option allows users to always composite the DCI file in current viewport resolution. This option can have both positive and negative influence on performance depending on the assets being used. E.g. is user is using multiple 4K DCI assets, in its old, default mode Colorway would render them all in 4K resolution regardless of what is their actual size currently seen on the screen. This requires use of large amounts of GPU memory but once the colored DCI has been rendered once, it won’t have to be redrawn when the user zooms in and out. Enabling the “scalable DCIs” option will redraw them whenever user zooms in or out (if they are visible in the viewport), but will effectively require much less GPU memory so the overall operation might be much faster, especially when user works on coloring multiple zoomed out assets at the same time.

Another benefit of the “scalable DCIs” mode is that textures applied to DCI parts that have small resolution will be much crisper when zoomed in. In the past this mode has only been used when exporting sheets from Colorway.

PBR Workflow

Colorway 5.1 brings support for PBR material workflow. In the past users had control over specularity of materials only with the sliders. Now they can use texture layers as a source of Metalness and Roughness/Glossiness. We have also added support for environment reflections so users can create realistically looking metallic/glossy materials within Colorway, without the need to re-render the DCI files in Modo.

Users can access their custom environments library whenever a DCI or SVG item is selected. Users can assign a different environment to each of their items and this selection is stored per Variation. If no environment is selected then their glossy assets will be rendered as they used to be in 5.0 and before.

When using textures for driving the glossiness and metalness sliders, those sliders still affect the output. They are used to allow users to scale the texture effect so you need to move them to the far right to use raw values as defined in those textures.

Notice that if you use a roughness texture, you need to select Glossiness as its effect and invert the texture with the toggle, as shown on the screenshot below.

Texture Transform Widget Enhancements

We have improved Texture Widget so now users can manipulate multiple selected parts of a single texture layer at the same time. It can also now be used to manipulate Materials applied to a part from Material Library. The Texture Widget is now unified and looks/operates similarly for both UV based and Flat mapping of textures.

We have also introduced Clone and Move textures/materials actions for Texture Widget (keyboard modifier combinations below can be also seen on the hints bar at the bottom of the main window)

  • Drag+Alt clones textures/materials to parts
  • Drag+Ctrl/Cmd+Alt clones textures/materials around while replacing old materials
  • Drag+Shift movestextures/materials between parts
  • Drag+Ctrl/Cmd+Shift moves textures/materials between parts while replacing old materials
  • User can hit/release the drag modifiers at any moment to e.g. only affect parts that are further away from the source part

  • Keep rotation in the (0, 360) range instead of the (-180, 180) one.
  • Allow deactivation of Texture Widget tool with double-click, which will basically deselect Texture Layers and SubMaterials and will leave just their Part selected
  • Users can center selected texture layers at mouse cursor with the ‘C’ shortcut.

Use Texture Aspect Ratio

Users can now choose to maintain texture aspect ratio when it is mapped to the 3d UV coordinates. The new toggle is available on the Material panel and is enabled by default for newly created texture layers.

Color Preferences

Added options to disable ability of assigning colors to SubMaterials or non-diffuse Texture/SubMaterial Layers unless there is already color assigned to them:

  • Hide the color assignment dots from the Items Tree
  • Ignore color drops at those item tree node
  • Disable SubMaterials and hide Texture Layers in the in-viewport swatch drop menu
  • Ignore color picker live color updates for those objects

Disk Caching for Material Thumbnails

This feature should improve performance of browsing Material Libraries on subsequent Colorway startups.

Miscellaneous Improvements

It is now possible to move tutorials / hint bubbles.

Theme improvements and changes. Added Modo like theme.

Crash dialog now remembers the last entered value of the user email field.

Fixed Issues

  • 472716 - Fixed operation of the eyedropper tool on second monitor on Windows and allow picking colors from other applications on Mac (if user grants “screen recording” permissions to Colorway when asked for it by the app)
  • 494125 - Fixed race between built-in palettes initialization code and UI startup that randomly lead to Color Libraries panel not showing the built-in palettes
  • 473664 - MDI: Switching between opened projects tabs too quickly caused Colorway to jump to the first tab
  • 435520 - Wacom: Improved mouse handling when using pen and tablet
  • 469932 - Improve DCI reflections tinting algorithm to match Modo output
  • 493079 - Fixed issues with position and size of newly inserted items
  • - Fixed align item content to top/bottom being swapped after porting to Vulkan
  • 442277 - Fixed right and center aligned text rendering when editing Text Item content
  • 492875 - Fixed issues with manually distributed Callout Item Pins being reset on variation changes
  • - Fixed SubMaterial thumbnails appearance in ItemsTree and SwatchAssignMenu
  • 487245 - Fixed issue where project names containing '.' would be truncated in tab views
  • 488974 - Fixed issues with splash screen and about box not appearing with some monitor setups
  • 493867 - Fixed issues with mouse cursor positioning when dragging slide controls on the input fields
  • - Restore main window size when reopening Colorway
  • 494114 - Fixed issue with hidden, undocked popovers being duplicated on each project open if the user switched between multiple projects during the same Colorway session. This could severely affect performance after several sessions of Colorway
  • - Allow creation of PaletteItems with the "Insert anything" action.
  • 493875 - Fixed appearance of ASE palette swatches if those swatches were stored using L*a*b color space
  • 492974 - Do not allow users to resize Export window
  • 493308 - Automatically hide progress dialog whenever any modal window is being shown to ensure that that modal window won't be hidden beneath the always-on-top progress dialog.
  • This could have been making the export process appear that it has stalled if a file overwrite dialog has appeared behind the progress dialog

  • 474419 - Fixed font sizes on a splash screen and about box when screen scaling is used
  • 469932 - Fixed Colorway 5.0 regression where the reflected colors were not tinted correctly
  • 492821 - Fixed a bug that opened new undocked palette window each time a color has been double clicked
  • 488014 - When consolidating if 'Leave External' option has been selected, no linked assets were consolidated
  • 328951 - Improved sheet masking features so that items that don’t fit in their owning sheet won’t be shown on nearby sheets
  • 468715 - Enhanced themes to improve contrast
  • - Fixed crash when switching between material libraries
  • 487702 - Borders around sheets were rendered incorrectly when zoomed in or using low resolution sheets
  • - It was impossible to remove texture layers / sub-materials from SVG parts using the trash button.
  • - Fixed issues with replacing variants with consolidated ones if the assets that were consolidated were also referenced by a temporary disk repository (e.g. one created by the left dock Live Source Browser panel)
  • - Radio button labels appeared incorrectly in the ‘consolidate’ dialog.
  • 485680 - Font became pixelated when reducing the size
  • 483231 - Upgrading from Colorway < 5.0v1 to 5.x+ with an MSI installer did not install the QWebEngineProcess.exe application that is required by the licensing module.
  • 485668 - Hidden icon had been missing on SVG after reloading a project
  • 471101 - Texture Recoloring: Moving the brackets beyond the center point caused recolor ranges to break
  • 485673 - Fixed crash when using ‘select same’ if any multi layer material didn't have color assigned to all of its slots.
  • 484095 - Colorway occasionally became unresponsive when applying a material.
  • 482897 - Texture Recoloring: Colors were not applied when selecting a generated palette
  • 482906 - Texture Recoloring: Aspect ratio of image was not preserved
  • - Fixed handling window focus changes.
  • 448732 - SVG: Hiding a part of an SVG caused SVGs to collapse in the item tree
  • - MetadataPanel: Fixed showing list of selected parts for SVG assets
  • - Improved cursor to show a crosshair when using more precise 'place' tools
  • 482312 - Automatically recover broken stored variations that pretend to be a working variation
  • - Remove creation of RLM directory by our installers as it is no longer written to by the new Licensing library
  • - Show message dialog just before Qt crashes if we are on the Gui thread. This should help in reporting some Qt related crashes
  • 477081 - Fixed rendering project thumbnail if the first sheet is hidden + fixed regression that resulted in recent project thumbnails not being reloaded on project save
  • - Fixed forcing redraw of DCI passes if textures that they depend on have mipmaps ready
  • 481300 - Fixed handling 5.0v2 dci files with transparency at locations where there are no refracting parts tagged behind the transparent part.
  • - Fixed filtering of texture effects that are supported by the SVG items
  • 467899 - Fixed issue where tab name would use the full path to project instead of just the name
  • 474050 - SVG items: Implemented multiselection of parts directly from viewport (same logic as for DCI items)
  • 474045 - Fixed issues with lost swatch name if a part is selected and the newly assigned swatch differs in type from the previous one (solid<->gradient change) + properly update part color name in the Table Item if user assigned same color with a different name
  • 474838 - Fix issues with reordering variations of linked sheets
  • Tracked variation has been overwritten on undoing selected variation change by colors of the previously selected variation (the one we are reverting to)

  • 476297 - Improved the tooltip positioning algorithm to not show tooltip under the mouse cursor for controls that are very close to the bottom-right corner of the screen. Show such tooltips at the top-left side of the cursor.
  • 476336 - Ensure that tooltips are always shown on top of all Colorway windows
  • 467388 - Table Item: In edit mode, use orange hover color and move border highlight when re-double clicking. Single clicking exits edit mode.
  • 473397 - MaterialEditor: Interpret setting invalid color value as clearing the swatch value to nullptr (aka reverting to default)
  • 467899 - Fixed issue where tab name would use the full path to project instead of just the name
  • 479570 - Tweaked calculation of GPU VRAM size for the needs of memory management.
  • 479305 - Reset Graphics cache preferences to defaults for all users
  • 428982 - Improve performance of texture widget working on multi-selection
  • 478684 - Fixed crash on opening project from Finder/Explorer when "Open existing" dialog is opened
  • 479426 - SVG and DCI item editor: right click will change selection only if the part under cursor is not selected yet, otherwise it will preserve (multi)selection regardless of the modifiers being pressed.
  • 478617 - DCI: Fixed NaN pixels growing bigger with the DCI getting smaller
  • 473774 - SVG and DCI: Improved normal->AO map conversion for bump strength in the 1+ range (affects DCI models that had no lights exported from Modo)
  • 480678 - Fixed loading of Item masks for 5.0v1+ project files
  • 473401 - Fixed removal of multiple selected materials, submaterials or texture layers via ItemsTree context menu. It has been interrupted after the first removed object by destruction of selection objects.
  • 477192 - Fixed crash on Mac when selecting quit from the context menu
  • - Fixed duplicating/consolidating DCI files with sublights (e.g. grouped lights or if multiple lights have been untagged and their metadata has been stored as sublights of an untagged light)
  • - Fixed consolidation/cloning of Texture Layer exclusion list (the list that says which variants have this texture layer hidden).
  • - Fixed few regressions in operation of Variants and Looks panels

Colorway Kit Fixed Issues

  • 494097 - The render passes button was not becoming available until the user force refreshed the Colorway Kit UI (switched between layouts)
  • 491165 - Missing logos and other reflection/refraction issues on certain projects
  • 489325 - Colorway kit render fail
  • 483647 - Colorway mPath passes failing at FixupUVs command
  • 476330 - The render buttons now have tooltips
  • 472241 - UV names in the Colorway Kit now update properly when renamed or deleted
  • 456941 - Resizing the kit menu will cause the buttons to become squashed
  • 370702 - There is now a counter for how many deadline workers are available and in use
  • - Fixed few bugs when using mPath based rendering
  • 468897 - Aborting a Build Render Passes operation has disabled all Render Settings buttons
  • 474209 - Fixed overexposed DCI files regression related to Modo colorspace management changes

Known Issues

New in Colorway 5.1v1:

  • 493080 - [VectorTools] When separating parts from an SVG the item tree will collapse

Legacy Bugs

  • 493642 - [Kit] UVs renamed with batch commands or scripts are not updated in the Colorway kit UI
  • 408993 - [Kit][Deadline][Multi UVs] Multiple tagged UVs are not rendering over Deadline.
  • 440055 - [Kit] CW Kit doesn't see diffuse color with modo procedural textures.
  • 414523, 427416 - [Kit] DCI files can sometimes have Modo material colors burned into its textures (cleaning Modo settings seems to resolve this issue).
  • 105803 - [Kit] Intensity >1.0 for Luminous materials causes tint to be incorrect.
  • 432009 - [Kit][Texture] Textures seen though transparency might be distorted, this effect increases with multiple layers of transparency. Enabling use of mPath in the Kit solves this issue.
  • 480669 - [Kit] There might be some rendering issues when rendering DCI files using mPath in Modo 14. We advise using Modo 15.
  • 396513 - [CrashReporter][Qt] Crash reporter is not appearing for all of the crashes on Windows.
  • 405372 - [Canvas] Hidden sheets are not skipped when using the mouse wheel to change sheets.
  • 401807 - [Canvas] The context menu when dropping colors can be clipped if the window is too small
  • 386980 - [Colorspace] There is a minor difference in RGB / Hex value when color swatch is added from color picker into a palette
  • 391834 - [Colorspace] There is a minor discrepancy in RGB value between colors applied to parts and the same color in the rest of the application
  • 390699 - [Colorspace][Mac] The correct swatch is not picked when using the Mac OS color picker in AdobeRGB colorspace
  • 454790 - [DynamicTable] Automatic font size is not filling all available empty space.
  • 473212 - [KPI][Performance] Applying materials to multiple selected parts across several sheets might be slow (and gets slower with each subsequent material added to the stack)
  • 466698 - [KPI][Palettes][MDI] Switching between projects with large local palettes is slow
  • 466994 - [KPI][SourceBrowser] Colorway will freeze when accessing a folder with many files
  • 476532 - [Licensing] Selecting cancel on license login will not return to the previous screen
  • 466705 - [MDI] When dragging a tab the mouse cursor will not align with the tab
  • 396246 - [Preferences][Import] Importing another user's preferences file does not update the source browser correctly.
  • 467874 - [SourceBrowser][Win] Google Drive icon overlays might appear pixelated in Source Browser
  • 440699 - [TableItem] When setting 'textures' to display as 'images' the dynamic table tags will not update
  • 394303 - [TextureWidget] The texture widget behaves erratically when non-uniform scale is applied at the part level