Researchers at software brand Adobe have developed a prototype tool that allows users to mix colours on screen as if they were working in real paint.
Playful Palette offers artists and illustrators an alternative to the standard colour picker that most graphics software, such as Adobe Photoshop, relies on. Users would be able to blend colours more easily and compare different shades.
The tool is based on research into the ways artists work in traditional media – and the shortcomings they experience with digital counterparts.
The Adobe Research team set out to create a user interface that could replicate the variations of a physical palette, with the ability to mix colours and compare combinations of shades.
“Choosing and composing colours is a critical part of any painting process,” the Adobe Research team of Maria Shugrina, Jingwan Lu and Stephen Diverdi wrote in a paper on the subject.
“We conducted a pilot study that found artists interact with their palette several times a minute, and many of the interactions, such as exploring harmonising colours, are not well supported by digital colour pickers.”
Playful Palette is designed in contrast to the usual sliders or swatches that many apps rely on. Instead, it allows dabs of colour to be added, moved, blended with other colours or completely deleted. Blobs are moved by touching and dragging, to recall the tangibility of real paint and paper.
A ring surrounds the palette and records a history of shades used – allowing the user to easily return to them. Entire colours can also be selected and swapped out for new ones, allowing the details of an image to be updated all at once. Playful Palette can also record an infinite number of “dishes”.
Dezeen has the full story. One of the commenters linked a petition to Adobe to place a reasonable price on their products for students. I’d say how about a reasonable price for everyone? There’s a reason I still run pshop 6. The amount of money adobe wants for pshop is piracy, especially when you consider how many people buy at least one or more programs from them. I would love a current edition of pshop, but there are a lot of people who are not walking around with a spare $400 to $800 bucks in their pocket. It’s not like Adobe really cuts the price all that much for upgrades, either. I think they have enough money that they could easily pull the price into a much more reasonable range for all people. That said, playful palette sounds great!