Adobe Colour CC
I actually researched this software last. You can upload an image to this software and it will determine the main colours identified. It is interesting to compare this result with that of ‘Color Hunter’ where I could not see the colour of the woman’s dress identified.
As I explored this app further I got more confused. It offered five different themes; colourful, bright, deep, dark and muted, so I thought I would generate five colour palettes, and I named the files accordingly. It became obvious that it does not always generate the same colour palette each time so you can get two muted themed colour palettes that are not alike. This can be advantage as the more palettes you generate the more colours are identified or it can be a disadvantage if you simply want to identify one bright colour palette.
Adobe Color CC also has a colour wheel which allows you to generate your own colours. I found their colour wheel more difficult to navigate than some of the others mentioned below.
Mudcube Colour Sphere
This software allows you to create a colour palette from one shade by viewing associated colour harmonies. These can be exported to programs such as photoshop.
I used ‘2000 colour combinations for graphic, textile, and craft designs’ to obtain the R/G/B proportions for several of my sample colour matches to use with this software. While the orange came out more brown and the purple as grey, the yellow colour was more well matched.
“The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.”
I had a play with this program on my PC however an app is also available. You simply move the mouse left to right for hue, up and down for lightness and scroll to alter saturation. It took me a matter of seconds to locate the dark blue from my printed sample 1, which I had not been able to match when mixing gouache.
You simply click to save a colour/s, however, you cannot enter R/G/B numbers. It would be useful when you want to create ranges of colours quickly.
After looking at the previous two colour tools I thought about how I could use a tool such as these to my advantage by locating the colours in my old masters painting that I had chosen for Exercise 3.2.
I looked up information about Color Hunter and lo and behold, it sounded like this would be suitable. Too easy! It will generate a palette of the five dominant colours in an image.
These are not the dominant colours that I see when I view this painting. I see the apricot shade of the woman’s dress, the green of the man’s shawl, the blue on the chair upholstery and the wall. I am not sure if the software has taken the whole image or just the stained glass window.
So, I tried another Vermeer, again no blue visible in the selected colour palette. I wonder if I am seeing accent colours as dominant colours? They stand out but dont make up the major proportion of colour.
I was still unsure whether the dominant colour palette that I saw was what Color Hunter was displaying so I tried a less ambiguous image. It has picked up the dominant reds however not the dark one in the top middle. There is a lot of advertising on this website which is a negative, however, it is a free resource.
I used COlRD: Gradient Creator to enter the R/G/B formulas that I had used with Mudcube Colour Sphere to see how they compared with my gouache colour palette. The gouache yellow and purple colours came out similiar but the orange colour did not. I am unsure whether the differences are due to my limited knowledge about using RGB formulas, the software, the formulas I am using or another reason. This makes me wonder about the reliability of this software, keeping in mind that it is mostly used for digital creation.
I also tried ColRD Palette which replicated the RGB formulas the same as the ColRD Gradient Creator. A palette of corresponding colours, and their Hex code, is generated from the nominated colour with this Google Chrome app. You can view the colours in full screen which is useful to get a true sense of a colour. As with other apps the colours can be saved and exported to other apps.
ColRD also have a solely colour app to choose single colours. In addition there is a pattern option that could be used in design. Lastly there is an image option that identifies the main colour palette in an image.
Colour software has been primarily designed for Web designers and developers, illustrators, 3D artists and graphic designers. I have only researched a small sample of what is available. I think it could be useful in other areas such as generating a colour palette when sourcing fabric, interior design, decorating, interior and exterior painting schemes, or on blogs or social media. There are even sites that allow for people that are colour blind. There are sites that you use to screen colour meanings (sibagraphics) for cultural differences. There are sites that have colour games to improve your colour knowledge.
I have spent more than a few hours exploring these colour tools which has only given me a preliminary taste of what they can do. I am keen to expand my knowledge of them further. Working digitally with colour seems relatively simple, more so than physically mixing colours. I think these tools are a great resource to use alongside the practical aspect of creating and using colour.
Lewis, G. (2009). 2000 Color Combinations : For graphic, textile, and craft designers. New York: Barrons Educational Series.
Adobe Colour CC