App Review: ColorSplash Adds a New Dimension to Photos
When I downloaded ColorSplash, I had seen several sample photos in the iTunes App Store and on Hendrick Kueck’s website. They looked pretty cool so I thought I would give it a try. What I didn’t realize was how fun it would be to create by own black and white pictures with a splash of color here or there. The process turned out to be easier than I expected. When you launch the app, it prompts you to visit their help section before beginning work on your first picture. I would highly recommend doing so. The help section explains what the app is capable of and the controls. After reading the help, you can pull a picture from your photos on your iPod Touch or iPhone and set to work.
After you have a picture pulled up in ColorSplash, the app will automatically convert the picture to a black and white photo. Your job then is to add the color back in key spots. There are three buttons across the bottom of the screen. The first is a pan and zoom button. When this button is selected, you can move the picture around with a simple touch and zoom in or out using two fingers. It is amazing how far this app allows you to zoom on the picture. The zoom is essential to being able to color your picture just right. The second button is the color button. When this button is selected, you can add color to the screen by simply “coloring” with your finger. The third button is the gray button. It allows you to add gray back to the picture in any area that has color in just the same way you added the color. This feature is very helpful when you make a mistake or change you mind. At the top of the screen there is also a very handy undo button that will undo your previous brush strokes. That one is a must have, as I found myself often needing to correct a slip of the finger.
The tools used for adding color, your brushes, are limited to 4 types. Two of them produce opaque color or restore the ful color of the image all at once and the other two add back the color more gradually. Within each group of two the brushes either have a sharp or soft edge to them. These different brushes allow you to create different effects depending on whether the objects you are adding color to have sharp edges or less defined edges. I was able to achieve the effects I needed with the brushes that I had. Sometimes I had a hard time coloring in tiny spaces with these 4 brushes, even when I zoomed way in. Luckily, there is a way to change the size of your brush tip. ColorSplash places a couple of options in the Settings application of your device. One of these options allows you to change the brush tip size and choose to show the brush tip while you are working. These options can both be very helpful when working in a smal space of a photo. Also in this menu is an option turn off the auto rotate on your device. Sometimes it is hard to get the right angle between your painting finger and the photo on the screen. It is helpful to be able to turn the photo without have the iPhone/iPod automatically rotate it to orient it right side up.
Another very handy feature is the ability to change your view mode. The default mode is the black and white color mode. If you are having trouble seeing what you have colored and what you haven’t, the second mode changes all of the colored sections to a bright red color. The red makes it much easier to see exactly where the color is and isn’t. If you must leave the app before you finish your picture, the app simply saves your session just the way it is and you can pick it up again later. When you finish your work of art, you can easily save the picture to your Photos app. ColorSplash has a lot of options built into a very user friendly interface. It is a lot of fun to see what you can create.
ColorSplash is $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.