Color Lava is one of Adobe’s first Photoshop Touch apps for iPad. It’s an extremely interactive color picker that lets you mix colors from scratch or smudge the colors around in a source image to create a palette. From there, colors can be passed off to Photoshop to be used instantly. Pretty cool, right?
What is it?
Color Lava is a color mixing app designed to give you a different way of picking colors for Photoshop. It works similarly to mixing paint in real life, but with a few extra features.
How does it work?
You start with a white space and are given six colors and six shades to mix together to get any color you choose. It’s definitely more involved that just selecting a color on a wheel. So, what you do is grab a color and throw it in on the page. Then grab another color and put it next to the other and smudge them together. You can either go straight to it, or clean of your finger in the bowl of virtual water. Color Lava will remember the last color your finger touched in the selected color box to the right of the app. Keep mixing if it’s not the color you’re looking for. If it is, select a new color box and continue.
In addition to this relatively realistic way of mixing colors and shades, you can have Color Lava load an image and proceed as before on top of that image. This can be useful if you want to end up with colors that are similar to some source material, but not exactly the same.
The main point of this app is to use these colors in Photoshop. So, after you’ve set up your connection details, you can select one of the color boxes to the right and have it instantly passed to Photoshop to be used. This makes your iPad into a tool working for Photoshop, which is pretty cool.
Is it contagious?
For the right user, yes. Color Lava is definitely not the fastest way to pick colors, but it is one of the more interactive ways to do so, which may force you to put more thought into the process. Straight up mixing might take a while, but starting with a base image and smudging it around can be a great way to pick colors. Plus, you can’t deny how cool it is to have an extra tool for Photoshop that doesn’t actually take up screen space.