A couple of weeks ago I mentioned SwitchBoard, a Flex library that lets Adobe AIR desktop apps communicate with Creative Suite applications. Now there’s a new version of the AIR-based kuler desktop app that can send color swatches to Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Here’s an annotated screenshot. To take it for a spin, first download SwitchBoard, then install kuler desktop (linked from the right-hand nav area of kuler.adobe.com). [Update: Here’s the direct link.]
Adobe kuler (the rich Internet application for color exploration and sharing, in case you’ve been chilling under a rock) now features some cool integration with Flickr, creating color harmonies from images. To try it, click the "Create" button at left, then choose "From an Image." Next to the button that lets you upload your own shots, you’ll see a Flickr button that lets you browse and search images that you & others have shared. (Here’s a screenshot.) Foxy.
Other new tweaks debut today on kuler as well:
- Time-based theme browsing (last 7 days, last 30 days, all days), to surface more user-generated content
- Theme details now includes a More Info view, where you can choose your avatar and find the theme’s direct link (for blog links, or to email or IM, etc.)
A new version of kuler, Adobe’s popular rich Internet application for color exploration and sharing, has just launched. New features:
- Use color extraction to quickly and automatically generate a color theme from any uploaded photo or other image. Explore different moods, such as bright or muted, to see different colors, or drag the markers to select colors. [Hit "Create" over in the left-hand navigation, then select "From an Image" at upper-left.]
- Endless favorites: Now save as many themes as you like, and browse them in your Mykuler area
- Browse by Random (randomly selected) themes, in addition to Highest Rated, Newest, and Most Popular
Enjoy! [Via Sami Iwata]
The crew behind Adobe’s kuler color harmony RIA has released a new version of the desktop color feed browser (screenshot). You can check it out by installing Adobe AIR, then downloading the app. New features include:
- Browse color themes from the kuler website while offline (up to 100 themes cached per feed)
- Drag and drop themes onto your own desktop as transparent "tear offs," which can be scaled and viewed over any application
- Access themes from Mykuler (must be signed in)
- Download themes as ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange) files directly from the kuler desktop (must be signed in)
- Browse the new RSS feed "Random"
Here’s the full feature list (PDF) in case you want all the details. [Via Sami Iwata]
Completely tangential but involving colors: Art Lebedev’s Optimus Tactus keyboard concept. [Via Scott Valentine]
Joining a long list of apps integrated with Adobe’s kuler color harmony site, Photoshop & other Mac apps now get in on the game thanks to Lithoglyph’s
CocoaKuler Mondrianum*. The tool gives the Apple color picker the ability to browse kuler’s color harmony feeds, displaying the results in a slick Cover Flow view; here’s a screenshot. To access the picker from within Photoshop, go into preferences and select the Apple (rather than Adobe) color picker. Mucho groovio! [Via Lydia Varmazis]
The name is a bit of a misnomer [name now updated], as Photoshop is Carbon-based (as are Final Cut Pro, iTunes, Office, etc.).
On the heels of integrations with Fireworks, Flash, Illustrator, Dashboard, and even Visio, Adobe’s kuler hosted app/color community is now integrated with Dreamweaver, courtesy of the good folks at WebAssist. The panel is a free download from their site.
Speaking (completely tangentially) of Color-Related Technologies with Funky K-Based Names™, the color bars of Pioneer’s Project Kuro remind me of kuler.
Every time I’ve demonstrated Illustrator CS3’s excellent Live Color feature, the first question I hear is predictable: "Great, but when can I have that in Photoshop? [Or in Flash, or InDesign, or…]" Selecting harmonious colors is a necessary part of just about every design discipline.
Adobe’s kuler online application offers a subset of Live Color in a Web-hosted, Flash-powered environment. It offers powerful tools for creating color harmonies, plus tools for saving color sets & sharing those with others. As noted recently, feeds of these colors can be sucked into other apps.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to make it possible to extend Photoshop (and all Adobe apps, for that matter) by dropping in Flash-based palettes/panels. So, here’s a thought: what if we gave Photoshop (and maybe other Suite apps) the ability to use kuler to create and modify color harmonies, and to upload/download color sets to share with others?
Here’s a really simple mockup I created to show how it might work. You’d be able to use the color wheel to create color sets based on rules (Analogous, Complementary, etc.). Clicking on the resulting colors would let you paint with them in Photoshop, and/or save them as color swatches. You’d also be able to view, search, and use harmonies created by others & shared via kuler.
What do you think? I created a two-question survey to gauge your response. Comments are also welcome. [Update: The survey is open again. I didn’t realize that Survey Monkey had a 100-response limit on their free account. Clever, clever…]
And the hits keep on coming… File this one under "Eine kleine Bildschirmschoner": a German-speaking developer has created a simple but attractive Mac screensaver (same page auto-translated) that sucks in a feed of popular harmonies on Adobe kuler. Gut! [Via]
Elsewhere in the world of cool screensavers, groundbreaking Flash coder Yugo Nakamura has created Kaze to Desktop, a Windows "screensaver which moves according to the current wind (=kaze) conditions of your city." Check out the video to see some super-smooth action. (The scattered piles of Windows chrome remind me of the "crash board" Mordy Golding spotted on a client visit.)
As you may know, kuler is Adobe’s rich Internet app (RIA) for creating & sharing color harmonies. About a month ago the kuler team unveiled an API that enables other applications to suck in feeds of the most popular, most recent, and highest rated harmonies found on the site.
Now Microsoft engineer Saveen Reddy has used the API to enable drawing kuler colors in Visio. Not having a copy of Visio, I can’t give this a spin, but the integration should make it easy to apply popular color themes to your artwork. Very cool. [Previously: It’s also possible to pull kuler feeds onto your desktop or into Dashboard, and to use them inside the Flash authoring environment. Update: A free script lets you use .ASE swatch files in After Effects, making it possible to pull in kuler harmonies.]
In other kuler news, PM Sami Iwata reports that they’re running a “theme drive” to collect autumn-inspired themes. She writes,
kuler members can submit themes around the autumn season and also “vote” for
themes by rating and downloading them. At the end of the drive, the
kuler team will select a few of the highest rated and most popular
autumn themes to appear on a kuler t-shirt. If your theme is selected,
you will get 6 kuler t-shirts with your theme on it.
Hustle up, though: the theme drive runs from now until this Friday at 5:00 PDT. More details are here.
Ah, I love how all this is shaping up: After debuting on the web, and followed by appearances in Dashboard and Apollo, Adobe’s kuler rich internet app is now available as a panel inside Flash CS3. Thanks to the efforts of the crew at Pixelfumes, you can now view & search feeds of color harmonies generated using the online tool, then use them inside Flash. I made a quick little demo video to show the panel in action. Great work, guys!
This is a great example of how opening a door to online community can enrich the desktop experience. If you know of other cool, usefully connected desktop apps (via Flash panels or any other method), please share ’em. It’s very handy to have these on hand as we plan the future.