Adobe Color Lava

Adobe Color Lava

Transform your iPad into a virtual colour-mixing palette

Remember how as a kid you loved to mess with paint? With Lava, you use your fingertips to mix colours on the iPad, creating custom swatches and collections (Themes) that can be instantly transferred and used in Photoshop CS5 (12.0.4).

Mix colours from scratch on a white ground, or import a photo from the camera roll to select and blend colours within it. Lava’s materials behave realistically, and it’s fun to swish a finger in the water well and smudge colours together.

Also realistically, there’s no undo, so remember to clean your finger in water before dabbing it on the palette, or you could accidentally remix a colour and possibly loose a perfect shade for ever.

Themes are named and saved in the Swatch Library. Each Theme’s mixing palette is saved ‘live’, so you can return to it at any time and re-edit at exactly where you left off. Tapping once on a colour in the library selects it as the foreground colour in Photoshop. Double tapping a Theme brings up a screen with its RGB colour values.

Lava cannot calibrate your iPad with a monitor, so will probably be of most interest to web designers and artists creating screen-based work. Useful developments would be extendable themes and the ability to select the mixing ground colour, but otherwise it’s hard to imagine how else Lava might be improved upon.

Rated 4 out of 5

A useful and addictive addition to your creative toolkit, but doesn’t have enough for it to be worthwhile for print designers.