Hendrik Kueck ColorSplash

An iPhone app to unleash the artist in all of us.

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Hendrik Kueck ColorSplash
  • Hendrik Kueck ColorSplash
  • Hendrik Kueck ColorSplash
  • Hendrik Kueck ColorSplash

Pros

  • Easy to use, attractive interface, addictive, can be accurate

Cons

  • Settings pane isn't available through the app itself

Bottom Line

ColorSplash is a great way to waste away some time by manipulating your photos to achieve an artistic look. Though simple, there is little to fault the app.

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ColorSplash is one of the increasing number of surprisingly capable photo manipulation iPhone apps available in the App Store. Like its counterparts, ColorSplash doesn't try to be a one-stop shop. Instead it focuses on one particular function — selective desaturation.

Selective desaturation is the ability to remove colour from a portion of a photograph; making a single banana black and white in a basket full of yellow bananas, for example. This cool and occasionally useful function can already be found in high-end point-and-shoot cameras like the Canon IXUS 980 IS but is otherwise restricted to computer software like Adobe Photoshop.

With ColorSplash, though, you can use your iPhone to completely or selectively desaturate photographs from the handset's photo library or the camera roll. The app automatically desaturates any imported photo; we would have like to be able to turn this off, though colouring the photo back in is easy enough.

Manipulating the photo works in a similar fashion to a paintbrush in Photoshop; simply click and drag to "paint" colour or grey onto the photo. The final image can only have grey or the photo's original colour — there is no way to change colours as you desire. ColorSplash uses three different colour brushes — original colour, red, and grey — allowing you to choose whether you want to saturate or desaturate. Red brush strokes are automatically replaced by the photo's original colour in the final image; the red just allows you to better see where you have "painted".

Four different brush types are available, with different levels of softness and opacity. Brush size can be customised but this can only be achieved through the settings pane, which is integrated into the main iPhone settings function rather than being accessible from within ColorSplash.

Panning and zooming around the photograph uses multi-touch, but ColorSplash allows more freedom than you normally have when viewing a photo on the iPhone. You can zoom right out and move the photo anywhere on the screen.

Desaturated photos can be saved as sessions, allowing you to return and work on them later, or they can be finalised and saved as jpegs in the camera roll. ColorSplash automatically saves a session before closing, so you won't lose your hard work should you accidentally hit the Home button or if you get a call.

There's little to fault the app. Our only real problem is that its settings aren't available within the app itself, meaning you can't change brush size without first exiting the app. ColorSplash is a fun and addictive way to view photos in your iPhone in a different light.

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