Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing Adobe Kuler, part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color.
In this movie, I want to talk about this amazing and free color application that Adobe has put together. It's called Kuler. Now, if you haven't experimented with Kuler before, this is going to rock your world. It's going to help you begin to understand color relationships; it's going to help you begin to work with color in some pretty exciting ways. All right, well here you can see that I have Kuler opened inside of Photoshop. Well, how did I get Kuler, and how did I access it and open it in Photoshop. Well for starters, what we need to do is navigate to the web, and I am going to go ahead and navigate to the web and navigate to adobe.com/products/kuler.
Here, all that you need to do is click on the link, get the Kuler desktop application. Now, we can access Kuler from our desktop or online. I am going to go ahead and open up Photoshop for a moment, go back to Photoshop, close this application. How can I open it up once I have downloaded it and installed it? Well, all you need to do is navigate to Window > Extensions and then choose Kuler. All right. Well, now that I have this open, I can then click on the Browse tab. Here, what I can do is browse different color themes. You can see there is a wide range of color themes, and let's say I really like this particular color theme. We will click on the Arrow to the right and say add that to my Swatches panel, and it will then download those colors, and I can access them right here in the Swatches panel, you can see that my Color Picker is being updated as I click on those different colors.
Now, why would I want to do that? Well I could do that in order to come up with some pretty interesting color combinations. I can also create my own color themes and I can create these color themes based on different rules. Currently, I've selected analogous, so I have these different analogous colors. We can see that, that's updated down below as far as the colors that it's selected for me. Now, what's interesting about this is it can teach me a bit about color. Now, that's green, my base color here. This is a green, right? It's a bright, happy, neon green. What happens if I darken that up a little bit, what happens if I make that color a little bit more down to earth so to speak? So let's go ahead and bring that slider down. We add a little bit of darkness to the mix, and now all of a sudden, this is a Starbucks green. It's a little bit more muted or reflected green. Now, I am exaggerating a bit, having some fun with this. But we went from this muted, more reflective green all the way back to this bright, happy, snappy green, and we can also move around our different color saturations, and we can experiment with color in unique ways, or on the other hand, let's go to complimentary.
This is really fascinating. We can look at complimentary colors and complimentary color relationships and we can look at these different degrees of saturation. So one of the things that we can do here is just begin to understand how color works. Now, if you are thinking okay, that's really nice, but I want more, well, I do too, and in order to access and even create more, what we are going to do here is we are going to navigate to Color Online and we are going to go up to our Web Browser, and go to kuler.adobe.com. Now, here I can work with the themes in the same ways I have done before. So I will go ahead and click on these themes. I see the colors were updated there.
What I really want to do is create some themes. So click on Create. Now, I could create form a color or from an image. I want to create a color theme from an image. So I will go ahead and choose Upload. I am going to select one of the images that you can find in our Chapter 1 folder. In this case, I am selecting corwig_kuler. I will hit Select. This will then open up the image and randomly select different colors. Now, look at this color theme that it created from this photograph, absolutely fascinating. I will go ahead and do another one. I will click Upload and then I will choose a different image and then select.
Now, one of the things that always surprises me is the colors that it finds in the photograph in the different shades and hue. I am going to do one more just for the fun of it. We will go to this last sunset photo, corwig_kuler_03 and again, it's going to find some really fascinating colors from the sunset. Now, I can of course change what colors it's selected for me. I can go ahead and drag these points around and you can see that it changed that blue down there to a little bit more of this red type of a color and again, I can move that around to find different shade of blue as well. Now, one of the things that I can do with this is I can just begin to understand some of the colors in my Photograph or if I am using this photograph and then I need to create a layout for the web or for a brochure or whatever, I can then try to use some of these colors in combination with this photograph.
I can try to create some kind of visual connection. Now because I am logged in, I can give this particular color theme a name, I can tag it, I can then save it, and of course I can download it, and then install it and use it from right inside of Photoshop. So then enclosing. What is the main reason why I am introducing Kuler in this particular movie? Well, for starters, it's just pretty fun to work with. Yet, more importantly, I want you to begin to experiment with Kuler and to try to create color themes from your photographs in order to begin to identify the colors in your photographs in order to begin to learn how to see color. I also think it would be really worthwhile to go into Photoshop and to experiment with the ways that you can create different colors and look at these different color options and drag these points around to see what type of color themes that you can create.
Again, what I think this can do for you is it can begin to teach you a bit about color, about color theory, and about color relationship. Ultimately, with this deepened appreciation of color, you can then create more compelling color photographs.
- Bringing photos to life with curves and color balance
- Using subtle color to create impact
- Showing the effects of vibrance and hue
- Creating distinction with color, black-and-white, and sepia tones
- Adding imagination and personality to images
- Using color and blending modes to add style to photos