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Toolfarm Color Theory DV 1.2

Digital color wheel and color scheme assistant (Mac Classic and OS X) By Dave Nagel
What is a good color scheme for a design or presentation? Colors that don't clash, of course. All right, maybe there's a little more to it than this, but, at the bare minimum, you want to be certain to produce harmonious color schemes in your work. But let's face it: Not all designers have training in color theory, and even those who do can't calculate complex harmonious color schemes in their heads, especially when analog and digital use differing color models (RYB versus RGB). And using a traditional color wheel isn't going to give you any kind of precision either. I mean, how are you going to figure out the exact color complement to R 255, G 129, B 33? And if you can figure it out in your head, how long is it going to take you to experiment with variations?

Enter Color Theory from Toolfarm. Available in standard and DV editions, Color Theory is a digital color wheel that not only substitutes for a traditional color wheel by providing you with an RYB color spectrum in RGB color space, but also provides some premium advantages as well. (We'll get to these below.)

What it does
Color Theory DV is a software tool for Mac (Classic and OS X) that allows designers to create harmonious color schemes. It works as a stand-alone application or as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. (The After Effects plugin is not included in the standard edition, although several "freebie" After Effects plugins are included.) Like a traditional color wheel, it lets you select a starting color and then find harmonious colors to go along with it based upon a number of formulas.

The Color Theory DV basic interface

With a basic, traditional color wheel, you get your complementary colors, split and split complementary. Color Theory provides you with 18 formulas for calculating color schemes, from monochromatic all the way up to six-color chords. But it doesn't stop there. You can actually interactively select colors in the RYB color wheel (seen below). This allows you to move around your input color while still maintaining whichever formula you have selected at the time.

For example, if I'm selecting complementary colors, I can move the input around the wheel, and Color Theory automatically (and in real time) provides me with its exact complement, regardless of color, lightness or saturation. Once I select my colors, I can also randomize the results to see variations on the theme I've chosen. Or I can hold down a modifier key to keep the same colors but interactively choose variations. Or I can just manually adjust lightness and saturation levels. Or I can stick with my lightness and saturation levels, hold down a different modifier and cycle my selection through different colors.

Are you getting the idea that this program is pretty flexible? It gets better.

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