Kuler for Color Themes and New CMM from Adobe

Camera and color applications upgraded.

Big Picture

Three separate items of note from Adobe this month:

* Adobe is now offering kuler, a Web-hosted application using Adobe Flash and ActionScript 3.0 that allows users to quickly create and share harmonious color themes over the Web. Creatives can base these themes on predefined color formulas or by mixing their own color themes using an interactive color wheel. Color themes can be created in a variety of color spaces, including RGB, CMYK, and LAB, and can also be represented as HEX values for use on the Web. Features include RSS feeds of the most popular and newest color themes, an Apple Dashboard widget to subscribe to these feeds, new desktop patterns based on the highest-rated themes, and more. In addition, a direct link is provided to Adobe Creative Suite 3 software; a panel in Adobe Illustrator CS3, built in Adobe Flash, provides direct access to the kuler online community from the desktop and from the desktop to the kuler online community. The application, available through Adobe Labs (http://labs.adobe.com), is being released free of charge as a technology preview.

* In addition, the company has released its Adobe Color Management Module (CMM) as a free download. The Adobe CMM, based on the ICC profile format, is designed to help users achieve consistent color workflows when designing for print, Web, multimedia, and mobile devices.

* Finally, Adobe has updated its Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in. The Camera Raw 4.1 update includes improved noise-reduction, sharpening tools, and raw file support for 13 additional camera models and camera backs. This update also builds on the raw file support integrated into the Photoshop family of products. The free Adobe DNG Converter, which is part of this update, translates all Photoshop-supported raw photo formats into the universal .DNG file format, providing photographers with a single unified file format for archiving raw files. Photoshop Lightroom, leveraging Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw technology, will add support for the newly supported camera and camera-back models in the near future, Adobe reports.

The Adobe Camera Raw 4.1 plug-in is available with the purchase of Photoshop CS3 and as a free download for users of Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Elements 4.01 (Mac), and Photoshop Elements 5.0 (Win). The updated Adobe DNG Converter is available as a free download.