If only we all had buckets and buckets and buckets of paint in our possession and a powerful paint canon for occasions such as this. We have 3D color palettes people. Lock, load and FIRE.

ColoRotate is on the web app scene serving up a new way to use and abuse color. Their online 3D tool and associated Photoshop CS4 plugin take that boring, flat color palette and cleverly add in the 3rd dimension. It’s more than an interesting take on color and palettes. It’s a look into functional 3D UI’s… on the web.

3D Usability in a Browser

Check out ColoRotate. 3D Flash-based interfaces are not new on the web, but apps that consider usability and practicality are few and far between. ColoRotate does both while at the same time making the concept of what color does directly applicable within the app. It’s evident from their effort to produce a web app, Photoshop plugin and their desire to even help our wee minds learn more about color.

With Colorotate you can choose between color palettes or create your own.
With Colorotate you can choose between color palettes or create your own.

Applying this to 3D Design UI

ColoRotate takes a 2D element, the color palette, and brings it into 3D. It’s the same concept that has happened in design and drafting over the years. 2D moving to 3D. We’ve just yet to see the design functionality manifested online. This is one example of various ways we could interact, adjust, move and create 3D geometry in a browser. But the applications go beyond that, because when you bring 3D into physical 3D space, you need ways to adjust and manipulate geometry also. In my Opinion, this is very close to where 3D interfaces for design and engineering are headed.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.