ColorSplash is a new app from Hendrik Kueck the developer of Juxtaposer, and allows you to take a photo either from the camera roll or the iPhone's camera itself, convert it to black and white and then restore some of the colour (colorize).
Before launching the app it is worth tweaking some of its settings under the iPhone's Settings, because it is here that you will find some useful settings, like adjust brush size and "Show while drawing".
After you have set your preferences, and I opted for the smallest brush size and switched on "Show while drawing", it is time to launch the app. Tap on the apps icon and the app launches with expected splash screen, and then the app itself. If you've already used the app you will be asked if you want to continue a previous session or start a new one, if it is your first time then it will skip the option to resume a session. If you start a new session you will be prompted to either take a photo, or load an image, or if you choose resume session, then the photo from the session will open where you left off.
If you open a new image, then the photo will appear straight away as a black and white image, ready for you to begin adding colour back in. Before we get in to deep, lets cover the app interface. Across the top you will see 6 icons (as pictured below), going from left to right, the 1st icon is the menu icon, the 2nd icon is for help, the 3rd and 4th are to toggle between the two view modes, the 5th icon allows you to choose one of 4 brushes, and finally the 6th icon allows to to undo any number of brush strokes you've made.
Across the bottom of the screen you will see 3 icons, one to select Color, one to select Gray, and a third to select Pan & Zoom, which will aid you when applying colour to selected areas of your photo, although Pan & Zoom can be done by pinching and tapping.
Once you've familiarised yourself with the interface it is time to get colorizing, and so after you have selected your photo, simply select your brush (although I just stuck with the default) and add colour back in to the selected areas of the photo, using your finger. Large areas of a photo can be covered quick and easily, but to get to edges and fine detail you will need to use the Pan & Zoom feature to zoom right in. Another technique I found, as with the photo below, was to zoom right in, cover a small area, then pan and cover the next small area, which allowed me to be more accurate with my brush strokes and reduce revealing unwanted areas. If you do however make a mistake and reveal more colour than you wanted, you can either undo, but this may undo more than you want, or you can select the gray icon and use the brush to remove any unwanted colour.
Using the gray brush will also let you to take colour away from large areas, as the photo below shows.
Once you are happy with your masterpiece simply select the menu icon and save the photo to the camera roll, or if you have not finished, then save the work as a session, to come back to later.
One area I have not yet covered, is the 2 viewing modes. With these 2 options you can paint the colour back showing the real colors as you go, or you can paint in red, only revealing the real colours when finished. For me I like to see exactly what I am getting, so prefer the real colours option.
So what did I think of this app?
Well for me this is a great app, and one I have been waiting and hoping for, for a long time, I even approached the developers of Photo fx, to see if they would develop a colorize app for me, but now there is no need, as ColorSplash does the job. Now don't get me wrong, this app is not perfect, as it has no re-do, you can't adjust the size of the brushes whilst working on a photo and it down sizes the saved photo's to 1024x768, but as a first release it ticks nearly all the boxes.
Currently there is only one other colorize app in the AppStore, and that is Colorator, but this for me anyway has always produced disappointing results, as the photo below shows.
This is a great app, that is well worth £1.19 ($1.99), and for anyone wanting to produce colorized photo's directly on their iPhone, is a must have.
My wishes for the next release are, add re-do, save as full size, and make the brush sizes adjustable whilst editing, oh, and maybe the option to alter colours.
Tip: I recommend using a Pogo Stylus for added accuracy. (this is not intended as a plug for the Pogo Stylus, but it really does help)