One of the most important aspects of any game besides the story it tells and the mechanics is the artistic details that go into creating the worlds that are home to our own treasured heroes and franchises. As someone that has been drawing off and on over the years, I love the richly detailed artistry that goes into blockbusters like Uncharted or the simplistically elegant styling of titles like Journey and Limbo.
A lot of this amazing work you see these days are created digitally on computers. I'm nowhere near as good with a mouse or stylus as I am with physical media but the team at Collecting Smiles has made the creation of digital art easier and more portable with the release of the downloadable Colors! 3D application for the Nintendo 3DS via the Nintendo eShop.
Colors! 3D isn't really the typical title that we see here at GCM, and I've a few wild ones, but thanks to the innovations of the 3DS this one is a definite surprise on a couple of levels. The first is that this mobile art experience is not a product of Nintendo's edutainment line of cartridges. The second thing that amazed me is that Colors! 3D is a really easy to use painting studio in the palm of your hands that anyone with the desire to draw and paint can use.
The reason the application is so easy to use is all thanks to the quick use LB button or RB for the Left handed art crowd. A quick tap of the LB button reveals the artist's tools and palette wheel as well as other tools in tabs that aren't set to actual buttons. After selecting the tools and colors you want they go away just as easy with another tap. The user is given three different brush types that allows you to make everything from solid outlines to textured backgrounds.
Just like the big name digital art programs out there, Colors! 3D allows the user to make their brush strokes thick for large color swipes and super thin for temporary sketch lines or minute details. There is even the option to change the opacity of your strokes both with the sliders on the tool screen or by holding the up or down arrows of the D-pad while drawing. The one thing that any artist of any level hates is mistakes and it only takes one goof to ruin something you've slaved over. Colors! 3D can make your worries go away with the common eraser tool or with a simple press of the RB right back to your first brush stroke.
The real genius of Colors! 3D is that you can actually manipulate up to 5 layers to create amazing 3D images. I had a lot of fun messing with the layers to create 3D locations while I remained envious of the amazing work that I saw from the Colors! 3D community. While I'm on the subject of community you can play Colors! 3D with your friends if they own the game. Creating 3D and 2D art is fun enough by yourself but get another friend with a copy of Colors! 3D and you can collaborate locally on a cool art project simultaneously. I was actually impressed on how well this feature actually worked. You can even watch your own works of art being created after you are done with the built in recording system. You can then show off your skills and process by uploading your work to the Colors! 3D community after a little signup process.
For those that want to make things interesting you can load photos or take new ones and paint over them to create some rather unique or funny pictures and save them to the SD card. Just like a digital camera you can even export your works of art to the SD card so you can printout your artistry at a higher resolution than what the 3DS supports. For those not so artistically inclined there are some coloring pages among the extras that are perfect for the young ones.
I've always had a love for art and occasionally find time in my busy life to sit back and doodle for fun. Now I have a portable art studio in the palm of my hand that is by far one of the best apps I've ever seen in the portable market. As I mentioned I'm far from good with a digital art studio than compared to pencil and paper media but I think I have a greater appreciation and interest in it now after trying for the last week. Colors! 3D is a must own app on the Nintendo 3DS for anyone that is artistically inclined.
Click here to visit the COLORS! 3D Art Gallery where you can view finished paintings and view animated movies of these drawings actually being created with this software.