The 3DS launched with a bunch of fun applications for playing with the 3DS effects and editing the images takes with the built-in camera. Eventually, there were apps like Swapnote that allowed players to make and share simple drawings, but one thing the 3DS has been lacking is a proper painting program for making 3D art. That changed last week with the arrival of Colors! 3D.
Colors! 3D is a downloadable program on the eShop. It isn’t a game, and it’s not an art training program like the Art Academy series on the eShop. What is does is let 3DS owners create 2D and 3D paintings with their stylus. It even has some multiplayer features for sharing the experience with friends too via local or wifi.
The shoulder button is used to bring up an interface on the lower screen to select paint color, and artists can adjust factors like the thickness of their virtual brush, or the opacity of their paint. While the simple act of being able to paint on the 3DS touch screen is cool, the feature that makes Colors! 3D stand out is the use of that third dimension. By using the analog stick, artists can switch between five layers of 3D, and paint objects on each layer. This can be used for tricks like putting flowers in the first layer, a house in the next, and a sunset appearing in the deepest one. More skilled painters will be able to use this with greater subtlety, and this option can be completely ignored for painters looking to make traditional 2D paintings.
For people who have no artistic ability at all (Like me), there are some art samples to provide inspiration. Some of these are in 2D, and others in 3D, and they are very impressive, showing the sort of work that can be accomplished with enough effort and talent.
But Colors! 3D isn’t exclusively for people trying to make great art, it’s also kid-friendly; it comes with the very thoughtful addition of a coloring book feature that provides 2D line drawing that kids (Or inept grown-ups) can color in. The coloring book even helps make sure that you stay within the lines.
There’s a replay feature that will not only let users watch the creation of their own art, but they can also use this to see how the gorgeous sample art included with the program was created. This provides a bit of a tutorial on how to get the most out Colors! 3D.
Once created, paintings can be exported to the SD card, then treated like any other image on the 3DS. They can even be viewed with the camera program. However Colors! Also has an online gallery that can be accessed with your 3DS (Or online at the developer’s website) and here users can share their work or see what other people have created.
Colors! 3D isn’t as elaborate as a PC painting program, but it’s definitely a unique product in the 3DS library and worth buying for artists, or even avid doodlers who want to make and share some 3D art. Colors! 3D is available now for $6.99 on the 3DS eShop, and there is a 2D version of the app for iOS devices as well.