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The Foundry releases Colorway 2.0

Friday, November 13th, 2015 | Posted by Jim Thacker

The Foundry has released Colorway 2.0, the latest version of its iterative look design tool, and announced new subscription-only pricing for the software, which was previously available as a free trial.

Generate design variants for products without continually re-rendering
First launched in 2014, Colorway enables product designers to test different colour, lighting and material combinations for a 3D scene in real time without having to rerender that scene each time.

The software comes with free kits for Modo and Cinema 4D for exporting models to Colorway. Once a final look has been decided upon, the resulting material and lighting data can be transferred back to the 3D package.

New in Colorway 2.0: LiveSources and dynamic text
To that, Colorway 2.0 adds ‘LiveSources’: essentially a file referencing system in which the component assets of a scene (3D models, 2D bitmap or vector images, and so on) are stored in a separate directory.

Variant assets are shown as thumbnails within Colorway and can be swapped in or out, while overwriting a component file with a newer version also updates the Colorway scene.

The system works with text, meaning that the title or marketing copy on a design can be updated by editing an external text file.

In addition, users can create and save colour palettes for a design within Colorway – which, again, can be used as component assets for LiveSources.

The software also comes with basic options for changing the texture mapping on a 3D model within Colorway, shown in the video above, enabling designers to make simple changes without re-exporting the asset.

Better for 2D designers and teams, but not for client presentations?
All in all, Colorway 2.0 doesn’t seem to change the functionality of the software much – but it does change the way in which that functionality is exposed to the user.

The application now looks much more tailored to designers from a 2D background, who can now do more work on scenes without having to touch 3D software, and to collaborative workflow between design teams.

However, one thing that isn’t present in the new release is Colorway Presenter, the accompanying free desktop app that enabled clients to make their own changes to Colorway scenes.

According to The Foundry, it is “looking at ways to incorporate this functionality back into the product” in future.

Pricing and availability
The official news release refers to the update as an ‘evolution’ rather than a new version, while The Foundry’s website doesn’t mention a version number at all, except on the download page.

That may reflect the fact that this is the software’s first commercial release: although initially expected to become a paid product in 2014, Colorway remained a free download throughout all of the 1.x updates.

The Foundry has announced that Colorway 2.0 will remain a free trial until 12 January 2016, after which it becomes a paid subscription – the first Foundry product to be available as rental only.

Subscriptions will cost $30/month or $300/year. Colorway 2.0 runs on 64-bit Windows 7+, or Mac OS X 10.8+.

Read more about Colorway 2.0 on The Foundry’s website

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