Adobe Photoshop CS5 offers several methods for sampling color, an especially important activity for digital artists. Following is an overview of the available color selection tools.
The Eyedropper Tool now features a color sampling ring (CSR). This visual aid provides a direct comparison between the current and sampled colors. A 50% neutral gray outer ring visually isolates the colors for accurate comparison. Use the ALT/OPT key to invoke the CSR.
The heads up display (HUD) color picker (requires OpenGL) lets you quickly choose colors while painting in the document window, where image colors provide helpful context. Users have the choice of either a hue ring or vertical picker, combined with a shade/value square (Preferences > General).
The HUD display is accessed via the keyboard shortcut Shift + Alt + right-click (Windows) or Control + Option + Command (Mac OS). After clicking in the document window, you can release the pressed keys and temporarily press the spacebar to maintain the selected shade while you select another hue, or vice versa.
Photoshop CS5 now includes an optional keyboard shortcut to invoke either the standard Adobe or system Foreground/Background color picker. Use the Keyboard Shortcuts menu to add your preferred mapping.
With these color selection options, the digital artist will no doubt find a picker that suits his workflow!