# Writing an HSV Color Picker

Over the weekend I got to the point in one of my iPhone apps where I needed to add a color picker. I quickly discovered there isn’t a standard color picker control for iOS, so I figured I’d write my own.

Color pickers come in all shapes and sizes, depending on platform, UI toolkit, etc. One of my personal favorites is the HSV color wheel, where hue changes by angle, saturation by radius, and the value parameter is edited separately (typically with a slider.)

The basic algorithm to generate the color wheel above went like this in my implementation:

```for (y pixels to span -half_height to half_height)
{
for (x pixels to span -half_width to half_width)
{
// atan2 returns the angle from -pi to pi
// radians so we convert to degrees here.
angle = atan2(cy, cx) * 180 / pi;

if (cy < 0)
{
angle += 360;
}

// calculate the current distance from center.
distance = sqrt( (cx * cx) + (cy * cy) );

// calculate the percent of the 'maximum radius' this is.
// max_radius is the lesser value of half_width, half_height.

// we can now simply convert from HSV to RGB.
color at cx, cy = hsv_to_rgb(angle, saturation, value);
}
}
```

The 'value' parameter, specified separately, would just be passed in.

The only missing step above is the conversion from HSV to RGB. For that part, I used the algorithm described in the classic reference book, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, which essentially breaks the circle into 6 sections of 60 degrees to interpolate the colors in each accordingly. You can find sample implementations here (via Google Books), or here.

Once I got that part implemented, the rest was pretty straight-forward. When the user taps anywhere on the circle, the hue/saturation combination is shown in a preview box, indicating the selected color. Separately, they can touch the 'value' gradient to manipulate the "brightness." I implemented all of the visuals in custom drawRect code after subclassing UIView. I've been playing with overlaying some image 'skins' to make it look a little more robust, but the basic functionality works pretty well.

# Adding Photos to the iPhone Simulator

I recently found out about the option to add photos to the iPhone simulator’s library by simply dragging them one at a time to the simulator window. Safari will load the image, and you can hold the mouse button down over it to get the save option.

# Welcome to the Developer Blog

Hey there, welcome to the Solid Eight developer blog– my name is Kurt.  Here’s where I’ll be writing from time to time about random things related to software development, company-related happenings, or whatever else.  Recently I’ve been immersed in learning about (and developing on) the iOS platform, so in the short term I imagine I’ll mostly be commenting on matters related, as well as documenting tips and tricks I stumble across (primarily so I don’t forget them .)  But I enjoy writing software on a variety of platforms, and have the occasional habit of rambling about off-topic things, so who knows what I’ll end up writing about.  Welcome, I hope you enjoy your stay!