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"Colour-Systems" Project


05:24 Colour System


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Light is paramount for us to see any colour in the first place, so I began creating my colour system with this fundamental thought in mind. I started with our obvious source of light, the sun, noticing the subtle changes in light from sunrise to sunset and how it effects the appearance of colour. I wanted to record this somehow, but then I began thinking about the importance of artificial light and thought it would be necessary to include it in my system. The first source of light I turn on when the sun begins to set is a filament lamp on my desk, from there I began thinking of solution of how I can combine these two essential sources of light and the ways in which they effect one another as the day progresses. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so I took a white (white to ensure that the interference between the natural and artificial light was clearly visible) piece of paper slightly larger than A4 in size as a surface to reflect the light off of. I placed the paper on my window, positioned the filament lamp above and a camera directly in front of the paper, the time I completed this set up was just before sunset and is when I documented the first image. I was unsure if anything would be captured when photographing the paper, perhaps just a light to dark gradient but unexpectedly I was amazed to see how the colours in the image almost exactly resembled the colours in the sky at that moment in time. I decided I wanted to record the progress of how the light emitted from the sky and the filament lamp interact on this white surface from sunrise to sunset. I waited until the weather was forecasted a day with few clouds and from when the sun came up I took a photo every two hours until the sun set, producing a timeline of photos. After repeating this twice more and observing the sky enough I concluded that my final colour system was not going to be series of images showing a timeline, I found the certain hours which I thought were of most importance to take the images showing the interaction between the two lights on the paper.Sunrise, Noon, Sunset, 15 minutes after Sunset and Midnight.

1 Sunrise 3 Sunset 7:47 17:58

2 Noon 5 Midnight 12:00, 17:12

4 After Sunset 00:00

 

COLORBLIND PHOTOSHOP


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

COLORBLIND PHOTOSHOP

A little story about Daltonism
Early in the 18th century, Isaac Newton discovered color spectrum through his experience with a prism. During his experiences, he discovered that human eye is not capable to distinguish the combination of colors: thus at the intersection of a green and a blue light beams, the human eye perceive cyan.
Then in 1801, the doctor and physician, Thomas Young expose his theory of the trichromatic vision: three colors must be enough to recreate all the colors. In addition, when those colors are mixed in the same proportion, it gives white. Thereby he explains human color perception by the action of three retinal nerves which are excited respectively by red, green and purple. Disorders of the colored vision result from the malfunction of one of these nerves. He also shows that accommodation is ensured by the deformation of the crystalline.

This theory is confirmed by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). He publishes a series of research on color perception and color blindness.
The scientific name of the anomaly is “dyschromatopsia”, but it is generally known as “daltonism”, a term created by the physicist Pierre Prévost after the name of its discoverer: the English chemist John Dalton. The latter published the first scientific article on this subject in 1798, “Special Facts About the Vision of Colors” in a communication to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, following the realization of his own disability at perceive colors. He had also noticed that his brother had the same abnormalities, without concluding as to a possible genetic origin. It is only two centuries later, in 1986, that Jeremy Nathans locates the genes responsible for color vision and publishes this discovery in his treatise “Nathans, J., Thomas, D., Hogness, DS Molecular genetics of the human vision of colors: the genes coding for blue, green and red pigments, Science 232: 193-202, 1986 »

 

 

 

 

The man of the decades later goes thus for the electronic devices to recreate a system of colors based on his own perception of the colors. The RGB system appears for electronic devices. Indeed, RGB is a device-dependent color model: different devices detect or reproduce a given RGB value differently, since the color elements (such as phosphors or dyes) and their response to the individual R, G, and B levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, or even in the same device over time. But still, even if RVB is based on human perception, computer are not working the same than human eyes.
From this research, I asked myself: what if photoshop was colorblind? My starting point for the project was photos of colorful flower, that I modifided on photoshop with different macanism. I based my project on the six differents types of colorblindness depending on which sensors (cones) red, green or blue is touched by the illness and if it’s missing or just dysfunctional.
Applied to the RVB system, if a cone is missing I deleted all the layer corresponding to the color missing cone on photoshop and if it was only dysfunctional I was only playing with the value of the layer. As if it was “more or less colorblind”. All the experience was a game with the different RVB layers, showing how different a computer and a brain with a missing or dysfunctional sensor or not going to recreate or perceive the same colors even if RVB is a color system based on human perception. It appears to me that the computer was more powerful in a way because it was capable to make up a lot more of colors than humans with differents type of colorblindness.

 

 

 

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Capture d’écran (26)

 

 

 

 

final visuals

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Exploring White Light


Monday, April 2, 2018

There’s more then just a simple white, the daylight is very different from the morning to the evening, there is warm white light and more cold to very blue light. This warmth in light is defined in the Kelvin scale. Buying a light bulb you can decide the color temperature. What interested me was how light is used in different spaces. Therefore I searched in the internet for extreme examples of light. That’s how they look next to each other:

Example

Even what we think of as white can be different. Some people are very aware of these differences for most of us light is just there and we don’t really care about it. Even if flickering LED’s in offices produce physical stress or candlelight can make someone look more attractive. In my color system I want to make these differences visible. I made a list of places that possibly show them:

Museums, Libraries, maybe private kitchens or restaurant kitchen and offices. I wanted to visit three of each to be able to compare them.

Public spaces are often aware of the kind of atmosphere they want to create. A library wants to be inviting, a museum wants to direct the visitor to the artworks and in other places it could be more about having enough light and not so much about the atmosphere.

I took my camera and started photographing my first stop was not on the list, but close to Rietveld. A parking lot. I saw a lot of flickering LED lights, green lights from the electronic car chargers and blue lights in the elevators. It was day but by night is must feel a bit scary there. Next to photos of light the photos became more and more architectural.

Parking Lot

The architecture of the places continued to play a role in the next pictures too. In the Eye Museum it was dark with a lot of projections and also purple light. That was the point where it went away from only the spectrum of white lights. The purple light was nicely cut by the edges of the building and created beautiful shadows.

To stick to my list I went to three different libraries. With a lot of warm and yellowish light. The photos I chose in the end where mostly from the central library.

In the end I did not visit all the places but I had a feeling of continuing the collecting without any direction, so I wanted to have a format to put them before taking more pictures. I chose the Leporello. With not much experience in book binding I wanted to try a new format that’s easy to teach myself. The part where I struggled the most was still to come. Making the selection of my photos and arranging them.

I printed the photos out, cut them in the middle and rearranged them. I wanted to select them by a similar place or color, but when I printed them out I found it more interesting to combine the different ones. Now it was a bit like puzzling the photos together and making two rows for each side of the Leporello. Some of the photos from really different places fitted very nicely together. I was happy about the selection, and didn’t want to compromise them more. From the printed photos I went back to the computer and fitted the photos on A3 sheets, so each photo was about a size of 15cmx 21cm. What I realized after the printing is that in this size the photos not really matched the format any more. I still wanted to see how they looked as a finished thing. So I started putting everything together.

Front

Leporello

Looking back on it now, the Leporello is a step in the process. I found it difficult to find the right frame for it and to make the step after having a selection of photos. I put the Project to the side, because I did not have an idea how to change it. Since I started writing down the process I think about continuing with the color system. I thought to make more pictures that have green, blue and red light. Which are on top of each other white light. I thought about my presentation of the discovery of Maxwell and tried to split one of the photos I liked most into the three basic colors. I printed it on transparent sheets and hold them into the light. The result I liked a lot and I thought to use them as a cover for a new booklet. Maybe not a Leporello and probably a bigger size. The next step is to take my camera and add the missing photos to the selection. What I learned from the last time is to be more selective about the photos and what I missed was to have a specific eye on what photos I’m looking for. To make the book look more finished I want to visit the bookbinding workshop instead of DIYing everything.

FEWWM! – more than just colours


Monday, April 2, 2018

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When I started my research on colours, I wondered about certain colours that feel special to me and why. It seems that the way I perceive colours is rather deeply emotional response that sometimes tends to be irrational. Yet, power of colours rules my everyday choice from the food I eat to the clothes I wear.

Somehow I was naturally drawn to the traditional Korean colour symbolism and East Asian colour theory as it used to affect my decision a lot in my childhood. I wore yellow clothes on the day of the exam, and I slept in red pajama when I got scared of ghost. I admit that it was rather superstitious at that time, but still, I give special significance to colours in a random, but emotional way.

My first approach to this project was to bring an East Asian perspective on colours.

A week before the project had been started, we researched about 20 existing colour systems and presented them to the class. While watching the colour studies developed by philosophers, psychologists and artists from Western countries, I got really curious about how East Asian point of view on this matter would be different. I took the traditional Korean colour spectrum, also known as Obangsaek as a starting point of my research.

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Obangsaek is the colour scheme of the five Korean traditional colours of blue, red, yellow, white and black, and each colour is related to certain elements in the world, including various virtues, emotions, and even the celestial motions.

Our ancestors used these colours to make decisions because following the Obangsaek was equal to following the way of nature.

I  found that the five colours are also associated with the five elements (or the Five phases; water, fire, wood, metal and earth) of Yin Yang and Wuxing, which are the core concepts of Chinese cosmology.

Blue: wood

Red: fire

Yellow: earth

White: metal

Black: water

 

I got fascinated by the cosmology as it sees the world as an organic whole where everything can be grouped into the five categories according to its nature.

In the table below, you can get brief examples of how it works.

1-elements table chart

Next idea was to make a series of image collages just to experiment the idea with visual elements.

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My interpretation of this idea was to show the connection between the colours and the elements and, by extension, the world we live. Then, I decided to make three dimensional objects using the five elements as materials because I thought it would be great if I relate the colours to something material in our everyday life.

After creating a concept for my system, I wrote a short introdution to it.

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In Korea, traditional colour symbolism is based upon the five elements and the five basic colours (blue, white, red, black and yellow). These five colours reflect the traditional principle of Yinyang (umbral and bright) and wuxing (Five Phases: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth) which are the core concepts of traditional Chinese cosmology.

This cosmology perceives the universe as an organic whole, in which the spiritual, natural, and human worlds are ordered into a single, infinitely interconnected system.

It groups phenomena into the five categories, in which relationships are held to be relatively regular and predictable. Eventually, all things in the universe are categorized and correlated, and everything affects everything else.

Entities, processes, and classes of phenomena found in the human world (the human body, behavior, morality, and historical change) are set according to various entities, processes, and classes of phenomena in nature (time, space, the movements of heavenly bodies, seasonal change, plants and animals, etc.).

FEWWM is a new colour system invented by myself. It is rooted in the existing idea of wuxing and Obangsaek (Korean traditional colour spectrum).

FEWWM, however, differs from the traditional East Asian colour theory in that it has a three-dimensional material feature.

Using found objects, I created a series of sculptures in correspondence to the five elements; wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

Possible colour mixtures are represented in a form of two mixed materials and the colour of the background indicates what a combination of two produces.

FEWWM expands its range into objects of our daily life, spreading the idea of the correlation of all.

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By making these drawings, I tried to merge two different elements into one object and show how the combination of colours could be represented in this system. Then I collected the materials around my neighborhood and started to make a series of objects. Then, I photographed them to show our class mentor as the original sculptures are extremely fragile to carry.

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I struggled a lot to come up with an ideal way to present my system, and my initial thought of the final result was to put a fabric mat with a diagram like below on the floor and place the small objects according to the position of the five elements.

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However, I could not be satisfied with the idea as I felt something was still missing. That was the moment where I took one step back to the photographs and decided to bring colours back to my system.

Thinking about a way to invite colours to photograph, the background seemed to be an interesting material for me to work with colours (like joel meyerwitz’s photographs of objects). I tried different colour paper and took photos of them. The result was amazing; the photographs really capture the synergy between the objects and colours. When I first saw the photographs, I got absolutely convinced that I should make a publication with them.

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I took the first letters of each element and named it ‘FEWWM’. I like it when it is with exclamation points (!) because then it looks like a sound effect (FEWWM!).

(the final outcome) For the covers, I made this drawing of fire, earth, wood, water and metal. I used greyish colours for the covers since the inside was pretty full of colours.

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I found that the way I write down the five elements keeps changing in the publication. Sometimes it is fire, earth, wood, water and metal, but sometimes it is wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Also, I was not aware of the fact that prints on this kind of paper get more finger prints and scratches. However, I really liked the assignment and result. From the oriental cosmology to printing/binding technics, I have learned so many things and had a lot of fun doing it. It was also a great opportunity to introduce Korean and East Asian culture to the school project.

FEWWM is a complete colour system as itself, but there are a lot to explore. For the next step, I am thinking about making sculptures with more than three different materials referring to mixtures of three or four colours. There are as many as possibilities as there are colours.

The birth of the Intrinsic Colour System


Friday, March 30, 2018

When thinking about colour  I immediately become somewhat insecure. For me colour has a strange randomness to it and therefore every choice I make based on or about colour becomes almost arbitrary. There is also this common colour psychology theorie people start quoting when talking about colour. Maybe it is because they are just as uncertain about the subject as I am. Or maybe it is because they do know what they are doing when using colour.

In order to keep evading the subject of colour during this project I had to figure out how I used colour in previous works. It turns out that most of the things I made aren’t colored. Of course they have a colour, but that is because the material of which the object is made has this colour as a natural property. If a thing I make is made from wood it will have a wood colour. If it is made from metal it has a metal colour. Not choosing a colour doesn’t mean you have to pick white (like most galleries think), but it means to not cover the intrinsic colour.

Now with this new revelation about my colour use I had to think of a way how to put this in a system. A couple of weeks before this project I did some research about the DIN colour system. Which was an interesting experience. There was nothing to be found about it on the web or in libraries. This meant that I had to define what the system was about by combining multiple contradicting sources. Although that feels like you are just making up something it gave me some understanding of the general structure of colour systems. Most modern colour systems combine 3 parameters: hue, saturation and brightness.

The First step in translating these intrinsic colours to a system was to just combine the two ideas I discovered. I tried to find three parameters, not necessarily hue, saturation and brightness, in the materials I would qualify as materials I would use. Glass, metal, wood, clay, marble, plastic, concrete, rubber and so on. The list got longer than I anticipated. And I started to notice something else; these aren’t materials I would use, these are building materials. The focus of my materials shifted from sculptural perspective to a architectural perspective. Not held back by this discovery I tried to put the materials in a circle is if they were colour hues. This led to a couple of interesting connections and contradictions.

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Now that the hue parameter was replaced by material I still had to come up with a replacement for saturation and brightness. This is where things started to go wrong. It didn’t take long before one of the biggest philosophical themes entered this soon-to-be colour system: time. I came up with the idea that the use of material changed over time and that the amount of a material that was used could make great graphs. Now brightness became time and saturation became the amount of the material that was used.

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Because this may sound a bit abstract I will try to explain it with an example. Glass was used in small quantities during the middle ages. With several improvements in the production process and by improvements in building construction larger pieces of glass were used in buildings from the end of the middle ages. An even better production process because of the industrial revolution combined with the modernist ideas of the first half of the 20th century lead to a enormous increase in glass use. Our obsession with high buildings, great views and daylight lead to the highest amount of glass used in architecture since ever.

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I made timelines like this one for all the materials in my material circle. Now I could make the step from theory to a specimen. It seemed logical to make the graphs of amount of material over time out of the material they are about. I figured out a way to do that but I still needed something for these physical graphs to be presented on. Within half an hour I went from a graph to a maquette with 12 buildings in the middle of Paris.

IMG_9522kopie

As I said when I had to come up with 2 other parameters, it already went wrong after the first step. The parameters where to abstract, farfetched and maybe with this last step to applied. I got stuck in an object that was just there as an object instead of what a colour system should be: a tool.

So now what? As with colour in general I decided not to use it. I did nothing with the project for a couple of weeks. But one day before the deadline of the project I had to come up with something. It was clear that the project was way to much thought and far to little hands on with the subject. I had to get out. Check out how these materials are used in the city and try to find transitions in material. So I took my camera out on this lazy Sunday, jumped on my bike and went on a slow journey into Amsterdam.

I just took photo’s of every building that used a material because of it’s qualities. This resulted in about 300 photo’s of bricks, metal sheets and glass. The selection could begin. By deciding whether or not I picture was more than just a registration I could narrow it down to about 60. Which I then sorted based on material and colour. Just like I did when making the material circle in the first step weeks ago. In the end I had about 35 images which made a colour circle that could start anywhere in the series.

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-30 om 16.37.57

It could be because of the medium or traditional ways to show colour systems, but it seemed logical to make a book of these photos. I tried to make spreads in which it would be sometimes difficult to see where one image starts and the other ends. To create this illusion of a gradient, but also to make them more abstract. They are not about the building that is depicted, but about the material of its facade.

I printed the spreads on separate sheets which then were connected like a leporello. Just because I didn’t know any better I connected them with a nice wide piece of double-sided tape. This made the leporello almost a structure, something that could stand on its own instead of having a cover. When installing it in a circle it didn’t work for me, it wasn’t as self supportive is it was in a book form. So I decided to ad a cover that was attached to the last page and would wrap around the first page. This would complete the circle, it could still be viewed as a structure and it would still feel as a book. The material circle is printed on the back and is incomplete, for new materials to be added. I think this fits in the idea of it being a tool instead of just an object.

If there is one thing I learned from this project it would be that it is important to materialize the process. This project for the a major part about thinking, but in the end it was about doing. Though this thinking was needed for the doing in the end I would like to experiment with reversing this process. Do first and analyse afterwards.

 

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DIN colour system


Friday, March 30, 2018

din logo

DIN is the German Institute for standardization (Deutsche Institut für Normung). It is the official ISO (International Standardization Organization) member for Germany. So far they made about 30.000 Din Standards, many of which are now used as international standards. They for example made the DIN standard for photographic film and made the purple and green mouse and keyboard connectors, but also the A-size for paper is made by this organization.

The DIN is often mistaken for the Deutsche Industrie Norm, which is a name for standards another organization published in the early 20th century. Despite that they aren’t called that way anymore they do serve their main purpose in the (German) industry. So is the DIN colour system.

It took the institute about 10 years to come up with this system. Starting in the 40′s they had their initial results published in 1953. But because it is standard that is still used by the industry it has been regularly updated.

When the researchers started they had as an objective to create a colour system in which to make all the variables in steps that are equidistant. Hue, Brightness and saturation all work in different ways, especially when it comes to how the colours are experienced. In order to define these steps and relations they did visual experiments in which subjects had to pick from a range of 120 colours the ones that they thought were equidistant. They boiled the results of this experiments down to 24 colour hue’s.

schema

By adding Brightness  (Darkness) and Saturation a system started to form. Each of the 3 parameters got there own letter. T for hue, S for saturation and D for darkness. By combining these letters you would get a TSD code. Of course the system is not about the parameters, but about in which steps these parameters are divided.

T values are between 0 and 24 and can be interpolated. So you could pick a a hue that is not in their carefully selected group of 24 colours. This would not undermine their system as these colours would still be on a equidistant scale of hue.

S values are always between 0 and 6 in which 0 is grey and 6 is maximum saturation.

D values are set between 0 and 10 in which 0 is absolute white an 10 is absolute black.

geelNow for example if this yellow would be described in a TSD code one would get a 2 as a T value, 5 as S value and 2 as D value. To correctly write down this code a colon should be placed between the numbers. In this case it would be 2:5:2.

I think the most interesting part of this system is that it tried to make all steps within the system equal. Even though this resulted in a system in which are mathematically unequal.

Check out the following links for more in-depth explanation of the system.

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vsonsulting

Coloroid


Saturday, March 24, 2018

The color system ‘Coloroid’ was originated in Hungary, developed between 1962 and 1980 by the Professor Antal Nemcsics. The objective of this arrangement was to provide technical and artistic help to architects involved in colored environmental design. There was no contemporary color system that fulfilled the requirements stipulated for color planning.
In August 2000, the Coloroid system has been registered as Hungarian Standard, and used as the main colour system.

The system is operated with the three parameters of color-hue, saturation and brightness.
Basically, the value ‘T’ stands for saturation, or purity of the color, the cilinder is created around a 48-part color circle ‘A’ or wavelength, and the ‘V’ is the luminosity, the higher it gets, the luminosity is higher, and vice versa.

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The form that it creates is a modified cylinder based on ‘psychosomatic scales’.

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The guiding principle behind the system is to show the aesthetic distance between colors as being uniform, due to the fact that the 48 different colors are being located at approximately identical number of harmony intervals to each other.

Within this as the smaller perceptual volume defined by the limit of colors it is possible to reproduce with physical media (material, pigment colors).

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The interesting part of this system for me is the idea of harmony, and how it can be defined or create with a simple linear or geometrical combination of colors.

genuine product of light and shadow


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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Athanasius Kircher,was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath. As he had outstanding talents and  wide range of interests in mathematics, geology, medicine, etc.  he has been often compared to fellow scholar Roger Boscovich and to Leonardo da Vinci.

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Kircher also was a follower of the theory called DE COLORIBUS which argues that all colors (yellow, red, and blue) are derived from mixtures of black and white.

 

As we can see in the diagram below, all the color points of the system can  be reached from white and black, and this shows his fundamental view on colors as genuine product of light and shadow.

 

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In his system, all combinations of colors are produced with three colors between white and black and all the possible mixtures are shown on half-circles. 

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For example, in the case of green, which is a mixture of yellow and blue, it is located at the overlap of yellow and blue and takes a special position as it is in the center with red below. 

 

His idea of combinations of colors was already pioneering and had a big influence on the color theories in that time.

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It remained influential until Isaac Newtons’s experiments with light refraction came out. In fact, the prism, and its effect on light, was something already known to Kircher, but he made an incorrect ordering of colors from bright to black. Newton was the one who defined the right order of the rainbow colors.

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Although, his system still has significance for the color theories for these reasons.

 

It is a linear diagram with red, yellow and blue as the basic colors

It is  a theory behind De Coloribus (all colors are derived from mixtures of black and white)

It also provides a firm idea of mixed colors, characterised by semi-circular bows

 

 

 

Maxwells Colour System


Saturday, March 3, 2018

The scientist James Clerck Maxwell discovered the additive colour system and showed the first colour photography. He lived in the 19 Century influenced by the Works of Isaac Newton and Thomas Young. He has impact on our knowledge of the Saturn Rings, Electromagnetic waves and the RGB colours.

Maxwell Photography

In his student years at the Cambridge he was fascinated by the questions:

What are colours? Why do we perceive colour? And why are we so coloured?

At that time he read the studies of Thomas Young. Young thought that painters have a much better understanding of colours then scientist had at that time. They used the primary colours to get the full colour spectrum of a painting. He found that there’s a significance of these three primary colours and that Biology has a role to play. He assumed there are three receptors for each of the primary colours in the human brain. By mixing these we receive our full colour view.

Maxwell read about this theory and wanted to prove it by mathematics. He developed a tool to trick the human brain. By spinning the right amounts of red, green and blue on a wheel, it seems like the colours are melting together to white. With this experiment he could prove that what we perceive as white is actually a mix of colours. And that there’s a difference of mixing colours in light and colours in pigments.

Colour Pyramid

From this he developed a Red, Green and Blue colour pyramid. On each corner there is the absolute of one of the primary colours. Towards the middle you get different hues of the colour and the center is white. The Pyramid is built on a x/y Axe. Mapping out a point on the pyramid gives a value of each of the primary colours.

To display his founds, he was invited to give a lecture on colour vision. What he did was to screen the same photograph with a red then green and blue light on top of each other. Where the colours intersect, there is white.

Maxwell Colour Experiment

At this time there was only black and white photography. With this experiment he made the world’s first colour photography. The additive colour system can be understood as the foundation of RGB colours and is used in the screens of most electronic devices today.

Isaac Newtons Colour Wheel


Friday, March 2, 2018

Around 1665 Isaac Newton first passed white light through a prism and he identified seven colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These colours he referred to the colours of the rainbow and that they were analogous to the notes of the musical scale.

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In Newton’s color wheel, in which the colors are arranged clockwise in the order they appear in the rainbow, each “spoke” of the wheel is assigned a letter. These letters correspond to the notes of the musical scale.

What he did was that he projected white light through a prism onto a wall and had a friend mark the boundaries between the colours, which he then named. In his diagrams, which show how colours respond to notes, Newton introduced two new colours, orange and indigo. These to colours would correspond to half the steps in the octatonic scale.

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In physics terminology, an octave is the frequency range from x to 2x, and that premise holds true for musical octaves. If light behaved like music, then photon frequencies of the spectrum would also range from x to 2x, and their wavelengths, inversely proportional to their frequencies, would too. Instead, the wavelengths of visible light range from 400 to 700 nanometers, which, if translated to sound waves, would be approximately equivalent to a major sixth.
Therefore Isaac Newtons colour theory was actually incorrect as the frequency range in an octave is different than photon frequencies of light spectrum. Although his theory falls apart his experiments with prisms showed us that white light is a mix of different coloured lights.

CIE-1931-System


Thursday, March 1, 2018

CIE-1931-System is a color matching system. CIE stands for Commission internationale de l’éclairage, which is an international authority for setting standards related to light and color. In this system the goal is not to describe how colors appear to humans but to categorize and measure colors and create a numerically order. Which then also provides a framework for precisely reproducing the measured color in printing or digitally. It’s a mathematical categorization of colors and it’s based on matching combinations of light to colors that appear to most people in this way.

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Light is transformed in wavelength and humans can perceive these waves in between 380nm and 750nm. Wavelengths are absorbed and reflected by objects. Inside the human eye we have our own system of perceiving this colors by conephotoreceptors. We have 3 of them and they’re sensitive to different but overlapping wavelengths of light. L is most sensitive to long wavelengths and therefor red, M to middle-long wavelengths and therefor green and S to short wavelengths and therefor blue.

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The cone’s of the eye are stimulated by complex spectral distributions of absorbing or reflecting light and then reduces it to numerical values which represents how much the three cones are stimulated. Important to know is that different spectral distributions can stimulate the cones in exactly the same way. This means we don’t need the original light source to reproduce a certain color but we can create a spectral distribution of light that stimulates the cone in the same way in order to reproduce this exact color if we find the right match. And it’s not only about creating a certain color, but it also deals with showing how to reproduce the difference in brightness of the color. And the CIE-1931-system gives us the information we need to find these matches.

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The system has 3 functions called the RGB color matching functions. These are three fixed primary colors and the color matching functions are there to show you the amount of each primary output you need to create a desired color when they’re all mixed.

 

Hering’s 4-colour wheel


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I am going to explain to you Ewald Hering’s very exciting colour wheel chart containing of not 3 (RGB) but 4 primary colours (RGBY).

Hering was a German physiologist who specialised in colour perception. So basically how our eyes and brains work in relation to colour which we can call “the physiology of visual perception”
A problem that came up was the colour yellow; Helmholtz, another physicist who came op with the RGB model (the Young-Helmholtz theory) had stated that yellow came from a mixture of red and green (so there being 3 primary colours).

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For hering this was not in line with the human experience because the sensation of yellow is very important and is not seen as a mixture of something else.

Instead of seeing complementary colours, like in the 3 primary colour wheel (RGB), Hering talked about opposing colours. Being; blue versus yellow, red versus green and black versus white.

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So next to black and white there would be 4 colours which can occur without the “help” of another colour.
Every perception (what we see) is a mixture of the six basic sensations (so these four colours plus black and white) opposing each other and thus interacting.

Hering called these colours the “psychological primaries”.

Hering states that in the human eye thus brain there are three processes happening at the same time in order to see colour; the red-green, yellow-blue and black and white sensation. Later on I will explain why Hering also calls these sensations the “opposing pairs”.

(In his system, red green yellow and blue can be seen as primary colours. Anyone who is seeing orange can imagine it to be a mix of red en yellow. But no one looks at red, yellow or blue and sees it as a mixture of other colours.)

Hering wasn’t the first to talk about 4 primary colours. Before him so did Leonardo da Vinci. Only the arranging of the colours in a circular model was something Hering did. So the wheel is his invention with which he proved to have a real point.

The outer ring of the wheel shows how every primary colour has a warm and a cool side.
So warm red is red with a lot of yellow while cool red is more bluish
Warm yellow goes towards red and cool yellow towards green. Etc.

Each primary colour pair in the wheel has the same warm and cool side.
For example: Green and red have yellow for warm and blue for cold which makes them pairing as well as opposing.

Although having the same hot and cold sensations, the opposing colours in the weel cannot be part of each other.
- yellow can be kind of green or red but never blue
- green can be kind of blue or yellow but never red.

Complementary colours complete each other (like in the RGB wheel) but Hering’s opposing colours do the exact opposite.

A lot of us have learned in high school that there are three primary colours; red yellow and blue. The thing is actually that this 3 primary colour wheel is how to mix colours by knowing what colours complement each other and what colours generally look good together.
If we are talking about how we actually see colours, there are 4 primary colours!
So this is the big difference between the two wheels; the three colour wheel is about aesthetics while the 4 colour wheel (Hering’s) is about the psychological relationship we have towards colour.

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You have to look at the 4 colour wheel like meters in your head. When the meter goes one way, there is more red, if it goes the other way you get green. If the meter stays in the middle you get zero so no colour (or actually a kind of greyish or brownish), same with yellow and blue.
Then at the same time you have a meter that, for example, goes from a reddish yellow to a greenish yellow and that goes from a yellowish green to a blueish green
And then there is also a meter that adds more or less black or white, also changing the colour.

R – 0 – G , so there is no greenish red
B – 0 – Y , so there is no yellowish blue

There is a greenish blue or a reddish blue (purple)
There is also a greenish yellow or a reddish yellow (orange)

Hering’s colour wheel is used a lot because it shows how the eye naturally perceives colour. So it’s less a bout just mixing paint or seeing how colors can be made in different media in what case you would need only three colours (RGB).

Instead, the wheel is better at showing what happens in the upper, brain level, and describing humans colour sensations.

CMN Colour System


Sunday, February 25, 2018

 

 

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The CMN system was first introduced in Venice, 1986. Colours transform; they get brighter and darker until they eventually become white or black, as well as altering the quality of transparency and reflectiveness. The system shows why and how colours appear, change and disappear. Eat point of the tetrahedral structure marks the different qualities in reflectiveness, transparency, brightness and darkness the colour can posses. This single tetrahedron can be combined with others and create a complete range of spacial models required to find the origins of the colour as well as reflect the intentions of the observer. Despite transparency and reflection stemming from an object which is illuminated, the colours appearing will be the result of the contribution made by the observer. The effect these two qualities have on colours is at the forefront of this colour system, as it is the first to consider transparency and reflection in a colouring ordering system.

The tetrahedron constructionwas a form first seen in Plato’s geometrical idea of colour. The radiance must appear along side the colours and have equal value, only white being allowed dominance. The tetrahedron is taken as a basis, three can be assembled with their tip representing white interlocking acting as the central point and remains colourless. This forms a second triangular plane with a colour appointed to eat corner. The white centre being empty allows colours to be mixed. This idea given by Plato is not a formally constructed colour system, rather the personal view is intended to aid understanding the colour mixtures he describes.       pyt02    pyt03

Michel Albert-Vanel’s Planetary Colour-System


Thursday, February 22, 2018

In 1983, the Planetary Colour-System, was introduced by frenchman Michel Albert-Vanel, with the intention to organise colour perception multidimensionally.

Albert-Vanel created a so-called Plantetaric Room, in which the colours move like planets in a solar system. The floating planets represent four primary colours, which refer to the psychological primary-colours of Ewald Hering. Albert-Vanel incorporated Herings’ psychological primary colours (Yellow, Red, Green, Blue) into his planetary room. The secondary colours – that connect the primary-colours – are moons and thus orbit the planets.

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We almost never see colours isolated but in combination with others, which puts them directly into a context. The planetary system tries with the introduction of new parameters to describe this context in which a colour exists. In order to point out an individual colour, contrast and material are added to the usual parameters of hue, brightness and saturation.

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The contrast-parameter unites three new scales (again hue, brightness and saturation) describing a group of colours (the context), to later point out the individual isolated colour.

The scales of the material-parameter describe first if a colour is active (light) or passive (pigment), second if it is transparent or opaque and thirdly: matte or gloss.

With the incorporation of this context a colour is put in, the planetary system involves the natural effects of our colour perception. It considers, that we see colours differently depending on the surrounding it is put in.

 


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