[Tig] color nomenclature tool

Rob Lingelbach rob at colorist.org
Mon Nov 9 15:49:57 GMT 2009

On Nov 5, 2009, at 8:52 AM, Richard Kirk wrote:

> No Cambridge Blue? Bah.

That is the default color for an Oxford shirt, so it should be there,  
have to do a little recoding.

> True. We don't know the display or the tone curve or the viewing
> conditions. However, things are not necessarily that bad. If the  
> display
> is self-luminous then the user can look at it in reduced lighting if  
> they
> want to be accurate. Dark is the same everywhere, so that ought to  
> work.

Dark is the same everywhere.  That seems to be a true statement, but  
there might need to be a lexical proof was well as a physical one.

> We are then looking at the color on a self-luminous screen with other
> stuff that gives us the sense of display white. That is not a bad
> criterion for viewing conditions.

For fresh eyes it is, but as outlined in various papers on monitoring  
conditions from the standards organizations, the eye eventually needs  
focus relief: something with a texture several feet behind the plane  
of the monitor, illuminated to a color reference.

>  If we increase the monitor
> brightness, our sense of color increases (the Hunt effect). If we  
> increase
> the saturation, our sense of brightness can increase (the Stevens  
> effect).

Hunt and Stevens, two more effects to add.  (one thinks of the  
Swinsonian Bent-Elbow Theory, and the Topazio-Robinson Effect, each of  
them in the TIG archives).

> In practical terms, we are probably ranging our sense of color to  
> fit what
> we see, and we will not spot the difference between a video display  
> and a
> video+10% display unless they are put next to each other. I vividly
> remember seeing the same video signal going to a Sony BVM and a Barco
> DP90P, and the red on the Sony looking red until the Barco turned  
> on, when
> it promptly turned orange.

There are so many effects like this, and I think a colorist who has  
been looking at monitors and projections for years and years knows how  
to recalibrate.  In non-ideal conditions, I've had to exit the room,  
look at something else (daylight; another monitor) then, consciously  
making an effort to memorize the color, close my eyes and find my way  
back to the suite and open the eyes in front of the display.  This  
depends on getting there quickly, which can be tricky.

> In this case, the worded description of a color is probably a fair  
> match
> to our internal sense of that color if we do not have any color  
> stimuli
> coming from outside the display.

The names that come up from someone's ideas of what they should be  
seem serendipitous.  What hue/saturation would you guess the following  
colors to be?

Cutty Sark

..and there are many more.

> Of course, that is an easy thing to say
> as we have no way of measuring our internal sense of color. I  
> suspect the
> tool would work well enough.
> But, is it useful?

The original tool was developed, based on other work, for those who  
are color-blind, in helping to find the web-based hex-value for colors  
that otherwise may not be named.   It helps to fill in the blanks  
where names aren't assigned.

The intent in having it available as a tool on the TIG is experimental  
but might serve to help a colorist or client use a particular term of  
description, or return to an exact value (for only the display used in  
the Color Picker).

Anyway, it was fun to port it to the wiki.
Rob Lingelbach   TIG admin
rob at colorist.org

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