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Seeing, measuring, and rendering colours

Dietrich ZawischaContact


Introduction to colour science.

The colour stimulus – how to characterize colours – optical illusions – colour constancy – contrast – assimilation – after-images – the lilac chaser – the McCollough effect – historical notes – theory of colour vision – when do we see which colour? – additive and subtractive colour mixing – mixing by averaging – mixing of paints – primary colours – unique hues – colour mixing primaries – artists' colour schemes – psychological issues

Measurement of colour.
Basics of colour measurement – metameric match – valence of a stimulus – Grassmann's laws – colour matching functions – Helmholtz' parameters – choice of primaries – the standard observer –  the CIE-diagrams – surface colours and colour filters – metamerism – colour solids, colour systems, sample collections – colour distances

Rendering colours.
On the screen – not so simple? – colour profiles and gamuts – brightness and colour steps – gamma correction – rendering on the screen: RGB values, HSB and HSL - printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK (CMYK) – colour management – colour fidelity

Decomposition of white light.
How does a spectrum look? – where is the yellow light? – historical note – the fundamental primary colours – aesthetic criteria

Simple observations with a prism.
Promenade for a while following J.W. v.Goethe's steps

Criticism of misleading colour websites.
Kueppers' Colour Theory: a fight against experimental data – Is there a shortcut to obtain RGB values?

Literature (pdf-file)


The physical causes of colour