AuthorTopic: More fun with colors (a failure I think)  (Read 1896 times)

Offline Tourist

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More fun with colors (a failure I think)

on: August 17, 2011, 05:48:18 pm
I had an idea, I don't think it worked out.  I post this so that others may benefit from my failure.



The idea:
1) Start with a spread of hues.
2) Use a non-linear spread of values, weighted towards the lighter colors.
3) Adjust the set of values of each hue based on how light or dark a saturated color of that hue is (yellows are lighter than blues, so bump up all the yellow values).
4) For each hue, build a small set of colors, with each value step and a few steps in saturation.
5) Organize as a web of ramps, shifting hues each step.

The result is a bunch of 5 and 6 color ramps, which are sort of unified.  But ...

Doesn't support ramps of different sizes that well.
The blue and purple hues aren't working very well, probably one too many orange hues.
The darkest colors are suitable for outlines, but not much else.
Too many light, desaturated colors, I think.  Not enough of the strong mid-tones.  Rescaling the saturation means possibly breaking some of the ramps.  Add another level of saturation?  Don't really know what to do here.

Perhaps a less even spread of hues across different saturation?  By which I mean, the desaturated colors for several different hues are very close to each other. Instead of spokes on a wheel, perhaps it should spread from a few desaturated hues, to a greater number of saturated ones?


I was hoping to represent moderately saturated hues, earth tones, skin tones, and shadow colors.  This was not successful.  Hopefully others can benefit from my experiment.

Tourist

Offline questseeker

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Re: More fun with colors (a failure I think)

Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 08:45:51 am
I don't see how "starting with a spread of hues" and "a non-linear spread of values, weighted towards the lighter colors" can be a good approach if you want a palette of "earth tones, skin tones, and shadow colors", i.e. specific colours and a lot of dark luminance values.

Generic palettes usually contain a selection of simple and general-purpose colours (e.g. Commodore 64, 4-colour CGA) or a rather even quantization of the colour gamut (ZX Spectrum, text-mode CGA).
On the other hand, ramps of varied saturation and luminance usually appear in project-specific palettes where one knows what hues are needed and leaving out unneeded colours provides the palette budget for colour variations.

I think trying to make a palette that is both reusable and sophisticated is futile; you should improvise a palette as you draw art, selecting important colours and adding ramps for the respective highlights and shadows.
For this purpose, your idea of developing both luminance and saturation variations seems promising, but avoid adding colours you don't really intend to use in order to have complete ramps between ramps.

Offline Ai

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Re: More fun with colors (a failure I think)

Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 09:36:53 am
Quote
I was hoping to represent moderately saturated hues, earth tones, skin tones, and shadow colors.  This was not successful.  Hopefully others can benefit from my experiment.

Tourist

You know, DawnBringer wrote a GrafX2 script which makes a 3d diagram of the colors in a palette.
If you ask him he might be willing to send it to you.
For your next try, consider just slapping down some colors that you consider, by eye, to be "moderately saturated hues, earth tones, skin tones, and shadow colors", and then analyzing it, to get a basic idea of the important areas in the RGB colorspace for what you want.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Tourist

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Re: More fun with colors (a failure I think)

Reply #3 on: August 20, 2011, 12:42:44 am
Good analysis.  That helps point out why the palette fails, and why the method is flawed.

I think trying to make a palette that is both reusable and sophisticated is futile...

I think I am coming to the same conclusion.  Thanks again for your thoughts.

Tourist