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Modeling Color Spaces With Blender 35

Mrs. Grundy writes "When creative professionals want to visualize colors in three dimensions, they often use dedicated and sometimes expensive software. Photographer Mark Meyer shows how, with the help of its Python scripting interface, you can create graphics of color models in Blender. He demonstrates plotting in XYZ, LAB, and xyY space, and also includes the Blender file to show how it's done."
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Modeling Color Spaces With Blender

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  • Pretty but why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pipatron ( 966506 ) <> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @11:46PM (#43179439) Homepage

    Why massage and hack a program like blender when you can use the venerable POV-Ray [], open source raytracer since 25 years back, first raytracer in space, etc.

    You can already do all of this directly in its scene description language, and you will get exact results instead of interpolated meshes.

    • I use POV-Ray too, but have to admit that the POV-Ray community is dwindling, with more and more newcomers opting for Blender instead

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There doesn't seem to be much massaging or hacking at all. Because of the substantial Python API, it only takes a few lines of code to get blender to do this. The hardest part, I would guess, is that some of the code he's using is not particularly well-documented.

    • Wow, I had lots of fun with pov back in the day, and Vivid before that.

      Writing stuff directly in their respective scene language was a breeze too, and so easy to output from another language - so we used C to produce scenes and then leave POV to chug through them for days to produce animations.

      Perhaps if Blender could import SDL, and given it can use POV as a renderer, it would make sense to stick with Blender so you only need one main tool.

    • I didn't know POV-Ray was still around. It caused me untold grief in the 90s and it's the main reason why I ended up buying Shade and Poser which were much easier to use. I've also used Photoshop and now use Blender. The very thought of using POV-Ray again gives a cold shiver, it would need to be a whole new beast to be a viable alternative.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why use POV-Ray? You could just code it all in C, and it would be faster than POV-Ray, and easier to code and understand too, since 43 years back. Oh, and there is a continuous and thriving C coding community. And there are updates to C on at least a quarter year basis (every 3 months a new and updated version!). Coding in C is 100,000,000 times easier than trying to decode the cryptic byzantine mess that is POV-ray.

  • by unkiereamus ( 1061340 ) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:22AM (#43179889)
    I dunno about the rest of you, but I read the title as 'Modeling Color Spaces with a Blender.'. That was gonna be awesome.

    I was hoping I'd get to see a real life version of the mac working that I think on it, I believe when I get off work I'll be going to the thrift store to buy a cheap blender.

    I'll post the video.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:55AM (#43180001)

    Cool... now I can finally make a proper color diagram for my fellow deuterananomalous trichromats, scaled to maximize (and give proper names) to OUR gamut... including "dellow" ('deuteranomalous yellow' == our equivalent to "Unique Yellow" -- the color we see as having no hint of green or yellow. Some true deuteranopes have proposed calling it 'deen' -- deuteranopic green).

    Since 94% of you are probably thinking, "wtf, 'dellow'?!?" right now, deuteranomaly is generally thought to occur when somebody ends up with 'green' cones whose sensitivity peak is closer to red than the stastical norm (with some semi-recent refinements theorizing that SOME 'protanomalous trichromats' might REALLY be atypical outright dichromatic deuteranopes with a mutation that gives us foveal rod cells to compensate and act like a third cone type under the right lighting conditions).

    Anyway, for us, the part of the spectrum you call 'yellow' falls into a vast, bland ocean that's just plain 'featureless green' to us, and the color you call 'Home Depot Orange' is blatantly red, but we have a tiny zone sandwiched between them where moving a tiny bit left or right makes a HUGE difference to the color. Colors WE might call 'dellogreen' (greenish dellow) and 'dred' (reddish dellow), togerther with dellow itself between them would all look like kind of the same orange to you, but we could pick them out and name them as easily as you can differentiate between yellow, orange, and red.

    Our colorspace and gamut are absolutely compressed and missing a few bits of depth, but it's made worse by the fact that digital cameras, monitors, and everything else samples or reproduces 'green' at the wrong frequency for us. The problem isn't that I need 'more green' to accurately capture and reproduce 'yellow', the problem is that mainstream hardware samples the wrong green, then squanders most of its bits into areas of the spectrum that are useless to us, and totally starves the tiny sliver where they'd do us the must good. We can talk about dellogreen, dellow, and dred, but trying to photograph/video them, then look at them on a typical RGB monitor (vs what you'd probably call a red-yellow-blue monitor, but we'd see as unambiguously red, green, and blue) would make them all look like 'dellow' to us, the way they'd all look orange to you.

    I look forward to future pentachromatic imaging sensors with red, dellow, green, lumirod (the sensitivity curve of rod cells), and blue sensors, and tvs that natively do red-dellow-green-blue. Only tetrachromatic women would get the full benefit, but apparently the color I'm calling 'dellow' (deuteranopic yellow) is pretty close to the peak of a tetrachromatic woman's fourth cone, so we'd get a free ride out of the deal and finally get to have tvs that reproduce OUR gamut in its full possible glory.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like too much work. Instead we'll poke out your eyeballs.

  • by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <> on Friday March 15, 2013 @04:05AM (#43180333) Homepage

    Just for the record, no creative professionals use dedicated and expensive tools to visualize color spaces. If they use an expensive tool like Maya for it, it's because they happen to have it handy for more sensible purposes. Visualizing color spaces is really just a novelty for most people. Anybody who needs to do it regularly isn't so much a "creative" professional, as a color scientist.

    Still, sort of a neat demo of the Blender Python API.

    • Just for the record, plenty of people do use expensive tools to visualise colour spaces. I work with a small army of visual FX compositors and post production artists who use various tools to do exactly that. Some are off the shelf (e.g. Shake, Nuke), and quite a few are developed internally.
      • I wouldn't call Shake or Nuke "dedicated" to visualizing color space. They do a tad bit more than that.
  • by Anonymous Coward


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