# Thread: The Dimensions of Colour - a colour theory discussion thread

1. Thanks for the swift reply.

Thats interesting to think about. definetly laid those questions to rest.

I have another one.

I was researching atmospheric perspective. My hunch was that it increases exponentially as the distance travels back in space.

It has been described in places that the atmospheric particles decrease in amount exponentially the higher you get in the atmosphere.

However i couldnt find anything relating to distance along the z axis.

I figured it would be exponential for two reasons;

inverse square cube law / power law

and because of the height to amount relationship described above.

Then i stumbled across this;

The inverse square law mentioned in the comments doesn't really come into play here because the fall-off in light energy is exactly balanced by the reduction in apparent size of the object. (An object twice as far sends only a quarter of the light energy to the eye, but also only occupies a quarter of the visual area, so the light energy per area of the visual field is the same). -David briggs

It was from james gurneys blog.

Even if the light ENERGY is 1/4, the light INTENSITY is the same due to the strength of the light? So the light that reaches our eyes would be greater than if we calculated using the energy as our benchmark.

what do you think?

Also: just wondering do you know if/how LRV's (light reflectance values) relate to brightness or values? Just been wondering about the connection. can a connection be made?

Here is a study i did using a photo.
Last edited by Siphonophores; January 15th, 2014 at 03:33 PM.

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3. Originally Posted by Siphonophores
The inverse square law mentioned in the comments doesn't really come into play here because the fall-off in light energy is exactly balanced by the reduction in apparent size of the object. (An object twice as far sends only a quarter of the light energy to the eye, but also only occupies a quarter of the visual area, so the light energy per area of the visual field is the same). -David briggs

It was from james gurneys blog.

Even if the light ENERGY is 1/4, the light INTENSITY is the same .....
That's exactly what I'm saying - the intensity (luminance) is the same because the smaller amount of energy is concentrated in a correspondingly smaller visual field.

Originally Posted by Siphonophores
Also: just wondering do you know if/how LRV's (light reflectance values) relate to brightness or values? Just been wondering about the connection. can a connection be made?
Sure, it's the nonlinear luminance to lightness relationship that is given as a cube root formula for CIEL* (L = 116 (Y/Yn)1/3 - 16), so for example an L* of 75 corresponds to an LRV of about 48.
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/081.php

With your spheres, wouldn't you expect the shadow side to be a different hue to the light side, given that there is probably a difference in colour between the sunlight and the light from the opposite side of the sky?

4. haha! Yea i think i was just confused with that. Thanks.

Also big thanks for this post. This just gave me a Huge leap in my thinking. I was getting confused between parameters.

Just got a few (well not so few) questions.

I found this definition and liked it i was wondering if you thought it was right?

standard theories of visual surface perception, for instance, posit that brightness (“perceived luminance”) and lightness (“perceived reflectance”) constitute the perceptual counterparts to the physical dimensions of luminance (light intensity physically registered by the eye) and diffuse surface reflectance (ratio of physically incident and reflected light intensity)

http://www.journalofvision.org/content/13/1/14.full

Anchoring theory assumes that lightness is a psychological continuum that extends upwards beyond the physically
possible reflectance range (0-1), and that high values on this continuum represent surfaces that appear to glow

http://www.journalofvision.org/content/13/1/14.full

A key aspect of gamut relativity is the redefinition of brightness and lightness as computationally defined modes, rather than dimensions, of vision. According to this view, the brightness mode corresponds to global anchoring (λ = 1) and the lightness mode to local anchoring (λ = 0).

Is blackness bias a principle we can use in painting? Would it apply in direct sunlight?

ALso The information on relative brightness was a real eye opener. Is there any info about the different value steps for the different colors? or any general rules?

hmmmm yea those spheres were a tough one. I think maybe the shadow would be a little colder due to the lessening light of the sky, but also with a slight warm band for the alpenglow.

Here are some more Studies i was doing, Though i did them before reading this post.

Also how would you deal with the three modes of vision in one picture? say there was a dark area then like a spotlight?
Last edited by Siphonophores; January 19th, 2014 at 02:27 PM.

5. The Theory of Colour - Lecture series, Art Gallery of New South Wales
For anyone who is in Sydney in November, you might be interested in this series of public lectures I'm giving for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Please introduce yourself if you're a CAer!

The Theory of Colour

The idea that all colours are made from yellow, red and blue was widely accepted in science until the late nineteenth century, when it was overturned by a revolution in our understanding of colour. This new understanding not only led to modern colour printing, photography, and cinema, and eventually to digital photography, painting and rendering, it transformed our understanding of what colour is as radically as Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed our understanding of biology over the same period. These lectures will examine the nature, classification and teaching of colour from these two very different viewpoints.
The nature of colour (Saturday 8 November 2014, 2-3 pm)
The structure of colour (Saturday 15 November 2014, 2-3 pm)
The teaching of colour (Saturday 29 November 2014, 2-3 pm)
Advance booking strongly recommended. Further details:
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/cal...colour-theory/

By the way, I'm still happy to enter into discussions on this thread, but as I think I've said earlier here, anyone who comes back with ten questions when I answer one will have to be ignored!

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Hi Briggsy,

First of all, I want to say that your site on color is amazing and I'm just starting to study it. I have a question though -- one I'm not sure has been answered here or anywhere else. Roughly speaking, I'm trying to build a mathematical model for the collection of energy in light and connect that to the color picker in Photoshop. I could play around with values and models forever (and I'm willing to try that), but I figured it would be a bit helpful if I could ask you this question first.

Essentially, the color picker (when in hue mode) has 100 values for brightness that scale upwards and downwards vertically (please excuse the simplicity of the question and my explaining -- it's the only way I can figure out how to ask it!). The same is true for saturation on a horizontal scale -- 100 values. What I am trying to figure out is what number to use for the value of light energy when it emits from a light source (say, the sun)(perhaps in lumens? Not sure...), how to calculate how much energy is lost during the travel time to the object being lit (Earth, in this question -- or objects on Earth), how to calculate how much energy is absorbed by the first contact between light and an 'object' (the atoms that construct the object), and then, after following the light ray through the environment, where that final value (the amount of energy lost) will cause the picker to exist on the color square in Photoshop (essentially, how much brightness and saturation).

It sounds simple, but I have no idea where to start studying for this kind of calculating. I've done searches on 'raytracing', but am immediately confronted by obscure terminology and a steep learning curve. I figured that I could create various models and arbitrarily give a value to light energy at the moment it emits from the sun, give an arbitrary value for the amount at which energy is lost per unit of measurement (93 million miles from the sun, I believe), then arbitrarily give an absorption rate (light reflectance value (LRV)? Not sure if this is the right term, but I saw it on the net), then arbitrarily say where the color picker exists at that moment in the 'life' of the ray -- say, at 80 on the brightness scale and at some arbitrary location on the saturation scale. Then, I could give an equally arbitrary representation value for what the 100 percentages on the color square (in Photoshop) covers in terms of the light values.

Essentially, let's say I arbitrarily said the value out of the sun was 6000 (lumens, lux or whatever term is used to measure light energy), then said it was 5200 when it got to earth, then said it was 4000 after being absorbed and reflected by a 'red' material (shiny red apple, let's say -- diffuse specular, I believe), then said it was at 89 (fully saturated (100) and at 89 on the brightness scale). THEN, said what the 100 percentages stood for -- 100 lumens of change or 3000 lumens of change. That would tell me, roughly speaking (if I could follow all of the bounces) what brightness level to paint the object at. Obviously, I'd say that the 100 percentage points on the color square in Photoshop would represent a wide range of numerical values (of light changing in value). I doubt it would line up 100 for 100. It's likely to cover a large numerical value range of light energy values... but the problem is that I have no idea where to start pulling these values from.

Equally as much, I realize that raytracers are probably calculating light like this and that we HAVE figured out the values (for absorption, light loss over unit of measurement and the value to give light at its 'emittance point' (if that's a term)). I just have no entry point in the current books and information on the net that I've found. I need some kind of nudge to get to the next step or I'm going to be playing around A LOT with arbitrary value changes in a 'roughly' mathematical model for how light works.

I realize that my question is very rudimentary. For this, I apologize, but I have actually worked for a while to even get to this point (sadly, haha).

I did the same thing with linear perspective when I was studying it. I took everything all the way to matrix math and gradually realized that it's impossible to use matrix math as an artist for linear perspective. I found it liberating to know how perspective ultimately worked in computer graphics so that I could bend the rules and calculate things more roughly than exactly. I'm trying to do the same thing for light here, but lack that ability to make 'connections' -- connections between the color picker setup in Photoshop and the basic mathematical setup for light energy loss/absorption/reflection and, ultimately, color vision.

If you're able to give me any help, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks so much!

8. Well, your quest to track things back to the sun sounds like complete madness to me, but the site should help you to understand exactly what brightness and saturation mean in the colour picker.
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/012.php#brightness
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/012.php#saturation

Note that "brightness" here is actually relative brightness compared to the maximum possible for a given hue and saturation, and is very different from perceived lightness (= L). Note also that both "brightness" and "lightness" are scaled according to human perception, not physical energy.

Our real task is to take the light at each point in the visual field and create a set of image colours that at least suggest the effect of those lights. This almost inevitably involves substantial "fudging", in that to preserve the physical difference in energy coming from lights or highlights we would often have to paint everything else much darker than most people would want to.

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Thank you so much for the reply, Briggsy.

I'll examine the site locations you linked to. I realize now that it is too difficult to light in this way. I just needed some advice to help me on my trek with art. I'm going to work out a more simplistic model for lighting as a concept artist.

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Hello Everyone,
Kavan here. Thanks for the good thread. I have some general questions about color I would like to ask:

1) Highlight (specular reflection of source)
When a colored object (say a red apple) is illuminated, we can see some spots on the object that look white, i.e. have the same color as the source illuminating the object. These spots, called highlights, are explained as regions of specular reflection. In general, reflected light is diffusely reflected, i.e. scattered, in all various directions if the surface is not perfectly smooth. Why does specular reflection instead occur at these regions called highlights? Are these spots smoother than other spots? Or does more light fall on these spots? Specular reflection (angle of incidence= angle of reflection) redirects light is specific direction

2) Saturation
A more saturated color appears "brighter" than a less saturated color, correct? Why?

3) Metamerism

• Lights with different spectral content can be perceived by the human eye (which has 3 light sensitive receptors, the 3 types of cones) as identical. Are we talking about being really identical perceptions of just very similar? When a pure monochromatic light enters the eye, 3 values are always generated (one for each cone).

• Metamerism, based on my understanding, consists in the fact that certain objects show a different perceived color under different illuminations (which have different emission spectra). Every object has a certain reflectance curve which together (multiplied?) with the spectrum of the source (and the eye) determine the "color" of the object.

• How do certain objects manage to maintain the same color under different illuminations?

4) White, black and gray

• White black and gray are essentially the same from a spectral point of view: they all have the same uniform spectrum but the luminosity is different.

• At what point does a white start becoming a gray? What is the intensity threshold to perceive gray? What about gray and black?

• Why are there some many different types of whites each having different spectra?
• Brown is not a really new color. I think it is what we perceive orange at low luminosity

5) RGB

• Do you know of a free internet applet that lets me control the proportion of RGB to see the resulting color?

6) Lightness vs Brightness
Regardless of the intensity of the illuminating source, certain colors appear to stay the same. Lightness is that term to describe the appearance of a surface.
I have read about lightness constancy: the color of an object is determined by the relative intensity coming from each object. There is also lightness contrast: the lightness of a object is influenced by the lightness of the surrounding areas. Based on my understanding, brightness is the amount of light and the sensation it produces (dark to bright). Lightness is different: it is the % of incident light reflected by a surface (grayness, blackness, whiteness). To change brightness we simply adjust the intensity knob of the illuminating source. But to change lightness we must make it less reflecting? How do we make a surface less reflecting? If we texturized the surface we would make it rougher but diffuse reflection would still be there. How do we make a surface less reflecting? Lightness of a surface seems to be independent of the illumination intensity (a white piece of paper appears white even in lower light conditions and does not appear gray. I think that is called light constancy)... I would like to gain some clarity on this topic if possible.

Thank you!
Kavan

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12. Thanks for your questions but (everyone) please ask them one or two at a time. When I get presented with a wall of questions I sometimes never find time to answer at all.

1) Highlight (specular reflection of source)

"In general, reflected light is diffusely reflected, i.e. scattered, in all various directions if the surface is not perfectly smooth."

This explanation of diffuse reflection is often encountered but is completely wrong. The diffuse reflection (red colour) of an apple is the result of subsurface scattering, not surface roughness. Specular and diffuse reflection both occur over the whole surface of the apple; the highlights are just the most conspicuous specular reflections and occur where the surface is at just the right angle to bounce light from a light source to your eye.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/021.php

13. 2) Saturation

"A more saturated color appears "brighter" than a less saturated color, correct? Why?"

A saturated object colour by definition is relatively intensely coloured compared to an unsaturated object colour of the same greyscale value. However it's true that say a cadmium scarlet might have the same greyscale value as a middle grey (so that the two blend when you squint) and yet give a greater impression of brightness to most people. This impression of brightness has been called "brilliance" and I think it results from the fact that the cadmium scarlet is at the maximum brightness possible for its hue and saturation while the middle grey is not.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/103.php

14. 3) Metamerism

"Are we talking about being really identical perceptions of just very similar?"

Identical.

"Metamerism, based on my understanding, consists in the fact that certain objects show a different perceived color under different illuminations (which have different emission spectra)."

Metamerism refers to the matching; when the match breaks down under a different illumination it is called metameric failure.

"Every object has a certain reflectance curve which together (multiplied?) with the spectrum of the source (and the eye) determine the "color" of the object. How do certain objects manage to maintain the same color under different illuminations?"

The colour of the light reflected by an object does change when the colour of the illumination changes, but we are usually pretty good at automatically discounting these effects of lighting. This ability of our visual system is called colour constancy. So unless conditons are particularly difficult (e.g. monochromatic lighting or limited visual cues) the perceived colour of an object depends mainly on its reflectance curve.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/034.php

15. 4) White, black and gray

"At what point does a white start becoming a gray? What is the intensity threshold to perceive gray? What about gray and black?"

What we call white and black depends on what else is in the visual field. For example a Munsell value 9 chip, which reflects about 80% of the light falling on it, looks white if nothing brighter is nearby but light grey if placed beside something lighter.

"Why are there some many different types of whites each having different spectra?"

Because it's very easy for a light to appear white, it only has to produce an effectively equal response of our three cone types, so the spectrum can be spiky on a small scale in any way imaginable as long as the overall distribution is even. It's much harder for an object to be white; it has to reflect balanced white light and plenty of it, so it pretty much has to reflect all wavelengths at a high level.

"Brown is not a really new color. I think it is what we perceive orange at low luminosity."

Correct.

16. 5) RGB

"Do you know of a free internet applet that lets me control the proportion of RGB to see the resulting color?"

There are a few Java applets out there but I find it hard to get these to run now because of the security controls built into my browsers. There is an interactive flash demonstration on my website (Figure 4.2.1) that lets you do this by adjusting the sliders (won't work on android or i-crap of course).

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/042.php

17. 6) Lightness vs Brightness

"To change brightness we simply adjust the intensity knob of the illuminating source. But to change lightness we must make it less reflecting?"

Yes.

"How do we make a surface less reflecting? If we texturized the surface we would make it rougher but diffuse reflection would still be there. How do we make a surface less reflecting?"

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hope that helps! If you have any follow up questions I'd appreciate it if you'd ask them one at a time and wait for an answer before asking the next!

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Thanks Mr. Briggs. Great answers. I will ask one question at a time in the future.
best,
Kavan

19. I've just added an extended discussion of modern and traditional colour theory to Dimensions of Colour as a two page prologue between the home page and the introduction.

Modern Colour Theory: www.huevaluechroma.com/001.php
Traditional Colour Theory Strikes Back! www.huevaluechroma.com/002.php

If anyone is interested I will be presenting this material with additional slides on Wednesday as a free webinar for the Colour Society of Australia.

WHEN
Wednesday 15th July, 7.00pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC +10).

REGISTRATION (free):
URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/reg...66797934151170

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21. The Traditional and Modern Colour Theory webinar is now available on Youtube:

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Hi, this site is great its just the amount of stuff on there can be a little ovewhelming, I have a bit specific question, my problem is starting out and establishing a colour pallete when I work on my piece I just don't really know what to lay out and how to get about it, is there any specific articule about that subject?

24. It's a bit of a general question and you don't say if you mean a digital or a traditional paint palette, but if it's the former you should find Murry Lancashire's Colour Constructor very useful to get you started.

For the principles that the app illustrates see the sections 1, 4 and 5 of my section on Principles of Colour for Painters, and don't neglect to study actual setups to understand how the principles apply in the real world.
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/101.php

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Hi,

Not sure the thread is still going but here's a few questions.

This question is about lighting Diffuse reflection I think. For painting a portrait, if there's one light source, the lightest areas are those planes facing the light, the darker areas are the planes turning away from the light.
I am trying to figure out the colour from the lightest areas to the darkest areas, forgetting about specular reflection for the moment, the chroma should decrease going from light to dark but the saturation should remain the same?
What would be an effective way to control that in photoshop? Would adding white for the lighter areas and black to the darker areas work? because saturation has to change but not chroma?

Thanks for the website.

27. It's pretty quiet around here these days but yes, still going! For a simple object in simple lighting (i.e no change of illumination colour between light and shadow) you'd expect saturation to stay the same going from light to dark, and since the S in HSB is a true (if crude) measure of saturation, you can get a basic shading series by keeping H and S constant and just varying B. However you'd anticipate departures from this simple model in flesh, for example reduced saturation approaching the edges of the zone of light (due to scattering), boosted saturation locally in the shadows (due to subsurface light transport and reflected lights), subtle but extensive fuzzy specular influence, and other factors. With flesh it's also very important to introduce some colour variation in every zone of light and shade to make the flesh look like flesh. Hopefully you are doing plenty of work from life to see these effects for yourself.

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Dear Dr. Briggs,

First, I'd like to thank you deeply for your exposition of colour theory on the huevaluechroma website. It really is one of the best that the web has to offer so far.

Regarding different systems of colour wheels and their potential incompatibilities, wouldn't the situation be clarified a bit, for art educators and practitioners alike, if we simply add the term "opponent colours" to the popular vocabulary? I have heard this from at least one art educator: "A patch of neutral grey next to a patch of red appears green because green is the complementary colour to red." But it seems what is a more appropriate (and perhaps less controversial) thing to say is that green is an *opponent* colour to red, under the opponent process model. The problem is how to explain the LMS-Opponent-Process model in a way that the public could easily understand (it certainly took me a while).

One more thing: about mixing blue with yellow pigments. One explanation for why mixing blue and yellow paints gives green is that both blue and yellow contain green impurities, and when the two are mixed the blue and yellow cancel each other in RGB and/or CMY to give some kind of grey, and the green impurity is left over to be detected. This is all reasonable. But it just seems to me that under this explanation it would be a rather dull green due to all that grey. If you mix ultramarine blue and yellow ochre, that's a *pretty* nice green, even though neither pigment seems to have much green in it. So I wonder if the phenomenon can be further explained by the opponent process model, namely, the yellow cancels the blue not only because they are complementary under RGB/CMY (I use both since there could be both subtractive and additive mixing), but also because yellow cancels its opponent blue in the blue-yellow channel in the opponent process. In the red-green channel, on the other hand, yellow is mute, while the signals from the S and M cones (due to the blue paint) generate a green perception.

The intriguing thing is, under this model blue and yellow might make green, even if neither of them has "green impurities." Is that possible?

Regards,
P-S
www.pingshunchanart.com

30. Thanks for the comments. I think the standard explanation of the green you get from a yellow and an ultramarine is very well established. The "pretty" greens you get from ultramarine and yellow ochre are in the yellow-green sector; by the time you get to true green and blue-green hues the chroma actually is very low. If you download Zsolt Kovacs' program drop2color you can explore an accurate model of the mixing path and the reflectances of the mixtures in various proportions. Perhaps I'm not getting your point about afterimage terminology but in any case the afterimage of a middle red is typically blue-green like the additive complementary, not the middle green opponent colour.

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Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons
Thanks for the comments. I think the standard explanation of the green you get from a yellow and an ultramarine is very well established. The "pretty" greens you get from ultramarine and yellow ochre are in the yellow-green sector; by the time you get to true green and blue-green hues the chroma actually is very low. If you download Zsolt Kovacs' program drop2color you can explore an accurate model of the mixing path and the reflectances of the mixtures in various proportions. Perhaps I'm not getting your point about afterimage terminology but in any case the afterimage of a middle red is typically blue-green like the additive complementary, not the middle green opponent colour.

Ah, OK, thanks for the reference for my question regarding mixing yellow with blue.

Regarding afterimages, I am under the impression that green is the opponent color to red precisely because it is the afterimage corresponding to red (that's what wikipedia says anyway, admittedly not the most reliable source). Otherwise, why is it even called the opponent color? Perhaps the word "green" used in opponent process theory isn't too precise?

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I think some parts of colour theory have finally clicked thanks to you Mr. Briggs, but there's one part I'd love to have clarified about specular reflections.

I buy the fact that diffuse reflections follow your shading series (aka feature no change in saturation), but I'm curious about what effect the specular reflection in different lightning conditions would have on the saturation of colours.

You mentioned how the specularly reflected light has the effect of desaturating the colour of light reflected by the coloured objects, and I presume this has to do with the fact that the coloured objects themselves tend to have a higher saturation than the light itself, and thus (when the two sources of light mix in your eyes) this gives the desaturating effect. So if the light hitting the object and the object itself have the same saturation no change in saturation would happen, but only in value/hue?

If the above statement is true, then would that mean that the times during the day where the colour temperature of the light coming from the sun is approx 6500k (white), the desaturating effect would be the most pronounced?

Are there any other sources that cause this desaturating effect other than the specular reflection, or can I basically just take my object, figure out how saturated the light is that is hitting it (and how strong it is hitting the surface), and then know how much the colour of the object would desaturate?

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Dear Dr. Briggs,

Thank you so much for your colour theory website. I am beginning to study colour theory and have found it very useful.

I have some basic, rookie questions. They’ve been bugging me and I was hoping you could please help clarify.

For question 1, I have drawn a schematic to help illustrate what I mean, using an ovoid form as an example. In the schematic, I’ve given each value number, with higher numbers signifying higher value, for clarity (rather than actually gradate the form).

1/ On a curved surface lit by a single light source, is it more correct to say that:

a) there is a set number of values in the gradation of the form as the form turns from the “purely lit” area to the terminator (such that, in a schematic, each value could be organised/expressed as a “band”); or

b) do the number of values from the “purely lit” area to the terminator increase if there is more distance between the terminator and the light source.

2/ What is the relationship between the location of the light source and how quickly each part of the form turns away from the light source?

3/ I have been told that, due to the effects of aerial perspective, we see colours "drop off” in the following sequence: yellow "drops off” first, then red, then orange etc. Is this correct? Why/why not?

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Dear Dr. Briggs,

I have a few more questions stemming from the Dimensions of Colour website. I've been doing some basic experiments at home and wanted to check that they are on the right track:

1) Practically speaking, how do you actually plot a shading series using a Munsell hue page? How do you determine at which value/chroma it starts and ends? For example, does the start/end of the line need to pass through the centre of the starting and ending “chips”, respectively?

2) What would happen to the shading series for a local colour if the object were to be placed under a coloured primary light (for example, a yellow light)? Would you need to paint the lit area of object using a shading series that is entirely not the same as for the local colour - i.e. a shading series for a hue that is more towards the colour of the light? I am asking because I've been told that the shading series would be that of the local colour except for the hue and chroma of the last two values, which would dramatically shift toward yellow.

3) When you have multiple light sources (primary + secondary source, or two primary sources, for example) )what should you observe at the terminator? Does one dominate the other and what do we observe in terms of the HVC of the object?

35. Originally Posted by agogol

3/ I have been told that, due to the effects of aerial perspective, we see colours "drop off” in the following sequence: yellow "drops off” first, then red, then orange etc. Is this correct? Why/why not?
For a bluish atmosphere that's kind of correct, but a diagram showing what is happening in colour space can explain it more accurately. In the attachment I've emulated the effect of a bluish (5PB) grey atmospheric mist on a circle of Munsell hues. The diagrams at the bottom show how the colours move in colour space towards the colour of the mist, as explained in the section on atmospheric perspective on my website. The result is that colours similar in hue to the mist change relatively little, while colours that are near complementary like yellow are strongly greyed. But notice how in the context of the bluish mist [i.e. in the top row) these greyish image colours look amazingly different!.

agogol (and everyone) please ask your questions one at a time as I can't possibly find time to answer a wall of questions like this, many of which could require a very long answer. A lot of your questions are actually things you could investigate yourself by taking some photographs and analyzing them in Photoshop. The best thing would be to at least make a start on that, one question at a time, and post what you discover here. It takes a lot less time to ask questions like these than to answer them!

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37. Originally Posted by ili104
If the above statement is true, then would that mean that the times during the day where the colour temperature of the light coming from the sun is approx 6500k (white), the desaturating effect would be the most pronounced?

Are there any other sources that cause this desaturating effect other than the specular reflection, or can I basically just take my object, figure out how saturated the light is that is hitting it (and how strong it is hitting the surface), and then know how much the colour of the object would desaturate?
The diffuse reflection is also desaturated (and darkened) if the light source is more or less complementary to the colour of the object. It's a subtractive relationship, so you can emulate this convincingly this using multiply mode. The desaturating effect of the specular should take care of itself if you add it as a layer of appropriate opacity over the top.

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Thanks a lot - this is really useful! I'm very grateful. Yes, in the context of the mist - I'm reading the colours as being the original hue under a bluish "film".

Well-noted in relation to the questions - I will do that in the future!

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