Hue Value Chroma Color Swatches For Photoshop

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  1. #1
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    Hue Value Chroma Color Swatches For Photoshop

    Here's some Photoshop color swatches I made. They look like this

    Name:  hscswatches.jpg
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    first column is just shades of gray
    For each hue we have

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    i. e. value changes vertically, chroma changes horizontally. Colors in the same row will have the same value/lightness. Colors in the same column will have the same chroma/amount of grey.
    Hues organized in two rows, so that the top row hues are warm - bottom row hues are cold.
    In the top row we have warm red/orange/yellow/green/blue/violet, and in the bottom row we have cold red/orange/yellow/green/blue/violet.

    So maybe you'll find them useful.

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  4. #2
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    Awesome. Will have to check these out at home...

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  5. #3
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    These are useful, Mihail. Did you make these manually, or using a script?

    Also, I'm curious how you got the numeric values for these swatches. Did you import Munsell data, or did you approximate using Lab? Or something else?

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  6. #4
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    Thanks for the swatches mihail really useful.

    "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu" | SB | Portfolio | FJGC (blog) | DA (Profile) | EJERCICIOS DE COLOR
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    I'm glad you're finding them useful guys.
    I made them manually. As for numeric values, here's what I did.
    I started with a purest color (100 brightness and 100 saturation) and looked at its lightness. For example red (hue=0) had lightness of 52. From there I decreased saturation then I needed to raise lightness, and decreased brightness if I needed to lower the lightness (sort of like adding white and black to the pure color). If you directly change L parameter in PS, hue changes, I wanted to avoid that. Thats how I got the columns organized the way I wanted. Do drop the chroma I just painted gray of respective lightness on top of the colors varying the opacity for different chroma levels. For red with a lightness 50 I would take a 50 lightness gray and painted it on top changing the opacity: less opacity=less gray=higher chroma.
    Some things I don't like now about these swatches. I would want more value divisions so that the lightness in a column would be 10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90 not 10,30,50,70,90 as now. Also the first and the second column for each hue looks the same to me (100 and 90 chroma) so one of them can be discarded. There's too little variation in bottom rows for colors with higher lightness in their pure state(yellows for example), the same thing happening with top rows for lower lightness colors (violets), so it's kinda waste of space. And the whole thing is still a bit imprecise since I first painted the swatches then colorpicked them to the swatch pallet (should have chosen the colors directly by their numerical values without painting and colorpicking after that).
    So I made new swatches with some of the above in mind. Gotta do some color studies and test them
    Name:  newswatch.jpg
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    I attached them in case someone would want to play around with them

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    The new ones are great- I've been playing around with your first ones and it looks the extra value steps in the new ones will help a lot.

    I had been planning someday to write a script to assist in making swatch sets like this. If I ever get around to it I'll post it here. In the meantime, I'll definitely be using your swatches, Mihail- they're pretty much exactly what I would have used the script for!

    A couple months ago I wrote a script for Illustrator that imported the Munsell data, converted to RGB, and created swatches. There's a lot of finicky math involved with converting the reflective & subjective Munsell data to the transmissive world of monitors that I didn't really nail down, so there's some strangeness to some of the colors- particularly at the lower chromas. Yours look much more useful for digital painting so I'll probably be using those, but I thought I'd post the results of my script anyway, in case anybody wants to play with them...

    Edit: I attached a PDF version as well. I tried to post the editable illustrator file, but it's over the size limits. If anyone's interested in it I can host it somewhere else...

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  10. #7
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    I'm really digging these new swatches, Mihail.

    I got a little confused trying to follow how you made these. Would you mind trying to explain it again? I'm interested in writing a script that could generate these fairly quickly & easily.

    Edit: Oh, I get it. Might try the script for these...

    Last edited by dose; May 15th, 2009 at 05:01 PM.
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    I'll explain just to clarify to everybody.
    We have 14 hues here arranged in two rows of 9x3 blocks. Last column is shades of gray. Top row hues are: Red(0), Red-orange(15), Orange(30), Yellow(60), Yellow-green(90), Green(120), Green-cyan(150). The bottom row: Cyan(180), Yellow-orange(45), Blue-cyan(210), Blue(240), Blue-magenta(270), Magenta(300), Red-magenta(330). Two hues in the same column are complimentary (except red-orange and yellow-orange). If you paint one of them on top of the other in purest state (saturation and brightness at 100) with 50% opacity you'll get gray. Btw here's a rule how to find a hue complimentary to the given hue: if given hue is more or equal 180 - subtract 180 to get a complimentary hue; if given hue is less then 180 - add 180 to get its complimentary.
    Now, for each hue block:
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    I. e. saturation changes horizontally, lightness/value changes vertically. Chroma changes horizontally.
    All colors at the same row have the same lightness/value. In each column lightness change is achieved by varying brightness (amount of black), so each column follows the 'uniform saturation principle'.
    The best way I've found to manage chroma of a given color is to make note of its lightness first, then change the saturation (lower it to lower chroma, raise it to raise chroma) - lowering saturation will raise lightness, raising saturation will lower it. Then change the brightness of the result color to make its lightness equal to the lightness of the given color. It will always work if you want to lower chroma. Raising chroma is not always possible however, hence the black swatches.

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  12. #9
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    I've never really understood what's so great about swatches. I've always used the color picker, and I fear that by using swatches I'd be limiting the exactitude of the colors I really want.

    But there obviously has to be a reason why everyone loves them... am I missing something?

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  13. #10
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    Not everybody loves them- lots of people color pick. The problem comes when you don't have something to color pick from- i.e. you're painting from life or from imagination. What do you color pick from then? Also, I like to use the color picker to study the transitions of color and value that artists use and then have a palette that is conducive to recreating that.

    Using value strings organized by hue can be really advantageous for this. I used to use a separate document with the strings and color pick from that- mainly because Photoshop's swatch palette is woefully terrible (shame on Adobe- I think it's been the same since version 2 of Photoshop. However, I can dock the miserably frustrating palette it in some really cool ways ). But, there are some small advantages to using swatches- mainly that they're always open when I open Photoshop without opening a second document, and they can be named so I can tell what the color is more easily.

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  14. #11
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    Ok, here's a script that will create swatches similar to what Mihail posted above. It should run on Photoshop CS and above.

    Basically, it prompts you to specify which hues you would like strings for, and then the saturation values you would like for each specified hue. The swatches are named with their lightness (L from Lab) along with their HSB values, so you can hover over them to find out their value.

    In the future I'd like to implement the ability to specify the L values in each string for more flexibility/customizability.

    I've attached the script in one zip and an .aco file of the default swatches produced by the script along with a variation that might be used for portraits.

    INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Step 1:
    Copy 'Create HVC Swatches.jsx' into the scripts folder for Photoshop. On Windows this is found at:

    CProgram Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop [version]\Presets\Scripts

    On Mac the scripts folder is located in:

    /Applications/Adobe Photoshop [version]/Presets/Scripts

    Step 2:
    Close & Reopen Photoshop

    Step 3:
    Go to File->Scripts->Create HVC Swatches

    ------------------------------------------------------------

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  16. #12
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    Duude! Great script! Thanks for sharing it!
    Is it possible to make it resize the swatch window automatically, after it creates the swatches?

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    Np- thanks for inspiring the idea!

    Yeah- the window resizing is a pain, right? Unfortunately, AFAIK it's impossible to script the resizing of window in PS. However, there's a trick you can use to resize quickly if you choose to have the script add the gray string to the beginning:

    After running the script the first row of swatches will pretty much always contain a white swatch followed by all black swatches. The next non-black will be a light gray swatch (lightness 90). This will mark the beginning of the second row when the window is sized properly. You want to adjust the width of the window such that this swatch is in the first column in the first row. So, if that swatch is on the first row of the palette, narrow the palette just until the second gray swatch pops in position onto the second row. If it's on the second row or higher, widen the palette until it's located in the first column on the second row. Try it a few times paying attention to the second gray swatch after the black ones in the beginning and you'll see what I mean.

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  18. #14
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    woops- double post

    Last edited by dose; May 19th, 2009 at 03:26 PM.
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  19. #15
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    Somewhat off topic -

    I wouldn't mind seeing somebody try something like this on a set of swatches.

    I may do it myself.

    Photoshop Black and White Adjustment Layer: A Closer Look

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  20. #16
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    good job dudes!!
    I'm actually searching for a possibility to script hotkeys that will raise or lower chroma and value according to the munsell chart.
    dose, with your scripting experience, have you any idea of the feasibility of such a thing?

    I think this could be a great addition to the swatches.

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  21. #17
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    All these swatches are insane! My actual swatches aren't very effective for me at this time.
    I'll definitely try some of these out! Thanks for sharing them, you saved me a lot of time.

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