Palette Generator Version 0.03 Alpha

The Why?

It isn't hard to understand how the brightness of a light source affects the apparent brightness of the surfaces it illuminates: the lower the intensity of the light, the darker the surface appears. However, it is less clear how the hue of a light affects the apparent hue of the surfaces it illuminates. To address this challenge, I have begun the development of an on-line application that permits users to experiment with lighting conditions (hue, saturation and brightness of a light-source) as well as the intrinsic hue of an object (the hue of an object when illuminated by white light and seen in a vacuum) in order to see how the hue of the object shifts under different lighting circumstances.

The Who

This application is being developed to help novice digital painters establish palettes. Colour mixing recipes and approaches developed for pigment-based painting are not conveniently converted into digital space, and the vocabulary of subtractive colour mixing is unfamiliar and unnecessary to many novice painters who are working digitally from the beginning of their training.

The How

To use this application, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by collecting up to five colour values in RGB format (0 - 255 range). These colours represent the chromatic highlight values of objects that you are going to paint digitally. These values might be collected from a reference image or using some core colour selection tool like Kuler.
  2. Set the colour of each of the five cylinders in this application (above). When you first look at the application, you'll notice two faceted greyscale gradients; both are oriented vertically. You are looking at a cylinder that is oriented with its long axis is on the horizontal axis and it illuminated by two light sources: one illuminating it from directly above and another from below. The cylinder is divided into five segments. Each segment can be selected and its chromatic highlight value set.
  3. Adjust the value of the lights. Turn down the blue value of the light to make the light more yellow and warmer, turn down the red and green values to make the light more blue and cooler.
  4. Collect the colour values by taking a screen capture and then importing the image into your image editing application. Palette export functions will be available soon; these should make using the application more convenient and efficient.