November 2017

Know Your True Colors

Everyone perceives color differently, and women are better at it than men. This dates back to the dawn of time and traditional hunter/gatherer roles. Over the years, color-matching has evolved to such a degree that a science has been developed around it complete with its own number values, scales and terminology. There’s also a science behind the human perception of color. It’s called colorimetry and involves the study of human physiology (color receptors in the human eye) and the technology employed to more closely determine how people perceive color. You may wonder how you personally see color. PIX-US recommends that anyone with professional imaging needs test their own color matching aptitude with online tests like X-Rite’s (formerly Gretag Macbeth). Another equally important step is examining your color-viewing tools environment, and that’s where this article can help. We tell you what you can do and why. In the photography and CGI industries, nuances between colors can make or break a project. That’s why we take it so seriously. We want to limit frustration over color-matching by providing background about our process and tips for optimal viewing of our images. The PIX-US Color-Matching Process At  PIX-US we have machines and software to help match the color of your product. These include color-calibrated graphics monitors, color viewing stations from Just NormLicht, and several different color analyzation tools. Several team members (including both men and women) assess the trueness of the match. As part of the color matching process, we pick an area in a mid-value light and not too close to strong colors. Then we work to match that area and have the other areas reach a state where the viewer logically understands it’s the same product whether in shadow or highlight. If we try to match the color of every piece of product in all areas by taking out all highlights, shadows, and color reflections we end up with a flat, boring image that looks like the product was just dropped in with Photoshop, leaving a much less desirable result. Here’s a look at our setup: 1. We have new, color-calibrated monitors. The ultimate goal is to match...