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Training Course 4 : Communicating Colour
Pannon University, Veszprem, Hungary
19-23 May 2009
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Below are the abstracts for the conference. More will be added as they become available.

Abstract: Colour Communication in Graphic Arts
Ákos Borbély
Institute of Media Technology, Budapest Tech, Hungary


Abstract: Photorealism and Abstractions Supporting Communication in Architecture
Ilona Heidal
Chalmers University, Sweden
Today’s design processes involve many different experts and demand new tools and methods of communication and collaboration. Using virtual environments (VEs) as a design tool has become increasingly common. Regarding visual expression, photorealism is often strived for, even though this might not always be in accordance with the main purpose of the visualization projects. During my lecture I will present the state of the art of representing objects, spaces, forms and colours in VEs for architectural design processes. The presentation is based both on research studies and empirical projects. The examples include different applications and different technologies designed to support communication and decision making in environmental planning processes.

The goal for this talk is to increase the understanding of the audience about the impact of choosing the right representations in VEs for communication with different experts and the public. The target audience includes designers, architects, engineers and also professionals interested in communication with the help of new technologies.


Abstract: Colorimetric Properties of Computer Peripherials in Imaging
Dr Balázs Kránicz
University of Pannonia, Institute of Physics
We all are witnesses of the process during which more and more displaying, hard copying and, in general, imaging devices are available as computer peripherials. It is still a cardinal question how colour fidelity can be ensured when exposing, transmitting, displaying or printing a colour image. The essence of the problem lies in the colorimetric properties of the peripherials.

This paper will discuss colour sensors, illuminants, sets of colour primaries, colour mixing methods, colour spaces, gamut problems, the human colour adaptation and characterisation procedures, and make the audience aware of certain facts and methods through which a more convenient image transfer can be reached and undesirable effects can be eliminated.


Abstract: Lights and colour in VR
Cecilia Sik Lányi
University of Pannonia, Virtual Environments and Imaging Technologies Lab
Developing photorealistic virtual environments (VE), for example 3D animations or games or VE used in rehabilitation or therapy
[1], we need to focus not only on the principle of ecological validity: modelling objects and environments, using good texture etc…, similar like real objects and environments, which fit to the users needs, but using correct lighting too. What kind of light is correct in a scene? What is the quality of light? The answer would be: softness, intensity, color, attenuation [2]. What is photorealistic lighting? Most people don’t realize that every light source has distinct color based on its color temperature [3]. We don’t actually see this color because our eyes automatically adapt to changes in color temperature. Our eyes automatically correct the color of the light so that white objects look white under a large variety of yellowish white to bluish white lights [3]. This has to be included in the rendering program. On the other hand if we would like to emphasize the situation in which the observer sees the scene, as e.g. whether we render a street lighting scene in fog or dawn, or a Disco surrounding, some further considerations are necessary, and the present techniques are not always optimal to do such renderings. Lighting a scene in 3D is much like lighting a scene for photography, film or theatre. As an element of design, light must be considered a basic influencing factor at the beginning of the creative process and not something to be added later [4].

Color and lighting is the most critical question and also one of the more complicated things in developing 3D environments. We have to understand relevant aspects of optics, physics, computer science, human perception and arts too. In the real world an artist does not matter if his/her hand, clothes are dirty with the paints or a sculptor sees the final statue in a rough stone with his/her mind’s eye, a 3D animator or software engineer has to know everything about the renderer, what he/she uses.

The presentation shows the basic knowledge in the topic of “Lighting”. The audience will learn the types of virtual lightings:
  •  Point light
  •  Directional light
  •  Ambient light
  •  Spot light
  •  Area light
  •  Volume light
1 Sik Lányi C., (2006) Virtual Reality in Healthcare, Intelligent Paradigms for Assistive & Preventive Healthcare, Ichalkaranje, A., et al. (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, pp. 92-121.
2 Birn J., (2000) Lighting & Rendering, New Riders Publishing
3 Fleming B., (1998) 3D Photorealism Toolkit, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
4 Berndt C., Gheorghian P., Harrington J., Harris A., McGinnis C., (2004) Leraning Maya 6, Rendering, Alias Systems


Abstract: Introduction to Display Processing Techniques
Youngshin Kwak
Samsung, S. Korea
Nowadays, flat panel displays are widely used for colour communication. However, misuse of the display can provide the wrong colour information to others. In this talk, I will explain the colour data flow, followed by the working principles of the flat panel displays such as LCD or PDP. Then the memory colour reproduction and RGBW 4-colour rendering techniques will be introduced as examples of display processing techniques by display manufacturers to improve colour quality.


Abstract: Tutorial on colour communication
Lindsay MacDonald
London College of Communication
This tutorial will present various approaches to teaching the principles of colour to students at undergraduate level. It is based on practical experience over thirty years in a wide variety of teaching situations, and is intended both for students to learn about colour and for teachers seeking techniques and methods they can apply in the classroom. It will draw upon four different traditions of teaching relevant to colour:
  •  Theory - Using mathematics and physics to represent and quantify correlates of colour.
  •  Demonstration - Showing the visual phenomena of colour with aid of suitable equipment.
  •  Scholarship - Reading books, studying the literature and attending exhibitions
  •  Practice - Tactile interaction with materials, and generating patterns of colour in paint or other coloured materials in both physical and digital media.
Any one of these approaches by itself may be a rather arid experience for student and teacher alike. But because colour is multidisciplinary, it is a subject par excellence for enrichment through a combination of approaches. The complementary differences between left-brain and right-brain cognitive states when interacting with colour will be examined. The tutorial will exemplify the various approaches with hands-on colour paper exercises, metameric samples, 3D colour models, and paint mixing. Demonstrations will include the spectrum and the selective absorption of filters, measurement of spectral power distribution and reflectance, and the generation of colour from additive and subtractive primaries.

The tutorial will draw on the experiences of delivering a one-term elective module on ‘Colour and Communication’ in Autumn 2008 to 2nd-year undergraduates in the London College of Communication. The objective was to introduce the multi-disciplinary study of colour and its use for visual communication in art, design and media. The aim was to engage students in interesting and practical ways to appreciate how colour can contribute to visual communication. The great majority of the sixty-five students in the class were from art and design backgrounds, and did not have significant grounding in mathematics or the sciences. They also covered a wide range of abilities, and included a number of students with dyslexia. Yet they produced work of outstanding liveliness and variety and took away knowledge about colour relationships that they will apply in their many fields.


Abstract: Visual Appearance - Colour and beyond
Dr Michael R Pointer
Visiting Professor, University of Leeds, University of the Arts London
This presentation will discuss the components of a framework on which a set of measurements could be made to provide some correlates of the visual appearance of materials be they for example, discrete objects in the home or products in a store. It will be shown that the interactions between the various components of the framework are complex, that physical parameters relating to those objects are influenced, at the perception stage, by the physiological response of the human visual system and, in addition by the psychological aspects of human learning, pattern, culture and tradition, as well as the expectation of the final user of the material: the customer.

The end result might be to conclude that an attempt to measure appearance may be too bold a step to take. Thus, a sub-framework must be considered in terms of what can now be measured, and what might be measured after further investigation and research. By dealing with the optical properties of materials it will be suggested that there are, perhaps, four headings under which possible measures might be made: colour, gloss, translucency and surface texture. It is recognised that these measures are not necessarily independent; colour may influence gloss, colour will certainly influence translucency, and surface texture is probably a function of all three of the other measures.

Colour measurement, colorimetry, is based on the measurement of spectral reflectance, and is an established science that is possible using commercial instrumentation available at reasonable cost. However, some short-comings can be identified. The traditional CIE recommended colorimetric parameters, while providing correlates of visual percepts, are not able to predict the absolute appearance of a coloured sample because no recognition is given to the surround to the sample, the colour of the light source, and, most importantly, the absolute level of the illumination. Colour appearance models provide a viable approach to provide absolute measures of colour appearance and, while their derivation must be assumed to be on-going, the model that is currently recommended for use by the CIE is robust enough to be used as an industrial tool. There are however, a number of parameters that it is not yet possible to model and these will be described. They include the measurement of some modern materials where colour measurements made using a single pair of illumination/ viewing angles are not sufficient to describe the perceived colorimetric effect. Thus, measurement at more illumination/viewing angle combinations is required.

The measurement of gloss is an established methodology but there does seem to be some doubt as to the scientific basis for making the measurements using the present method. The extension of gloss measurement, which is essentially a measurement made at a specific angle depending on the apparent gloss of the sample, can be lead to an investigation of the shape and size of the gloss peak: related to the so-called haze and distinctness-of-image. This measure should be able to provide more information, especially because most materials are not perfect reflectors and this gloss peak will always be influenced by localised diffuse reflectance.

Translucency is probably a subjective term that relates to a scale of values going from total opacity to total transparency. It is possible to make measurements of absorption and scattering using a conventional spectrophotometer but there is little data available that is based on visual observation. The results of some initial experiments will be presented.

Surface texture is an all-together harder measurement to perform because there is no defined taxonomy that can be used to describe the appearance of texture and pattern. The advent of digital imaging systems makes the acquisition of images of materials relatively easy, assuming due consideration is given to the resolution of the image capturing device, usually a digital camera, and the illumination. Characterising these images to give accurate CIE based colorimetry is now possible and the application of suitable analysis software should be able to provide numbers that relate to the perceived texture. The concepts of surface and sub-surface texture must be considered because not all perceived texture originates from the physical structure of a material at its surface. The idea of establishing a series of ‘standard’ textures is not without possibility; such a set of real materials would be useful to help establish perceptual scales. The results of some experiments will be described where the coarseness and glint of a series of car panels have been evaluated.

In addition to measurements of each of these four optical properties, the concept of colour emotion and colour harmony will be introduced. Experiments will be described that attempted to develop colour-science based models for these parameters and these include an investigation of single colour emotional responses using ten colour emotion scales, an investigation of the colour emotion for two-colour combinations and an investigation of the colour harmony of two-colour combinations. In addition, a method will be described in which the total appearance of scene might be measured and related to the final expectation of customer.


Abstract: The many ways to distort a colour: the long path from reality to perception
Alessandro Rizzi
Universitŕ Degli Studi Di Milano
The vision process is a way to sample the reality around us in order to get the information we need to survive. Reality is a very complex light field distribution, thus our vision system has adapted to collect the best information as possible from the widely changing environment.

This talk will present the vision path in its complexity and look at how colour information is subject to changes along this path.


Abstract :
Standardized colour communication and beyond : Keynote Speaker
Janos Schanda
Uni. of Pannonia, Virt. Environments. and Imaging Technologies Lab
Fundamentals of standardized colour communication were laid down in 1930 by the CIE. Methods, based mainly on colour order systems were used for at least two Centuries before this event, but sporadic use is much older.

Standardized colour communication was intended only for describing the equality of colour appearance of two samples under well defined circumstances (i.e. a colour match could be described).

Development was for a long time directed by psychophysical experimentation; physiological findings being considered only recently. Colour matching can now be based on CIEs new LMS cone fundamentals based colour matching functions, and the use of colour appearance models becomes widespread. These give a new possibility to describe a number of colorimetric phenomena.

The extension of all these models to image taking environments is a hot topic studied by a number of institutions.


Abstract : Defining Reality in Virtual Reality : Exploring Visual Appearance and Spatial Experience Focusing on Colour
Beata Stahre
Department of Architecture, Chalmers University of Technology
Motivation :
To highlight the importance and problems of:

The simulation of real world correspondent spatial colour and light appearance in VR
The whole complex spatial experience in VR in the design of architectural VR-visualizations


To identify problems and define and test solutions for simulating …spatial colour and light in VR.
To develop knowledge of the spatial conditions in VR required to convey believable experiences, and to evaluate different ways of visualizing spatial experiences.


To develop the knowledge on how different aspects of a VE, especially colour and light, affect the spatial experience, and thus contribute to a better understanding of the prerequisites for visualizing believable spatial VR-models.


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