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Colour in art, science, design, conservation, research, printmaking, digital technologies, textiles.
Gjovik University College, Gjovik, Norway
8th - 11th June 2010

Below are the abstracts for the conference. More will be added as they become available.

Abstract: Nano Photonic in Nature and Art: A brief overview
Keynote speaker: Serge Berthier
Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, UMR CNRS - Université Pierre et Marie Curie
'Photonic' sounds like a very modern word, and in fact it is. It takes actually a more and more important place in our devices, together with, or in concurrence with, other new technologies like plasmonic for example. But in fact concerning colour, it is a very hold technology. Since the apparition of vision, animals have developed photonic structures that give rise to the most beautiful colours. But even in artificial devices, men have been able to manage such structures since many centuries, in parallel with the mastery of pigmentary colorations.

We will first present the principle and the main types of photonic structures encountered in nature, mainly in insects, and their main characteristics: They have generally a multi-scaled structure, each scale been affected by a structural disorder. We will focus on the dynamic aspect of these colours i.e. their possibility to change under a given constraint (temperature, hygrometry...). As the actual photonic crystals, the natural structures can be classified according to the number of dimensions in which periodicity develops.

Since the origin, men have used these structures for artistic purpose by incorporating them in their masterpieces. We will present various examples of such bio inspiration in different geographic and historical contexts.

In a second part, we will consider the artificial production of physical colours thanks to metallic nano-particules embedded in an insulating matrix. These coloured glasses seem to have been first discovered by the roman in the IVth century (see for example the well known Lycurgus cup) but industrial technique has been developed by the Abbasids around the 9th century and then diffused around the Mediterranean sea by the south: Egypt, Morocco, Spain and finely Italy where we still find an important activity (Gubbio, Derutta).


Abstract: Evaluation of colour-correcting lenses
Vien Cheung
School of Design, University of Leeds, UK
Approximately 5% of the world’s population suffer from what is commonly called colour blindness. A small number of products are on the market that claim to improve colour discrimination for colour-blind observers. This study evaluates the performance of a particular product (ColorView A5) product by performing psychophysical experiments with a colour-blind observer.

Without correction the observer was only able to respond correctly for 12 of the 25 Ishihara test plates; with correcting lenses, the observer scored 100% on the Ishihara test. However, performance of the observer on the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue test deteriorated with colour-correcting lenses with the error increasing substantially from a score of 188 to 380. This suggests that the correcting lenses do not reliably improve colour discrimination and may, in fact, make it worse. However, they did enable the observer to pass the Ishihara test.


Abstract: Adding colour to teaching: an anatomical palette
Gabrielle Finn and Karen Fleming
Durham University, UK
Historically, anatomy has been taught by dissection. Cadavers are useful for studying the anatomy of large organs and give an overview of spatial orientation. However, anatomy is most commonly encountered by medical practitioners in the form of living anatomy and medical imaging. Students should also be encouraged to engage in teaching activities with an emphasis upon living anatomy. Furthermore, clinicians often blame anatomists for teaching students too many details and not enough clinically relevant structures, alternative approaches to anatomy teaching allow the clinical relevance of the gross anatomy to be emphasized to students.

Anatomy is a subject of rote learning. The monochrome appearance of cadaveric specimens coupled with the emotional impact of studying within a dissecting room can result in students struggling to engage with teaching.

At Durham University we utilise a variety of teaching modalities in order to add colour to our anatomy teaching. These include, the Virtual Human Dissector™, body painting and wearable art. The teaching methods employed enable living anatomy to be emphasised as this is the context in which anatomy is primarily encountered within clinical practice.

The approaches utilised appeal to different learning styles, such as kinaesthetic and visual learners. The striking visual impact and the procedures followed by students aid memorability of the content taught, and thus promotes retention of knowledge.

Alternative approaches to teaching, such as computer projection onto volunteers and body painting, are combined with the teaching of clinical skills. Approaches designed to improve students’ anatomical knowledge therefore inform their approach to future patients as students develop empathy, professionalism and communication skills whilst participating in such sessions.

Students have reported our approaches, including body painting, as highly motivating exercises. Their use in large group teaching is feasible. In our experience its main advantage appears to be the creation of what we call ‘learning landmarks’: vivid experiences which are memorable in themselves, and which then provide access to the educational content associated within that context . In particular, students acquire a good understanding of dimensions and positions of anatomical structures using this method whilst studying. Literature is in accordance with the idea that body painting is a highly memorable experience, which gives students an appreciation of the links between visual, tactile and auditory aspects of human anatomy.

Such teaching methods are also used for widening participation and public engagement as well as being part of a science and art collaboration with the University of Ulster. This collaboration has lead to art informing science, and the identification of anomalies within the medical literature, specifically in relation to dermatomes and other maps of the body.

This presentation will demonstrate some of the teaching methods utilised in our undergraduate medical education and describe the impact of these upon students’ learning. Qualitative and quantitative data will be presented to demonstrate the impact of such modalities on retention of knowledge and student engagement. Outputs from science and art collaborations will also be shared, emphasising how art has informed medicine.


Abstract: Introduction to color correction for immersive dome projections
Jeremie Gerhardt
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Rechnerarchitektur und Softwaretechnik (FIRST), Germany
The growing evolution of display size, display technology and tiled displays installations offers multiple choices for the construction of immersive environments. Screen surfaces for panoramic projections, full cylindric projections to dome projections can easily be designed and built with automatic setups for the projectors. Such installations bring new experiences to the observer, such as a wider angle of view, freedom of direction where to look and interaction with the environment.

In this paper we introduce an immersive dome projection system with the possibility to display 3D stereoscopic content and non-stereoscopic content. Our tiled displays installation consists of a half-sphere projection surface of 4 meters in diameter with six seats. The whole surface is covered by 8 projectors: 5 for the panorama region and 3 for the zenith region.

The total number of projector is 16, divided in two groups of 8 beamers offering the possibility of stereoscopic projection. Each beamer has been modified by Infitec Gmbh such that an observer wearing spectacles with corresponding filters will receive two different images: one on the right eye and one on the left eye. The Infitec Gmbh approach does not require special screen surface but the result of the filtering turns the installation in a multi-primaries display: each eye receive a slightly different set of primaries. Therefore one group of projectors is reddish and the other is greenish. If this phenomenon is not too disturbing when the observer wears the spectacles for stereoscopic projection it becomes disturbing for non stereoscopic projection without spectacles.

By the mean of color correction matrices on the RGB digital values to control the projector, we propose in this paper different corrections depending of the content projected: stereoscopic or non-stereoscopic projection.


Abstract: Colour, Code and Creativity
Keynote speaker: Øyvind Kolås
Independant Software consultant
Coding is a craft that in some ways is similar to writing poetry, fiction or music, compared to traditional engineering diciplines. This presentation compares the development of code concepts and ideas for two color-imaging related projects.

One project is primarily scientific, the other primarily artistic; both projects are built and iteratively evolved in code and various geometric and visual metaphors and abstractions.


Abstract: Colour association in Chinese culture - Colour selection based on the Five-Element Wu Xing System
Tien-Rein Lee
Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan
How does one make color choices among the many variations in daily life? For the Chinese, fengshui, qi, Dao, yin and yang are major components rooted in the culture. Based on ancient wisdom, the five-element system has been successfully interwoven with man and the natural world. Here life must balance and harmonize with nature and the universe through the five-element system. Phenomena such as orientation, season, color, sound, facial organs, viscera, stars, and numbers have been intimately associated with life through the five-element or
Wu Xing system.

Five Element Wood Fire Earth Gold (metal) Water
Five Colors Cyan Red Yellow White Black
Five Orientations East South Centre West North
Four Seasons Spring Summer Last 18 days of each season Autumn Winter
Five Sounds Jue Zhi Gong Shang Yu
Five Faicial-Organs Eyes Tongue Body Nose Ears
Five Viscera Liver Heart Spleen Lungs Kidneys
Five Regularities Benevolence Virtue Trust Justice Wisdom
Eight Gua Jian, Zun Li Gen, Kun Jian, Dui Kan
Ten Numbers 1, 2 3, 4 5, 6 7, 8 9, 10
Ten Heavenly Stems Jia, Yi Bing, Ding Wu, Ji Geng, Xin Ren, Gui
Twelve Earth Branches Yin, Mao Si, Wu Zhen, Shu, Chou, Wei Shen, You Hai, Zi

Since color is one of the major components of the Five-Element System, everything in life can be associated with colors through a conjoined converting process. Color selection informs the interaction among people, and between people and the universe. Depending on the goal of one’s pursuit, the five-element model can function as interface between fate and human destiny. This study explores how Chinese life is associated with five-element based paradigms. Models are used to explain how the Chinese utilize the five-element system to select colors in daily life.

Figure 1: Conjoint diagrams of five colors, five orientations, four seasons,
five sounds, five solid viscera, and five regularities of Five-Element reciprocal
generation (Creative) Model
Figure 2: Conjoint diagrams of Same components of Five-Element
Reciprocal Restriction (Destructive) Model


Abstract : Boosting Colour Features for Robust Keypoint Detection
Albrecht Lindner
EPFL - I&C - LCAV, Switzerland
This article shows that keypoint detection can be improved for a specific task by training a detector on RGB images. We demonstrate our approach in an urban environment, where the keypoint detector should focus on stable man-made structures and ignore objects that undergo natural changes, such as vegetation and clouds. In addition, the learned detector is robust to light changes. We use WaldBoost learning with task specific training samples in order to train a keypoint detector with such capabilities.

We show that our approach generalizes to a broad class of problems where the task is known beforehand.


Abstract : Human Visual Perception and Retinal Diseases
Carmen Lupascu
Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
Retinal diseases are causing alterations of the visual perception leading sometimes to blindness. For this reason, analysis of retinal images is fundamental for early detection and diagnosis of retinal pathologies. Retinal images may be analyzed quickly, with the use of digital image processing techniques, and computer-assisted diagnosis systems may be developed in order to help the ophthalmologists to make a diagnosis.

A brief introduction to the human visual system is given and the alterations of the visual perception caused by retinal diseases are described.

In this talk, two computer-assisted systems for the detection of retinal landmarks (optic disc and vasculature) will be shortly reviewed.

The aim of the methodology for the detection of the optic disc (OD) was to provide automatically the contour of the OD. The first step was to localize roughly the position of the OD and after that to estimate it’s boundary by fitting the OD with a circle. The best circle which fits the OD was chosen from a set of circles using a regression based method. We applied the algorithm on the 40 images from the DRIVE database (publicly available at and we achieve a 95% success rate for the localization of the OD which is a remarkable result with respect to past results. We achieved also a 70% success rate for the circle that best fits the OD.

A vessel map was automatically generated using FABC (Feature-based AdaBoost Classifier), a supervised method which trains an AdaBoost classifier with manually labeled images. This feature vector encoded a rich description of vessel-related image properties. The performance of the binary classifier is measured using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves. The mean of the areas under the ROC curves generated by FABC over all DRIVE images was 0.9536.


Abstract : GREENER: Green Nanotechnology for Environmentally Friendly Pigments from Sustainable Resources
Veronica Marchante
University of Alicante, Spain
The GREENER programme is a collaborative project designed to further develop and implement a number of nanotechnologies leading to more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to existing petroleum chemistry-based organic pigments, which face increasingly challenge due to their significant contribution to carbon emission and the gradual depletion of world crude oil reserve. It is going to be research alternatives based on coloration of nanoclays with a variety of dyes including natural and functional varieties. Therefore, in terms of understanding the interactions between various dyes and nano-clays, significant advances have been made in the last few years, as a result of the intensive research carried out at the University of Leeds in collaboration with Core12, and at the University of Alicante in collaboration with TNO (Netherland).

It is also clear, through these studies that a number of challenges still remain when attempting to expand the range of colour gamut, such as colour-bleeding, poor light-fastness and poor weather-resistance compared to organic pigments. The GREENER programme will take the state-of-the-art technologies in coloured nano-clays as a baseline and develop greener nano-pigments beyond those currently exist. Some of the main challenges that this projects intends to achieve are:
  • Success in an strategic impact, i.e., improving colorant technologies, promoting application of nano-technology in large scale industry, strengthening EU’s
    leading position in the implementation of nano-technology and the conventional colour chemistry industries and its affine ones.
  • Enhancement of environmental sustainability of manufacturing processes.
  • Promote the creation of markets for products and processes utilising “green nanotechnology”.
  • Reduce the demand of nonenvironmentally friendly raw materials and elimination of use of hazardous substances in production processes and the reduction
    of non-eco waste material.

Abstract :
A Concise History of the Chromaticity Diagram, from Isaac Newton to the CIE Observer
Claudio Oleari
University of Parma, Physics Department
Colour reproduction can be done in two ways:
1) by visual matching based on recipes; 2) by numerical matching based on colour measurements. The first way dates back to the dawn of time. The second way starts with Isaac Newton (1704), who made the first chromaticity diagram in human history, based on a law, named the "centre of gravity rule". This diagram is a circular shaped figure, useful for the reproduction of the colours of lights by light colour mixing. The same technique is used today, although with updated mathematics and updated measuring instruments. Newton’s original ideas were difficult to understand for 150 years, and more. New mathematics and knowledge of the physiology of vision were necessary.

Throughout the eighteenth century very few people understood Newton and many were against him, but, in spite of this fact, the ideas at the basis of colour reproductions in prints were empirically defined in this century by Jakob Christoffel Le Blon, and practically actuated by Jacques Fabian Gautier d'Agoty with fascinating prints of didactical sections of the human body. A proper understanding of this technique started only in 1924 with M. E. Demichel to conclude in 1937 with Hans E. J. Neugebauer, who used the updated Newton chromaticity diagram.

The physiological way for understanding the colour vision process was opened up by George Palmer (1777) and continued by Thomas Young (1802) who postulated three kinds of fibres as transducers of the visible lights in colour sensations.

In 1852-1853 Hermann Günther Grassmann mathematically formalised Newton’s ideas giving a geometrical representation to the mixing of the colours of lights (the mathematical tools used by Grassmann were developed by him in 1844 and are the ideas of modern linear vector spaces).

Only in 1866 did Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, after a study on complementary lights lasting 15 years, produce a theory based on the three kinds of Young fibres and on the mathematics of Grassmann. The Newton chromaticity diagram took on a half-moon-like shape. Today, this chromaticity diagram is considered to refer to the activations of the three kinds of fibres and the reference frame is termed fundamental.

According to the ideas of Young, Grassmann and Helmholtz, first James Clerk Maxwell (1857) gave numbers to the chromaticity diagram and after him the colour can be measured and the colour of any mixing of lights is correctly specified. The chromaticity diagram was referred to three laboratory primary spectral lights, placed in the corners of an equilateral triangle.

The chromaticity diagram we use today, defined on the experimental data of W. David Wright and John Guild, was standardized by the “Commission Internationale de l'Éclairage” (CIE) in 1931 under the guidance of Dean B. Judd. Following a fascinating idea of Ervin Schrödinger (1920), the reference frame is imaginary (i.e. it is not related to physical lights or to photoreceptor activations) and the colour luminance enters with a conditioning role. After more than two centuries, Newton’s centre of gravity rule can be applied with simple mathematical rules.


Abstract : How Modern Displays Push Conventional Colorimetry to its Limit
Abhijit Sarkar
Technicolor Research, Rennes, France; IRCCyN-IVC, Polytech’ Nantes, University of Nantes, France
One of the basic tenets of conventional applied colorimetry is that the whole population of color normal observers can be represented by a single “standard” observer with reasonable accuracy. The 1964 CIE 10° standard colorimetric observer has indeed served us well in all industrial colour imaging applications, until recently. With the proliferation of modern wide-gamut displays with narrow-band primaries, colour scientists and engineers face a new challenge.

Various recent studies, including those by the current authors, have shown that the colour perception on such displays varies significantly among colour normal observers. Conventional colorimetry has no means to predict this variation. This paper presents an overview of this problem in the context of media and entertainment industry applications. The significance of the effect of observer variability is demonstrated through recent experimental results.


Abstract : COLOUR - The Advantages of a Common Language in Architecture and Design
Keynote speaker: Grete Smedal
Bergen College of Art and Design
Different professions each have different approaches to colour - and today they require different sets of knowledge because they utilise different colour ordering systems. I will address the way architects and designers deal with colour in their work, and discuss specific colour knowledge relative to their professional situation.

If any colour system should be useful at all, it is interesting to ask
'Which one?'

As a colour designer, and in my teaching work at the Bergen College of Art and Design, I recognise the need for a common terminology that enables communication with my customers and students. I also have an obvious need for a precise colour language in my own work. During the initial phase of the creative process, when I plan and analyse, I need a way to sketch, write down and establish the basis for my proposals and solutions. I require clarity.

The system that I have found most useful is NCS (Natural Colour System), which is based on perception. In today’s lecture I will explain the concept behind NCS, which was developed in Sweden, show how the system is built up, explain its simple graphic symbols and advantages.

As a tool for environmental colour design - which is my primary field of work - NCS has proved invaluable throughout all phases of the design process. This includes colour registration and analysis, conceptual work, communication with clients and architects, the implementation phase (including procurement of paints, stains and other materials), and last but not least for archival purposes that will ensure accurate maintenance.

Perhaps the use of NCS can best be illustrated by example. Allow me to share with you the story of Longyearbyen, which is an ongoing project situated at 78 degrees latitude, on the remote island of Spitsbergen.

During recent decades, this mining settlement has developed into an attractive settlement also for scientists and tourists, and the town continues to grow fast. This ongoing project started in 1982, when the Board of
Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani commissioned me to draft a comprehensive Colour Plan that included every building and installation in the town. Today, 30 years later, this original colour plan is still in use and it has been adapted to new challenges as new parts of the town have been developed.

In this complex situation - and over such an extensive timeframe - it was vital to have a common, easily understood colour language. In fact, the project would not have been possible without such a tool.


Abstract :
Laboratory Implementing ISO12646 standards for soft proofing in a standardized printing workflow
Aditya Sole
Gjøvik University College, The Norwegian Color Research
This paper defines one of the many ways to setup a soft proofing workstation comprising of a monitor display and viewing booth in a printing workflow as per the Function 4 requirements of PSO certification.

Soft proofing requirements defined by ISO 12646 are explained and are implemented in this paper. Nec SpectraView LCD2180WG LED display along with Just colorCommunicator 2 viewing booth and X-rite EyeOne Pro spectrophotometer are used in this setup. Display monitor colour gamut is checked for its ability to simulate the ISO standard printer profile (ISOCoatedV2300%.icc) as per the ISO 12646 requirements. Methods and procedures to perform ambient light measurements and viewing booth measurements using EyeOne Pro spectrophotometer are explained. Adobe Photoshop CS4 software is used to simulate the printer profile on to the monitor display, while, Nec SpectraView Profiler software is used to calibrate and profile the display and also to perform ambient light and viewing booth measurements and adjustments.


Abstract :
Controlling Colour in Display: A Discussion on Quality
Jean-Baptiste Thomas
C2RMF / Norwegian Color Research Lab, Gjovik University College
Display technology evolves and changes incredibly fast. Tools designed to control colour within them mostly remain the same since the Cathode Ray Tube era. Should we be afraid of this fact? Which colorimetric accuracy do we need to aim?

This talk considers the purpose of display colorimetric characterization and its accuracy. We propose a qualitative analysis of different characterization models through the relationship between the nature and the number of measurements one need to perform, the display technology and the purpose.


Abstract : From Colour Perception to Neuroscience: An Historic Perspective on Colour Vision
Arne Valberg
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Throughout history there have been different approaches to pursuing a better understanding of colour and colour vision, depending on the phenomena one wanted to explain. Isaac Newton discovered the spectrum and studied colour phenomena as expressions of physical-optical processes in nature. Thomas Young and Hermann von Helmholtz set out to explain the qualitative appearance of colours. The three-colour theory of Young-Helmholtz and the opponent-colour theory of Ewald Hering illuminated different aspects of colour vision.

With the help of James C. Maxwell the three-colour theory eventually became reduced to a three-receptor theory describing additive colour mixtures. While the original three-colour theory was a dead alley, the three-receptor theory became most successful. It provided the foundation for physical colour matches and an advanced colour technology. Hering, who had colour perception as his main concern, appears to have recognized the distinction between receptor excitations and the processes of perception. Nevertheless, he postulated opponent physiological processes as basis for the two pairs of the elementary colours yellow-blue and red-green. These processes later became associated with the activity of cone-opponent cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus of primates. However, today there is a general agreement that colour does neither reside in the receptors, nor in the cone-opponent cells. In view of the insufficient correlates between the activity of cone-opponent cells and the perception of elementary hues, one may ask how elementary colour is processed in the brain. For instance, is there a specific and still undisclosed colour centre in the cortex?


Abstract : Does Subtractive Colour Mixing Exist?
Professor Stephen Westland
School of Design, University of Leeds
Additive colour mixing describes the mixing of lights whereas subtractive colour mixing describes the mixing of dyes and pigments. The optimal primaries of additive colour mixing can be shown to be red, green and blue and for subtractive colour mixing have been shown to be cyan, magenta and yellow; yet, subtractive primaries of red, yellow and blue continue to be taught widely. The reason for this is partly due to a misunderstanding of what a primary is. In addition, ever since Newton’s revelations about the spectrum and his use of a colour circle to illustrate and predict colour mixing, additive and subtractive colour mixing have been confused. The proliferation of various colour wheels and the dominant position that the colour wheel is given in many scholarly texts has exacerbating the problem.

What is the relationship between additive and subtractive colour mixing? This paper will examine the nature of colour primaries and will explore in detail the mechanisms of additive and subtractive colour mixing. In so doing, it will be shown that subtractive colour mixing may be thought of as a special case of additive colour mixing and that the similarities between additive and subtractive colour mixing are greater than the differences.



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