256 RGB Colours – Red to Yellow – Colour picker
This is one of a series of six diagrams that together show all 1530 fully saturated colours in the RGB colour model. Fully saturated colours are produced by mixing two primary colours together.
Each diagram shows 256 colours starting with a primary and finishing with a secondary colour or visa-vera:
256 RGB Colours - Red to Yellow - Colour picker
TRY SOME QUICK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TO GET STARTED
About the diagram
This is one of a series of six diagrams that together show all 1530 fully saturated colours in the RGB colour model.
Each diagram shows 256 colours starting with a primary and finishing with a secondary colour or visa-versa:
- Red (primary colour) to yellow (secondary colour)
- Yellow (secondary) to green (primary)
- Green (primary) to cyan (secondary)
- Cyan (secondary) to blue (primary)
- Blue (primary) to magenta (secondary)
- Magenta (secondary) to red (primary)
Understanding the diagram
- All the colours in this diagram have been produced by mixing different proportion of red and green light. The third primary colour, blue, is always off.
- The diagram shows a stripe of red (primary colour) at the top, so, red has been turned to maximum and green to minimum intensity.
- The stripe of yellow at the bottom results from both red and green being set to maximum intensity to produce the secondary colour.
- The block of colour swatches between the stripes are made up of 16 rows and 16 columns.
- The first swatch at top left matches the red stripe: red = 255, 00, 00.
- The last swatch at bottom right matches the yellow stripe: yellow = 255, 255, 00.
- To make sense of this, it helps to understand how RGB colour notation works:
- When mixing any RGB colour, three numbers (separated by commas) show how much red, green and blue light is to be used.
- The minimum value for each light source is 0. In this case the light is fully off.
- The maximum value for each light source is 255. In this case the light source is fully on.
- As each number increases so does the intensity of the corresponding light but the wavelength, and so the colour we see, stays the same.
|RGB colour values
|Maximum value for each light source (fully on)||255||,||255||,||255|
|Values between 0 and 255||1 to 254||1 to 254||1 to 254|
|Minimum value for each light source (fully off)||0||,||0||,||0|
Now let’s look at RGB colour values in detail
RGB colour values are represented by decimal triplets (base 10) or hexadecimal triplets (base 16). These triplets are used in software and apps to select a colour.
- In decimal notation, an RGB triplet is used to represent the values of red, then green, then blue.
- Decimal numbers between 0 and 255 are selected for each value:
- Red = 255, 00, 00
- Yellow = 255, 255, 00
- Green = 00, 255, 00
- Cyan = 00, 255, 255
- Blue = 00, 00, 255
- Magenta = 255, 00, 255
- In hexadecimal notation, an RGB triplet is used to represent the value of red, then green, then blue.
- Hexadecimal numbers between 00 and FF are selected for each value.
- The hash symbol (#) is used to indicate hex notation:
- Red = #FF0000
- Yellow = #FFFF00
- Green = #00FF00
- Cyan = 00FFFF
- Blue = #0000FF
- Magenta = #FF00FF
- The sequence of hexadecimal values between 1 and 16 are: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E and F.
- The sequence of hexadecimal values between 17 and 32 are: 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,1A,1B,1C,1D,1E and 1F.
Some key terms
- To be clear about the RGB colour model it is useful to remember first that:
- The visible spectrum is the range of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that correspond with all the different colours we see in the world.
- A spectral colour is a colour corresponding with a single wavelength of visible light, or with a narrow band of adjacent wavelengths.
- The human eye, and so human perception, is tuned to the visible spectrum and so to spectral colours between red and violet. However, because of the way the eye works, we can see many other colours which are produced by mixing colours from different areas of the spectrum. A particularly useful range of colours is produced by mixing red, green and blue light.
- RGB colour is an entirely different approach to producing and managing colour.
- RGB colour is an additive colour model in which red, green and blue light is combined in various proportions to reproduce a wide range of other colours. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colours, red, green, and blue.
- Except for the three primary colours, RGB colours are not spectral colours because they are produced by combining colours from different areas of the visible spectrum.
- RGB colour provides the basis for a wide range of technologies used to reproduce digital colour.
- RGB colour provides the basis for reproducing colour in ways that are well aligned with human perception.
- When an observer has separate controls allowing them to adjust the intensity of overlapping red, green and blue coloured lights they are able to create a match for a very extensive range of colours.
- When looking at any modern display device such as a computer screen, mobile phone or projector we are looking at RGB colour.
- Magenta is an RGB colour for which there is no equivalent spectral colour.
A colour model is the how-to part of colour theory. Together they establish terms and definitions, rules or conventions and a system of notation for encoding colours and their relationships with one another.
A colour model is a way of:
- Making sense of the colours we see around us in the world.
- Understanding the relationship of colours to one another.
- Understanding how to mix each type of coloured media to produce predictable results.
- Specifying colours using names, codes, notation, equations etc.
- Organising and using colours for different purposes.
- Using colours in predictable and repeatable ways.
- Working out systems and rules for mixing and using different types of colour.
- Creating colour palettes, gamuts and colour guides.
- The observation of colour depends on:
- The range and intensity of wavelengths of visible light emitted by a light source, and the various media and materials it encounters on its journey to the retina of a human eye
- Optical phenomena such as absorption, dispersion, diffraction, polarization, reflection, refraction, scattering and transmission.
- Predispositions of an observer, such as their personal and social experience, health and state of mind.
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