HSB Colour Model – Discs


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HSB Colour Model - Discs

The RGB colour model uses colour values that identify how much red, green and blue light is present in a colour. The HSB colour model uses colour values to identify the hue and the level of saturation and brightness.
In the HSB colour model brightness (colour brightness) refers to the difference between the way a colour appears to an observer in well-lit conditions compared with its subdued appearance when in shadow or when poorly illuminated.

About the diagram

Some key terms

  • In this resource, the terms brightness and colour brightness have distinct meanings. The first refers to a property of light, and the second to a property of colour as detailed below.
  • Brightness (as opposed to colour brightness) is used to refer to a property of light.
  • Colour brightness is used to refer to how much colour something appears to emit or reflect towards an observer.
  • When brightness is used in connection with the HSB colour model it is used alongside hue and saturation and refers to the method of selecting and adjusting colours in software applications such as Adobe Illustrator.
  • The HSB colour model is a representation of colours that combines hue, saturation, and brightness components.
  • In the HSB brightness represents the intensity or lightness of a colour, with higher values indicating brighter or lighter colours.
  • This entry discusses colour brightness and the HSB colour model, where H represents hue, S represents saturation, and B represents brightness.
  • Colour brightness can be understood as the variation in how a colour is perceived by an observer under well-lit conditions compared to its more muted appearance when in shadow or under poor illumination.
  • In the HSB colour model:
    • Hue refers to the perceived difference between colours and is usually described using names such as red, yellow, green, or blue.
    • Saturation refers to the vividness of a colour compared to an unsaturated colour.
    • Brightness refers to the perceived difference in the appearance of colours under ideal sunlit conditions compared to poor lighting conditions where a hue’s vitality is lost.
      • Brightness can be measured as a percentage from 100% to 0%.
      • As the brightness of a fully saturated hue decreases, it appears progressively darker and achromatic.

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