HSB colour model & colour brightness

About the HSB colour model and colour brightness

The HSB colour model is an additive colour model used to mix light. Subtractive colour models are used to mix pigments and inks.

  • The RGB and HSB colour models differ only in the way colours are represented in terms of colour notation and handled in software and applications.
  • Both the HSB and RGB colour models involve mixing red, green, and blue light to produce other colours.
  • HSB is popular because it offers an intuitive method for selecting and adjusting colours within applications like Adobe Creative Cloud, which is commonly used in design, photography, and web development.
  • The HSB colour model can be used to describe any colour on a TV, computer or phone screen.

In the HSB colour model:

  • Hue refers to the perceived difference between one colour and another and accounts for colour names such as red, yellow, green or blue.
    • Hue can be measured as a location on a colour wheel and expressed in degrees between 00 and 2590.
  • Saturation refers to the perceived difference between one colour and another in terms of purity.
    • Saturation is measured between a fully saturated colour (100%) and an unsaturated colour that appears dull and washed out, eventually reaching a monochromatic grey tone (0%).
    • A fully saturated colour is produced by a single wavelength or a narrow band of wavelengths of light.
    • On HSB colour wheels, saturation is typically shown to increase from the centre to the circumference.
  • Brightness (colour brightness) refers to the difference between a hue that appears bold and vivid at maximum brightness (100%) and then appears progressively darker in tone until it appears black at minimum brightness(0%).
  • Colour brightness is often evident in the distinction between how a colour appears to an observer under well-lit conditions compared to its more subdued appearance when in shadow or under poor illumination.