Colour at Leeds

This week, although I didn’t manage to make it to the launch of Colour Futures 2013 on Friday, I did manage to get myself down to City University on Wednesday Afternoon to hear four PhD students from Leeds University’s School of Design talk about their research. The afternoon was organised by The Colour Group as their October meeting and committee member Professor Mike Pointer was their to introduce each of the students.

Speakers at the Colour Group Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

Proceedings kicked off with Jason S Kao and the presentation of his research entitled The Adjustments of Colour Saturation for Stereoscopic 3D Perception. The project is looking at the effect of adjusting the saturation of foreground and background objects as a means of creating depth in 3D films and television programmes. He had identified saturation as one of three dimensions of colour that can affect the perception of distance, the other two are hue and brightness. His study concluded that perception could be affected to a similar degree by both increasing the saturation of the foreground or desaturating the background.

Following this was Min-Ho Jung discussing his research on the Difference of Stereoscopic and Monocular Vision on Gonio-apparent Surfaces. Gonio-apparent surfaces are surfaces or materials whose appearance changes with luminance or viewing angle. A prime example of these are iridescent or metallic car paint colours. In his study 10 volunteers (3 male, 7 female) judged a series of sample of different surfaces with mono and stereo vision, creating 8800 observations. There were some differences between viewing the samples with one eye and both, which may prove interesting as according to one member of the group as many as 10% of the population don’t have stereoscopic vision.

The afternoon commenced after a tea break with Chrysiida Kitsara and her research on Colour Appearance Modelling between Physical Samples and their Representation on Large Liquid-crystal Display. This research was based on issues surrounding the use of LCD screens outside of an office environment for commercial purposes, such as in shop window displays and in shopping centre malls for information and advertising. Chrysiida used photographs (which were calibrated) of both the Gretag Macbeth Colour Checker chart and a series of 4 solid colour garments to use as stimuli for volunteers to judge the colours of. The photographs were shown on a Samsung LCD screen rotated to a portrait position next to the actual object. The lighting and position of the viewer were carefully controlled. The experiment has resulted in a prescription for improving the accuracy of colours on LCD screens. The final speaker of the day was Maria Georgoula with her work on Colour Management Methods for Successful Cross-media Reproduction. Maria has been researching the potential for colour proofing on mobile devices and the image fidelity between soft and hard copies.

Much of the research being conducted by the students was very much outside of the areas I studied for my MA. demonstrating just how many areas are covered by the study of colour, from the arts through to science. There was also an alarming amount of mathematics involved, at which point I was totally lost. However I was lucky that because of the extensive background research I did during my own project I had a good enough understanding of the terminology and the issues involved in colour perception and reproduction to keep up with each of the student’s presentations. Overall I learnt a lot and am looking forward to the next meeting of the Colour Group on 30th November.

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About eleanorbydesign

Graduate of MA Graphic Design at London College of Communication

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