Colour TheoryCinematography and Visual Language
• Sir Isaac Newton was one of the first scientists to investigate colourtheory. Around 1671-72 he discovered the origin of colourwhen he shone a beam of light through an angular prism and split it into the spectrum - the various colors of the rainbow.• This simple experiment demonstrates that colourcomes from light - in fact, that colouris light.
• Scientists investigate the properties of colourtheory whereas artists explore its visual effects. Colourin art can be used in many different ways.• Some artists are fascinated by the effects of light; some are interested in the symbolic meaning of color; and some use color to express their emotions.
Colour Wheel• The colour wheel is a useful device to help us explain the relationships between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colours.
COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS• Opposite coloursare diagonally opposite one another on the colourwheel. Opposite colourscreate the maximum contrast with one another. You can work out the opposite color to any primary colourby taking the other two primaries and mixing them together. The result will be its opposite or ‘complementary’ colour.
ADDITIVE and SUBTRACTIVE COLOUR• Additive Colourinvolves the mixing of colored light. The colourson a television screen are a good example of this. Additive primary colors are red, green and blue.• Subtractive Colourinvolves the mixing of colouredpaints, pigments, inks and dyes. The traditional subtractive primary coloursare red, yellow and blue.
HUES• Hue refers to the pure spectral colours of the rainbow. Hue is the term that encompasses all the names we give to specific colours such as red, blue, yellow, and so on. Hue is the name of a distinct colour of the spectrum ( ROY –G – BIV)
Value• The range of colours from light to dark in an image.•
Contrast• The distribution of dark, medium, and light tones in an image.
Contrast Ratio• An image’s contrast ratio is the difference between the darkest and the lightest tonal values within that image.
Chroma• The C component of the LCH (luminance/chroma/hue) colour model. Chroma is similar to saturate, and sometimes is referred to as colourfulness. It describes the purity of a specific hue at a specific lightness.• No chroma would be grey, low-chroma pastel, high chroma, a vivid pure hue.
Saturation• The purity of a colour, independent of its hue and brightness and a lack of grey pollution. The more gray a colour contains, the lower its saturation is. Colours of the highest saturation have no contamination from other hues.
Kelvin• A unit of absolute temperature. An object at zero Kelvin has no energy.•
Colour Temperature• The measurement of the colour of light radiated by an object known as a black body while it is being heated. Colour temperature is measured and expressed in a unit called Kelvin. As this black body increases in Kelvin, its colour goes from warm (red) to cool (blue)
Colour Temperature• Natural day light is not the white light our eyes perceive it to be.• Our eyes automatically white-balance everything we see.• Film reads light much differently than the eye, it interprets the colour of daylight as a bluish hue.
Colour Temperature• 1700k – the light from a match• 1850k – candle flame• 2800-3300k – incandescent light bulb• 3400k studio lamps• 5000-5400k – Direct sunlight at noon• 6000-7500k – overcast daylight• 7000-8000k – 0utside in the shade on a sunny day
Colour Correction Filters• Cinematographers enhance and manipulate film stocks using various filters and coloured gels.• CTO – Colour Temperature Orange• (Converts Daylight into Tungsten)• CTB – Colour Temperature Blue• (Converts Tungsten light into Daylight)• CTB comes in Quarter, Half, and Full Blue