Exploring the World of Color Theory with a 3D Modeling Program

Mark Meyer renders out 3D models of colorspaces to compare different ways color is recorded.

From time to time I post plots of color gamuts like the one above. Each time, I get emails asking how I make them, leading me to assume that the world’s thirst for color nerdiness is going unquenched. I’m setting out to fix that in this post.

There are several applications that produce graphics like these on demand including Apple’s ColorSync Utility, ColorThink Pro, and Gamut Vision. These are all terrific applications and they all do a lot more than plot gamuts, but when I make these graphics, I do it from scratch using Blender and its Python scripting interface.

Blender is an open source 3D modeling/rendering application. Because you have to tell it explicitly what to do at every step, working with color geometry in Blender is a really good way to sharpen your understanding of the technical details. And unlike software dedicated specifically to plotting colors, Blender imposes no limitations on your creativity.

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