Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining color terms, part of Photoshop for Designers: Color.
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The Graphic Arts in general, in the field of color in particular, has many specialist terms and its fair share of jargons. Now before we begin working with color let's define some of those terms that I'll be using frequently. I am going to limit myself to the color terms that Photoshop uses, the first of which is Hue, which is synonymous with color, when we use terms like red, green, yellow, we are describing the Hue. Together with Saturation and Brightness the Hue is one of the three distinct attributes that makes up the qualities of a color.
If we look at the Color Picker, the Hue can be adjusted by moving the vertical color slider up and down and you can see that the numbers here are changing and they are changing to reflect the colors' angle around the color wheel. The second of our triumvirate of Hue, Saturation and Brightness is Saturation, which together with Hue and Brightness describes a color. Specifically, this relates to the purity of the color and how much white content there is in the color.
If we look at the color picker, I'll put my color right there in the middle of the color field and if I move to the right I am increasing the Saturation, we have less white content and if I move to the left, I am decreasing the Saturation, we have more white content. This is also referred to as the tint of a color. The next term is the Brightness, synonymous with luminance. Sometimes the HSB color model is referred to as the HSL, Hue, Saturation and Luminance color model, and this is the perceived intensity of light or dark in the color.
The brightness is related to how much black content there is in the color, and back to the Color Picker, if I move up, I am making the color brighter, and if I move down, I am making the color darker. Value is the gray value of a color when the color is desaturated or when the image is converted to the Grayscale Color Mode. We'll see that Red and Green have the same value, as do Cyan and Yellow. If I come to the Info panel, I currently have my second color to read gray values.
The gray value of the red is 69 %, the same as that of the green. If I move over what was formerly of the Cyan, its gray value is 48%; likewise, the great value of the Yellow is 48%. So those are the terms that I'll be using frequently throughout this course; Hue, Saturation, Brightness and Value.
- Defining color terms
- Using Kuler to create color palettes
- Understanding additive and subtractive color
- Understanding color management
- Using the Levels, Curves, Auto Tone, and Auto Contrast adjustments
- Color correction
- Selecting color—from the Magic Wand to Color Range
- Neutralizing blacks and whites with blend modes
- Matching colors
- Saturating and de-saturating colors
- Increasing saturation with Vibrance
- Designing with spot color
- Colorizing images