Herewith three sets of 256 planes, each 256-by-256, representing slices of the 24-bit RGB color space along the red, blue, and green axes. There is a reason for doing this.

What happened was, I was trying to pick a color for a schematic on a slide, and I was dissatisfied with all three color-pickers in the software I was using. Because I’ve been doing this for so long, and because I’ve never worked in print, I just think of colors as RGB triples and that’s all there is to it.

So instead of all this color-wheel and CMYK and slider stuff, I imagined all the possible RGB combinations in a big cube, 256x256x256, and started wondering how you might be able to explore it. The answer has some 3D components, obviously, but in the interim you should be able to slide along each of the three axes, and see a plane showing all the 256x256 possible colors for a particular value of red, green, or blue.

The notion of the RGB cube is hardly new, in particular see the nice Processing demo. But nothing out there took a serious whack at dealing literally with the 256x256x256 reality.

It took 93 lines of Java to generate the planes (and only a couple of minutes of processing time on a modest Unix box, I’m impressed) to generate 768 PNGs occupying 110M. Maybe I’ll never do anything with them. Some of them are kind of pretty. Here they are:

Red
00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0a 0b 0c 0d 0e 0f
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 3a 3b 3c 3d 3e 3f
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 4a 4b 4c 4d 4e 4f
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 5a 5b 5c 5d 5e 5f
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 6a 6b 6c 6d 6e 6f
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 7a 7b 7c 7d 7e 7f
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 8a 8b 8c 8d 8e 8f
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 9a 9b 9c 9d 9e 9f
a0 a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 a9 aa ab ac ad ae af
b0 b1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 b8 b9 ba bb bc bd be bf
c0 c1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c6 c7 c8 c9 ca cb cc cd ce cf
d0 d1 d2 d3 d4 d5 d6 d7 d8 d9 da db dc dd de df
e0 e1 e2 e3 e4 e5 e6 e7 e8 e9 ea eb ec ed ee ef
f0 f1 f2 f3 f4 f5 f6 f7 f8 f9 fa fb fc fd fe ff
Green
00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0a 0b 0c 0d 0e 0f
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 3a 3b 3c 3d 3e 3f
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 4a 4b 4c 4d 4e 4f
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 5a 5b 5c 5d 5e 5f
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 6a 6b 6c 6d 6e 6f
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 7a 7b 7c 7d 7e 7f
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 8a 8b 8c 8d 8e 8f
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 9a 9b 9c 9d 9e 9f
a0 a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 a9 aa ab ac ad ae af
b0 b1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 b8 b9 ba bb bc bd be bf
c0 c1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c6 c7 c8 c9 ca cb cc cd ce cf
d0 d1 d2 d3 d4 d5 d6 d7 d8 d9 da db dc dd de df
e0 e1 e2 e3 e4 e5 e6 e7 e8 e9 ea eb ec ed ee ef
f0 f1 f2 f3 f4 f5 f6 f7 f8 f9 fa fb fc fd fe ff
Blue
00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0a 0b 0c 0d 0e 0f
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 3a 3b 3c 3d 3e 3f
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 4a 4b 4c 4d 4e 4f
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 5a 5b 5c 5d 5e 5f
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 6a 6b 6c 6d 6e 6f
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 7a 7b 7c 7d 7e 7f
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 8a 8b 8c 8d 8e 8f
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 9a 9b 9c 9d 9e 9f
a0 a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 a9 aa ab ac ad ae af
b0 b1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 b8 b9 ba bb bc bd be bf
c0 c1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c6 c7 c8 c9 ca cb cc cd ce cf
d0 d1 d2 d3 d4 d5 d6 d7 d8 d9 da db dc dd de df
e0 e1 e2 e3 e4 e5 e6 e7 e8 e9 ea eb ec ed ee ef
f0 f1 f2 f3 f4 f5 f6 f7 f8 f9 fa fb fc fd fe ff

The Perl to generate the table was half as big as the Java to generate the planes.


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
May 19, 2004
· Technology (81 fragments)
· · Color (1 more)
· · Publishing (156 more)

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