Chromalyzer allows you to organize according to lightness values, Hue values and Chroma values. There are many ways to organize colors and priority must be given to one value over another if you wish to take a 3 dimensional model and display it in a 2 dimensional grid. Consider the following example for the arrangement of the exact same set of colors.
The first arrangement above arranges 120 colors such that colors are organized with priority given to similarities in Lightness and Chroma.
The second arrangement uses the exact same set of colors, but priority is given to placing colors of similar Hue adjacent to one another.
The third organization breaks this down still further, creating different priorities for Bands of color where the priority for Hue is broken out for several bands of Chromatic values. The matrix gives you control of how you define the rules for the color space that defines how you wish to arrange your palette, and enables multiple “what if” scenarios to be performed almost instantly.
In order to describe where LAB colors are placed relative to one another in the one or two dimensional, plane the Chromalyzer program allows you to define a Matrix for a color grid using the 3 values, Row Card and Chip and to assign color values for this grid using a cubic representation for what we call the RCC color space.
It is possible to generate new color collections by describing the gamut or boundaries of the colors that are available for you to include in a new palette. This we refer to as your RCC color space and it is this that Chromalyzer will divide into a series of individual matrix colors. However many colors you wish to specify for the new collection will be organized into a matrix of rows cards and chips that is a representation of the overall gamut defined in the RCC color space.
The Matrix Definition scale controls allow you to generate a theoretical gamut of color in the RCC cube and allow you to set a range of color values for each of the 3 matrix parameters. In the RCC Matrix the Card parameter controls the range of color that runs from left to right and is the front elevation of the cube. You can set Start Hue, How Light the initial color is and how saturated. If you were to divide the RCC space into just 7 Cards, the end result would be that you would have 7 colors that were each the average or most central point of each of the seven Matrix Zones that the RCC cube was divided into across the face of the RCC space cube.
If we wish to divide this RCC space into a series of cards with more than one row of color cards, we must describe in what way the subsequent colors chips should vary from the initial color on the card for each of the extra rows we are going to add. By changing the Parameters of the Saturation, Whiteness and Blackness for the Rows you can establish the gamut for the range of color variation that will be apparent between each Row of colors that are eventually created in the new palette.
The variation between the level of Whiteness, Blackness and Saturation between the settings you choose for Card and Row will become apparent in the color from the top of the RCC cube space to the color at the bottom of the space.
If we wish to create 2 rows of 7 color cards in our new collection the resulting 14 color samples will be the average of the color values described by the 14 matrix quadrants for the colors in the face of the RCC cube.
The colors in the first row have been set to be lighter than the colors in the second row, but they will still share the same basic Hue.
We can also add additional color Chips to each of the 14 color cards effectively creating let downs or stripe cards for each card in each row. Again the difference between the levels that are set for Saturation, Whiteness and Blackness between the levels for the card and the levels for the Chip will determine the gamut and the range of difference between each of the chips that we want to add to our new palette. If we want to add just 3 chips to each the 7 cards on each of the 2 rows, we are now creating now 42 Matrix quadrants that will be averaged to create the 42 colors in the new palette.
Having used Matrix Definition controls to define the gamut it is now possible to key in the values to generate the colors for the Rows, Cards and Chips
The Generate New Color If No Match option should always be checked if colors are being generated from theoretical color space defined by the Matrix color scales. All other checkboxes should be left blank as they are not relevant when using Matrix defined RCC color space. Key in the number of Rows Columns and Chips you wish to generate and the Generate option will create colors according to the defined settings. Send this output either to a Card View or a Grid to display the results.
Using the Matrix to arrange Measured or Real color data
In addition to Chromalyzer generating colors for each Row Card and Chip location that correspond to the RCC color space as defined by the Matrix Definitions, it is possible to allocate “actual” colors that match to the generated color values.
The Data to be used by the Matrix element should first be imported into a Data Element, and then connected to the input element at the top of the Matrix Element.
Selecting this option and limiting the matches to 5 DE for example, causes the program to first calculate what the optimum color values would be to create a collection of colors that conforms to the gamut and RCC arrangement specified by the Matrix definitions. It will then compare each of these color values to all of the colors in the Input Database. Where there is a color value that is a “match” between the calculated color and any given color in the input data file, instead of using the Generated color value for this Row Card or Chip location the color from the Input data file will be used instead.
In some cases based on how loose the tolerance is that defines a match between the calculated Matrix Grid color value and the color values in the input database, there may be more than one color in your input data file that is a match for any given Row Card and Chip grid location. Also you may find that some colors in the input database could be a match for more than one of the Matrix defined RCC grid locations. In this case you have several options.
Checking the box “Use each color only once” will result in each color in the input data file being assigned to the grid location where it is the best possible match and not being used again.
Checking the Box Limit to one color chip per location will prevent more than one color from being placed in the grid location of the output display, the best possible color match color will be the only color used. Not checking this box may cause multiple colors to be visible in a single Row Card or chip location.
Limit to one color per location checked
Limit to one color per location NOT checked
If you want to only use colors from your input data file, leave the “Generate new color if not match” box unchecked. As well as the “Limit Matches to Tolerance of” box.
WARNING: Leaving Limit Matches to Tolerance unchecked can result in extremely long calculation times. If you have a large number of RCC grid locations e.g. 4 rows, 28 cards 5 chips, this creates an output arrangement of 560 color grid locations. Each of these colors must be compared multiple times to each of the colors in the input database to determine which color should be used to produce the optimal outcome. This is a highly complex series of calculations; older computers in particular may take several hours to complete this task if the input database is also large. It is recommended that the “Limit Match Criterion To” should always be checked and some DE limit be placed on the match criterion even this is extremely high.
Matrix RCC Space Reference Input Data
Another option exists for creating RCC color space to arrange or create new color palettes. Existing color arrangements that have been arranged manually that describe relationships between colors can be used for this purpose. An example of this is the 1344 space in the example data files. This uses “real” colors that have been organized into a visually pleasing arrangement.
This data can be used as reference data to generate the RCC color space parameters by connecting this data into the node on the side of the Matrix element.
The Matrix RCC space is defined by the colors in the data file that have been assigned Row Card and Chip values manually per the imported data file. The gamut and organization of colors for the Matrix Cube is now described by the relative positions of the color values in the 1344 space matrix definition file.
Any new color palettes generated will now follow the same basic rules of organization described by the colors by the 1344 space reference data. This describes a completely different set of “Rules” as to which colors belong where in relation to one another. Using this data as the matrix RCC reference, asking for another new palette but using the same setting of 2 rows of 7 cards with 3 chips per card produces a very different result.
Similarly adding “Real” data points and setting parameters to use these colors as long as there is a match within 20 DE forces the program to place actual colors from your input database into the Matrix grid Output. In the following example using colors from the 144 color sample file produces a collection that follows the same organization but uses different color values.
Formatting Matrix Reference Data files
It is possible to create any number of Matrix RCC space reference files to assist in the organization of input data. In this way you can quickly and easily perform numerous “what if” scenarios to generate multiple variations on how to arrange input color data. It is important to ensure that database files that you intend to use as Matrix RCC space reference files are structured such that the Row Card and Chip data forms a perfect grid.
In other words, each row must have an equal number of cards, and cards must have an equal number of chips on every row. Any variation to this may cause the output of the matrix using this as reference data to position colors unreliably.
Several examples of Reference data files are included with the program, experimenting with these files will enable you to become more familiar with how this feature can be used, and how you can develop more reference files that may be more appropriate for your own needs.
Good Matrix RCC space Reference data
Bad Matrix RCC space Reference data
The File menu enables you to save and open the work that you have done using Chromalyzer in a variety of ways. Using the Save option the entire content of the Workspace including all Collection elements, Filters etc are saved exactly as they are currently organized. Changes in Grid elements or scratchpads etc. are saved exactly as they are, opening a Saved file will not restore the workflow to the state of data in the input files, it will be exactly as you last saved it.
When saving your work a filename is required and in the event that no filename has yet been entered you will be prompted to create a name to save your workspace under. Subsequently selecting Save will write the current state of the workflow to the same filename overwriting the previous version. If you wish to retain the original version and create a new version you must select “Save As” and give a new filename. The program will create an extension .CHR and all data used in the current workflow is stored in this file format. Any changes to data in the “Collections” that are saved in the Chromalyzer workflow will be saved in this workflow file, however it does not change the actual data file originally imported into collection elements.
It is also possible to save individual components of a workflow, or several selected components such as filters or functions that have taken time to set up that may be useful for use in future comparisons. For example a set of filters that enable you to split up color space into 15 lightness levels can be saved as one file.
These can be loaded as a complete file using the Open option or merged into an existing workflow using the Selective Save or Selective Load/Merge option.
All the individual elements of the workflow are displayed when selectively saving to allow you to choose which to save and these are also displayed when selectively loading the original saved file. Checking the box of each element you want to load allows this to be saved/retrieved.
Printing Current View
Use the File menu to select Print Current View to send the content of the “View” window to the printer. The settings of the printer can be set using Windows Printer settings to change from Portrait mode to Landscape Mode.
For example if an LAB view element is currently the active view, you will print a picture of the color data in whatever aspect of the 3d view is currently visible on the screen. If the data is being displaying from a collection element, these colors will be printed exactly as they appear on the screen. If you wish to increase the scale of the printed output you have the option to select the number of pages that this will be divided into, scaling of the image will be automatically calculated to fit the selected output.
There are several actions that once performed during the course of a working session may result in your losing a significant amount of work if it later turns out that you have made a mistake. It is strongly recommended that you “Save” your work on a regular basis, and especially before making any significant changes to your project. In the event however that you do make an error or simply wish to revert back to a previous point in time the undo option allows you to go back to the point at which you last performed one of a series of actions.
It should be noted that this does not simply undo the very last action; rather it restores the state of the program to a place in time that the action stated in the Undo option displays. Therefore if you for example place a grid element, add data to the grid, Update the Grid, edit several colors in a grid then select “Undo” the undo point would be the action of Creating the grid, all the editing of the colors in the grid since “creating” the grid would be lost as these actions took place after the “Create Grid” option.
Note: When editing a color, if you want to restore the data for any colors that have been edited back to the original state, remember that you can always open the original data tab, find the color in this element, place it into the scratchpad, clear the data that you edited and import the scratchpad data back into the chip in the grid.
Undo Restore Points
Import Collection – Restores program to the state at which the last data set was imported
New - Undo reverts back to previous state.
Collection Shape Change - needed?
Add Function Element – Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Add Matrix Element - Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Add Grid Element - Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Add Filter Element - Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Add 3D View Element - Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Add Card View Element - Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Add Collection Element - Restores program back to the point that the last element was added.
Interpolate Row - Restores program back to the point prior to last interpolation
Interpolate Card - Restores program back to the point prior to last interpolation
Interpolate Chip - Restores program back to the point prior to last interpolation
Generate Matrix - Restores program back to the point prior to generation
Arrange - Restores program back to the previous step before arrange
Normalize - Restores program back to the step prior to normalize