Colour Watcher - Munsell model

Munsell was the first person to separate hue, value, and chroma into perceptually uniform and independent dimensions back in the early 1900s. He defined a colour model using people rather than technology and produced a colour book of swatches which showed more colours than is possible on today's sRGB colour space, which has a limited colour gamut designed to match that of televisions and computer displays.

Three-dimensional representation of original measurements

From the Watcher, see the Help>About display which has the opposite diagram for an example of the Hue names surrounding a normal RGB clock face.

The program will display all the Munsell colours, in various modes as these screenshots show...

These are all the 5PB colours that can be exactly converted to RGB. 

Compare this to the previous page which shows the out-of-gamut one!

You scroll to the next hue value by using the arrow keys.


As well as viewing the colours by Hue, you can scroll through them by Chroma - this is C18 (out-of-gamut)


This is the Value display, here with Value = 5 and out-of-gamut again.

There are other programs on the web which will show the Munsell model in these three views.

If you are not sure what a colour is, then you can use the Colour Watcher to read the values for you, in any colour space, so (for instance) you can easily read the RGB values.

Quite neat the program reading itself for our benefit!


However, I have not seen this sort of display anywhere.

I find it most informative as a plot of Munsell compared to HSB - the one opposite is perceptual Value=4.

The 45 degree straight line is where the colours should be if the two Hue angles agreed.

What it shows is where we humans can detect hue changes in different degrees depending on the hue.  As is obvious we are not consistent as machines are and this makes a difference when we adjust colours using computer formula compared to our eyes.


The menu behaves like the Colour Watcher and has the following structure...

How we perceive colours and tones continues to amaze me  - as these 3 snapshots hopefully demonstate.