Color - (Lightness|Value|Tone) (White, Gray, Black scale)

1 - About

Lightness, also known as value or tone, is a relative color property.

Some colors are naturally:

  • light like yellow (high lightness, high value)
  • darker, like violet (low lightness, low value)

Black, white and gray are values without color. (without hue ?)

  • White is the highest possible value
  • Black is the lowest value.
  • Gray is the a medium value. The midpoint between black and white, neither dark nor light.

A value is linear and progressive.

In subtractive color (i.e. paints) value changes can be achieved by adding black or white to the color.

  • Adding white paint will make any pigment lighter.
  • Adding black paint will make most pigments darker, but will cause yellow paint to shift in hue to green.

Technical definition:

  • Value is the brightness of an area judged relative to the brightness of a similarly illuminated area that appears to be white (ie highly transmitting). It is then the representation of variation (relative) in the perception of a color or color space's brightness.

The hues have a natural value where they look the purest. All hues can be made in all values.

Value can exist without hue (see achromatic).

3 - Term

Various color models have an explicit term for this property.

  • The Munsell color model uses the term value
  • The HSL color model and Lab color space use the term lightness.
  • The HSV model uses the term value a little differently: a color with a low value is nearly black, but one with a high value is the pure, fully saturated color.

4 - Documentation / Reference

Data Science
Data Analysis
Data Science
Linear Algebra Mathematics

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