Graphical interpolation of Munsell data
Keywords:Munsell Color System, CIE coordinates, Visual interpolation, Color measurement
This paper analyzes the problem of converting Munsell color notations (hue, value and chroma) into CIE 1931 Yxy coordinates using the graphical method outlined in 1943 by the Optical Society of America (OSA). Various software programs can now perform this task, running on computers or color control instruments. Nonetheless, the OSA graphical technique remains the reference procedure to transform Munsell notations into CIE coordinates. The ASTM “Standard Practice for Specifying Color by the Munsell System” provides the data and charts needed to perform such conversion. Accordingly, Munsell value can be easily transformed into CIE luminance Y through a search in a data table. However, a guided procedure to graphically convert hue and chroma into CIE chromaticity coordinates is not available yet. To fill this gap, this paper proposes a graphical technique, which can use simple drawing computer programs such as PowerPoint, or more sophisticated tools for Computer Aided Design or Graphic Design, such as SolidWork or Adobe Illustrator. As an example, the proposed procedure is applied to a set of Munsell color chips from the Munsell Book of Colors, with nominal Munsell notations, but unknown CIE coordinates. The CIE Yxy coordinates of the analyzed chips are then digitally obtained by two ad hoc software conversion programs, and by instrumental measurements performed with a commercial spectrophotometer. Finally, a detailed comparison of the graphically and digitally interpolated data and of the instrumental measurements is provided and discussed.
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