A quick guide to choosing a color palette for your 3D Renderings.
What is a colour palette?
Firstly, a colour palette, in the digital world, refers to the full range of colors that can be displayed on a device screen. When creating any type of 3D Rendeirng, our job is to make the images look stunning in every way possible, this is no small task. A color scheme is the choice of colours used in the design, this can be selected by the client or the designer before materials are added to the 3D model to create the image style and appeal. These can be selected by using different online tools such as color-hex. Likewise, colour schemes can be selected using reference images and mood boards. On the other hand, within product rendering you may want to draw attention to a button or user interaction using bright colours. Read here how Salesforce studied colour to make a better user experience.
The basics of colour theory
Below are a short list of terms and definitions within colour terminology.
- Chroma: how pure or intense colour is,
- Hue: what colour or shade something is. For example, blue or red,
- Saturation: how strong or weak the colour is,
- Value: how light or dark colour is,
- Tone: created by any pure hue with neutral Gray added,
- Shade: created by any pure hue with black added to it,
- Tint: created by any pure hue with white added to it.
The four main types of colour palettes
A monochromatic colour scheme has all the colours of a single hue including tones, tints and shades. These are the most simple colour schemes to create because they are all taken from the same colour. Monochromatic palettes can be very boring and are not used much in 3D rendering. The only exception of this would be if the client requested it or we were to create a black and white image.
The main colour is selected and the colours from either side of it on the colour wheel. One colour tends to be a primary or secondary color and finally a tertiary. For example red, orange and red-orange. This colour palette typically does a good job of expressing consistency. They are easy to work with because there is not too much difference in the colours.
The complementary colour scheme consists of opposites of the colour wheel. For example red and green, blue and orange. These colours are great for communicating a sense of balance as they essentially cancel each other out by producing a grey-scale. But when they are placed next to each other create great contrast.
Finally the triadic colour scheme consists of three colours that are at equal points on the colour wheel. For example red, yollow and blue.
What do colours mean?
When it comes to Architectural Rendering, the power of colour is both emotional and practical. On an emotional level, colours can effect how the viewer feels about the image, whether it is a warm or cold feeling for example.
There have been a number of studies on the relationship between colours. They reveal that 90% of snap judgments are made about a product can be based on colour alone.
- Red: danger, energy, power, passion
- Orange: fresh, youthful, joy, enthusiasm, creativity
- Yellow: optimistic, cheerful, happiness, intellect
- Green: natural, ambition, growth, freshness, safety
- Blue: communicative, tranquility, confidence, intelligence, depressed
- Purple: luxury, ambition, creativity, royalty
- Black: power, elegance, mystery, sorrow, sophicsticated
- White: cleanliness, purity, perfection, innocence, minimalism
- Brown: organic, wholesome, simple
- Pink: romance, exciting, feminimie, senitemental
Check this quick video out by Experiments Team.
4 Tools that will help you pick colours
Below are some free tools that will help you decide what colours to use in any artistic endevour, from Architectural Visualisation to DIY Interior Design.
Color Hunt is a free online tool that allows people to select colours and add them to a palette, it also lets you share your ideas with others and see what palettes may take your liking. It’s a great way to scroll through a (nearly) endless feed of color palettes searching for the ones that strikes your fancy.
Adobe Colour Wheel helps used explore the colour wheel. It gives you the ability to extract colour from any image and apply Harmony Rule, Analogous, monochromatic, Triadic, Complementary, Compound and Custom Shades.
Coolors is a great tool for designers. It also offers an app with Adobe Adds-Ons for Photoshop and Illustrator. These make it a very powerful application that can help you choose your colour scheme. Likewise you can also browse thousands of colour colour palettes from the community.
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