RGB-Based Color Spaces

The RGB space is a three-dimensional color space whose components are the red, green, and blue intensities that make up a given color. For example, scanners read the amounts of red, green, and blue light that are reflected from or transmitted through an image and then convert those amounts into digital values. Information displayed on a color monitor begins with digital values that are converted to analog signals for display on the monitor. The analog signals are transmitted to the phosphors on the face of the monitor, causing them to glow at various intensities of red, green, and blue (the combination of which makes up the required hue, saturation, and brightness of the desired colors).

RGB-based color spaces are the most commonly used color spaces in computer graphics, primarily because they are directly supported by most color displays and scanners. RGB color spaces are device dependent and additive. The groups of color spaces within the RGB base family include

RGB Spaces

Anycolor expressed in RGB space is some mixture of three primary colors: red, green, and blue. Most RGB-based color spaces can be visualized as a cube, as in the following figure, with corners of black, the three primaries (red, green, and blue), the three secondaries (cyan, magenta, and yellow), and white.

RGB color space (Red corner is hidden from view)


sRGB Color Space

The sRGB color space is based on the ITU-R BT.709 standard. It specifies a gamma of 2.2 and a white point of 6500 degrees K. You can read more about sRGB space at the International Color Consortium site at http://www.color.org . This space gives a complimentary solution to the current strategies of color management systems, by offering an alternate, device-independent color definition that is easier to handle for device manufacturers and the consumer market. sRGB color space can be used if no other RGB profile is specified or available.

High end users with good quality reproduction devices may find that the sRGB space, which limits colors to the sRGB gamut, is too restrictive for their required color quality.

HSV and HLS Color Spaces

HSV space and HLS space are transformations of RGB space that can describe colors in terms more natural to an artist. The name HSV stands for hue, saturation, and value . ( HSB space , or hue , saturation , and brightness , is synonymous with HSV space.) HLS stands for hue, lightness, and saturation. The two spaces can be thought of as being single and double cones, as shown in next figure .

The components in HLS space are analogous, but not completely identical, to the components in HSV space:

HSV (or HSB) color space and HLS color space

Extract from Apple : RGB-Based Color Spaces http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/Carbon/graphics/ColorSyncManager/ColorSync_Manager/Concepts/ColorSync.11.html