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The [Virtual] Munsell Spheres Project


Introducing the Munsell Spheres Project! Over the next year I will be posting 3D sphere renders of the Munsell color system environment. Why?

An obvious goal is to provide point of references for other artists and students. Building a complete Munsell mobile/diorama is both expensive and time consuming. This project will create one virtually using libre/free open source software.

The ultimate goal is to create some cool interactive tool using a browser or game engine that is device and OS agnostic (no special app to buy). Until then it is my hope some will find these useful.

Each post will contain 3 images:

    1) Sphere stack with facets: to understand how light changes in an easy to understand way.
    2) Sphere stack smooth: to observe how values and color shifts in a natural way (the typical physical model).
    3) Sphere stack composite: to compare the two in a combined image for frame of reference or easy printing.

The topmost sphere in all images of the project is the lightest, just like in a Munsell chart. N9 receives the most light. N5 is the neutral position whereas N1 receives the least amount of illumination.

The background of each image is N5 with zero chroma (color intensity) = true gray neutral.

The lighting of all images is set to 5500K (theoretical average/pure sunlight) set at an overall angle of 45 degrees with a tilt axis of 5 degrees.

Each sphere image is lit naturally with the topmost object receiving the most light. This isn't quite 100% perfect as an object in the real world would receive its fair share of sunlight equal to those next to it but the variance is small and limited to computer processing power.