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Friday, January 23, 2015

Colour Theory Is Fun

For a long time, I've wrestled with applying seasonal colour analysis to a virtual world.  At first I thought it was a good idea, but there was always something wrong about it -- at least as a standalone simple analysis tool.

When I tint my hair (editable textures in hair is a must) what I apply is usually simple colour theory (which of course is the basis of season colour analysis).  For example, to shade a colour you use its complementary (opposite on the colour wheel).  To shade an orange object you would mix the orange with a bit of blue (it's opposite colour), which is sometimes cooler than just throwing shades of gray at it.  This way the tone that best harmonizes with the tone best harmonizes with the object's main colour is achieved.

The tool I always always use is a professional specialized software tool that can pick any colour on your screen and find it's place in the colour wheel.  It then offers a wealth of colour matches: analogous splits, angled accents, blended splits, complements, fade to black, light shades etc.  If you don't know what these are then you really need to pick up a book, or find a website, on colour theory.

I always think that fashionistas (and photographers but that goes without saying)  must always be cognizant of colour theory.  What emotions colours convey, how they blend and complement, how to use fades or accents.  It's all has really fascinating, repeatable application to fashion.  Trying to find that right match to a top you like, you can take a sample and apply colour theory to find a harmonious blend.  I keep several colour wheel apps on my smartphone that can give wonderful colour synthesis based on colour theory just by taking a snapshot of what you want to match.  It's really useful when you are shopping.

A quick Google search produces many articles on colour theory for fashion:

https://tommybeautypro.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/makeup-101-colour-theory-make-up-artistry/
http://www.360nobs.com/2013/09/mens-fashion-tips-on-doing-bold-bright-colours/
http://fashionbombdaily.com/2010/04/16/the-color-wheel-how-to-combine-colors-wardrobe-accessories/
http://thestylenote.com/tag/fashion-color-theory/
http://freshome.com/2014/10/30/10-color-theory-basics-everyone-should-know/

So in a very unnatural virtual world it is even more useful.  The colours there are not real life, they are just colours.  Avatars have a wider variation in their colouration than real world people, and at the same time less variation in specific details.  For example, almost all eye lashes are black (not recommended in the real world), many eyes are larger than life, many are forever squinting, some avatars have permanent red lips of unrealistic sizes (usually puffier than real life).  What is the best combination for: left purple eye, right orange eye, surrounded by thick black lashes, yellow hair and unveined orange tinged skin.  What is the best combination on a blue cat person with green eyes on yellow?  Throw things on the colour wheel, apply different theories and I'm sure you can find something that will be awesome.

It also allows you to be more adventurous.  You get tired of seeing the same looks and colourations over and over.