HSV Color Model

In the HSV color model, a color is defined by its hue (H), its saturation (S) and its lightness or blackness value (V) and so, it resembles the human color perception more than the additive and the subtractive color models. It is easy to adjust a color by its saturation and brightness.

Because of these advantages, the color selection using the HSV color space is used, for example, in many common graphics programs. The standard color selection dialog, for example from the Windows operating system, is also based on the HSV color model: There is a color field in which the color can be selected arranged according to hue and saturation, as well as an additional controller for the brightness from white to black, with which the selected color can be adjusted.

The hue (H) is given as an angle on the chromatic circle, therefore it can reach values between 0° and 360°. 0° corresponds to the color red, 120° corresponds to the color green and 240° corresponds to the color blue. The saturation (S) is declared as percentages and can therefore reach values between 0% and 100% (or 0 to 1). A saturation of 100% means a completely saturated and pure color, the smaller the saturation, the more the color turns to a neutral gray. The lightness or blackness value (V) is also given as a percentage, where 0% means no brightness (hence black) and 100% full brightness, hence a spectrum between the pure color (saturation of 100%) and white (saturation of 0%).

If both, the saturation as well as the lightness are 100%, a pure color results. If the saturation is 0% and the lightness is 100% it is white and for all cases in which the lightness is 0% it is black. These relationships can be easily lookalike by trying in the program pipette. In this application it is possible to set the hue, the saturation and the light value higher or lower and to see the direct effect on the resulting color.

In the program pipette, the percentages for the HSV color model can be found in the sixth row ("HSV").

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