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Do You Think Reduction Of Size Might Have Something To Do With Color ?

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Do You Think Reduction Of Size Might Have Something To Do With Color ?
Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 1:08 AM

I do. 

When you see the broadside of a barn prototypically.  Does the same barn on a smaller scale look the same in that same color? 

It doesn't.

Does it have to be lighter in color viewed from the same eyes that perceive it?

It does.

If everything else is reduced to scale,  color must be reduced as well.  Especially the tone and the hue.

Mountains and trees faded in the background look bluer than they are up close.... That is a fact.

When you reduce prototypical size to scale.  Can you not buy into the fact that you may have to reduce everything?

I believe you may have to think about this for a moment.

Share your thoughtsSmile, Wink & Grin 

Track Fiddler

 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 3:16 AM

Specs! by Bear, on Flickr

Track fiddler
Mountains and trees faded in the background look bluer than they are up close.... That is a fact.

Yes, it is but that is all to do with viewing distance, and amount of haze, if any, so scale is not a valid argument.

Track fiddler
If everything else is reduced to scale,  color must be reduced as well.  Especially the tone and the hue.

No. Many years ago on my way to work, I used to go past a farm that grew flowers. Now 10 acres of nearly ready to pick daffodils is a LOT of yellow, but it is the same yellow as a single daffodil. 
 
Case Closed.Smile, Wink & Grin
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by Southgate on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 4:00 AM

It probably also has to do with the difference in outdoor and indoor lighting. But I agree, a color may be the same color but look different on a different size object. And under different light.

I've noticed that some modelers, particularly in Germany use vivid colors on their layouts. The grass IS greener on the other side... Well, in Germany the real greenery is more vivid than where I live. But my eyes find that toning it down just looks more real to me.

I ordered 3 shades of "Super Leaves" online in the lighter green, medium, and dark. The ligher one turns out almost almost neon lime green. Sunglasses please. I ended painting that tree a flat olive, far better.  Dark is too dark, almost blue. Painted it too. My thoughts. Dan

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 4:56 AM

I agree with Dan that outdoor and in door lghting plays a part..

Try this..Look at a freight car or locomotive under normal layout lighting the take the same engine or car outside. You should see a slight difference in coloring..

This is why I perfer  to do my modeling in sun light by having my work desk by a window with open curtains. I also perfer to use sun light for operation.

BTW..I can open that window and let bottle paint fumes out while letting fresh air in and I can hear the  birds chirp as well.

Larry

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 6:18 AM

In Model Railroader's sister publication, Fine Scale Modeler, there have been numerous mentions of the "scale" of paint color.

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It is true, the smaller the model, the lighter the paint color should be for it to look "right" to your eye.

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A 1/32 scale model of a tank should be a darker green than the same model in 1/72 scale.

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This has everything to do with the amount of surface area light has to reflect off of.

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Model Railroaders will never accept this idea, so its discussion here has proven pointless. We are too obsessed with exactly what shade of boxcar red is correct for a specific roadname, with no care that two cars painted the same day might be two completely different colors in six years in the real world. Or... even the same car can look two different colors on different days based on weather conditions.

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Military modelers have had an endless debate about exactly what color "Panzer Yellow" should be, but they seem to agree it should be lighter on smaller models.

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BRAKIE
I agree with Dan that outdoor and in door lghting plays a part..

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The big difference here is that in the outdoors, we have a single source of light, the sun. Indoors we usually have multiple sources of light. This changes the way shadows and highlights are expressed on the model.

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Most models will look better in the daylight.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 6:43 AM

Track fiddler
When you see the broadside of a barn prototypically.  Does the same barn on a smaller scale look the same in that same color?  It doesn't.

Yes.  It's the way your eyes see it.  If I model a barn that I've seen in my travels somewhere, I want it to be the same color as the real barn. 

My perception of that color might be different than yours.

Track fiddler
Does it have to be lighter in color viewed from the same eyes that perceive it? It does.

????  Confused  Like I said above, your eyes and brain might put together a different version of that color than mine.

Track fiddler
If everything else is reduced to scale,  color must be reduced as well.  Especially the tone and the hue. Mountains and trees faded in the background look bluer than they are up close.... That is a fact.

Yea well, once again, your eyes and brain might put together a different color than mine.  Blueish mountains in the back round?  Oh darn!  you mean there not that blue close up!!! ???  Really?  Indifferent

Track fiddler
When you reduce prototypical size to scale.  Can you not buy into the fact that you may have to reduce everything?

No, I can't.  As I said before, If I'm modeling what I see, it includes the color the way I seen it.  YOUR eyes and brain might put together a different shade or color that mine.

Track fiddler
I believe you may have to think about this for a moment.

Nope, no need.  Nothing to think about, I model what I see, including color, and I will make what I model the color that I seen it.

The biggest challange might be going off the photo of the subject that I'm modeling, as far as color.

Now, your kidding me right?  Mountains seen in the distance aren't that blue up close?  OMG!  Surprise  Who knew? 

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:57 AM

SeeYou190
It is true, the smaller the model, the lighter the paint color should be for it to look "right" to your eye.

But is that due to size or because that smaller model is normally viewed indoors; I would say the latter.

I can't say how many times I've seen models come from a factory and look too dark, and the manufacturer says, "but we used actual paint chips".  But by gosh, the model definitely looks too dark.

I think it's pretty clear that out in sunlight, things appear lighter than indoors, and this is generally accepted anymore and not really a mystery to be solved by committee.

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Posted by Eric White on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:01 AM

It's all due to the atmosphere.

When you look at a model locomotive in your hand, it looks more vibrant than seeing the real thing at a relative distance.

That's because there's less air between your eyes and the model and your eyes and the full-sized locomotive. 

Same thing with the distant mountains. The air you're looking through is full of tiny particles that refract light, and depending what part of the planet you're on, the moisture content of the air changes as well. All this creates atmospheric haze, making things look duller and grayer in nature than they do on our layouts.

This is the effect scale modelers try to replicate by lightening the colors of smaller models.

Eric

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:15 AM

The smaller the surface area the more it is affected by the colours of the surrounding objects. Much like shinning different coloured spotlights on something but to a lesser degree.

Brent

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:47 AM

BATMAN

The smaller the surface area the more it is affected by the colours of the surrounding objects. Much like shinning different coloured spotlights on something but to a lesser degree.

That explanations sound like it came from Duck's Breath Mystery Theaters' "Ask Dr. Science". 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KUEg8rwzUA

Well, as mentioned earlier, the reason why size affects color shade is because the smaller item is small and normally viewed indoors so the indoor lighting makes the color shades look dark.  /mystery solved.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 12:07 PM

Do you all relize that the blue I see is not the blue you see. If you don't have any color issues the colors we see are slightly different from one another, has to do with the cones ect. in the eyes. Yes it is very slight but I find this interesting. Now back on subject, an objects color can be changed by reflections, distance and size. The size change comes from the total light we recieve and surounding colors. The side of barn veiwed close up will be precieved  different than say a red postage stamp surounded by yellow flowers, again these changes can be slight. Guess I remember more than I thought from art school.

 

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 12:55 PM

"It all looks the same to me"

Homer, 701BC

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 1:13 PM

    Everybody’s eyes do see colors and light slightly differently. That is why in television we use a vector scope and a wave form monitor instead of eyeballing it. We adjust the picture color and brightness based on the devices.
    Anyway there is such a thing as scale color and it is as Kevin said because at a smaller size less light bounces off of an object so it looks darker. The difference is most noticeable in dark colors or black.
    Far off mountains look faded because of the stuff in the air. However once in a while there is a perfectly clear day and the mountains around here suddenly look a lot closer.
    Before computers, movies used a lot of models for special effects. To make the miniature scenes look more realistic they would use fog machines to simulate haze and they would also put wedding veil in front of the camera to add to the effect. This added distance to the model.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 1:36 PM

rrebell

Do you all relize that the blue I see is not the blue you see. If you don't have any color issues the colors we see are slightly different from one another, has to do with the cones ect. in the eyes. Yes it is very slight but I find this interesting. Now back on subject, an objects color can be changed by reflections, distance and size. The size change comes from the total light we recieve and surounding colors. The side of barn veiwed close up will be precieved  different than say a red postage stamp surounded by yellow flowers, again these changes can be slight. Guess I remember more than I thought from art school.

 

Reminds me of quote from the movie Blade Runner:  "Roy Batty: If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBaXd7dz404

So basically model train companies shouldn't worry too much because every customer will see their paint job differently.  Sounds like a losing battle!

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 1:39 PM

riogrande5761
Well, as mentioned earlier, the reason why size affects color shade is because the smaller item is small and normally viewed indoors so the indoor lighting makes the color shades look dark.  /mystery solved.

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Wrong.

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It has to do with suface area and the way light reflects from one surface to the other on larger objects.

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A model will never be able to miniaturize the way light reflects from one surface to another and changes the color percieved by the eye. This takes surface area, and models have less of it, so the effect is lessened.

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When light bounces from one surface to another some of the spectrum of the light is absorbed by the first surface. This diminishes the color available when it hits the second surface, thus the color reflected to your eye is different. The physics is very complicated, and well beyond the ability to be described in a brief forum response. However, it is impossible to reproduce this effect on a miniature. It must either be painted on (my preference), simulated with different warmth light sources, or enhanced in digital photographs.

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If you really want the mystery solved, I suggest you read all the well thought out and explained topics on this subject that can be found on military scale modeling forums or in Fine Scale Modeler back issues. 

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There are also excellent books for artists on how to duplicate the lighting effects of large geometric objects.

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Look at this picture of a CSX locomotive. It is safe to assume it is all pretty much CSX corporate blue.

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Now we have the same picture all mish-mashed around. Look at the extremes of color from light baby blue to dark navy blue. This cannot be duplicated on a model due to small surface area and less reflective light coming back to the viewer.

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This is all because of surface area and the diminished spectrum of reflected light.

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Yes, to answer Track Fiddler's question, the size of the model does effect color.

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-Kevin

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 6:09 PM

At the risk of sounding like a fool (or perhaps of being a fool and merely making that plain) I think there might be a case for having a different view of color and color density as the scale gets smaller.  And that is, the smaller the scale of the model the more different colors -- the greater number of colors -- our eye is trying to take in at any one glance: the red barn, but also the yellow locomotive, the blue boxcar, the green tree, the brown cow, blue sky, and so on.  Taking in all those colors - perhaps wildly clashing colors at that - and our mind thinks "circus clown" or "gumball machine."  (or Google Images "OppoSuits"  Yikes!)

Even if all the colors are each accurate.  That can be the impression in looking any a model of any size versus the "real world."  And quite possibly that sense of unreality gets greater the smaller the models and the more dense the color (and texture) variety is in our field of vision.

Stated another way, imagine a 20 car freight train with every car a different color.  Trackside we see one or two cars at a time, so one or two colors at a time.  In N scale we see the entire train, all at the same time.  Those are two different impressions our brains are trying to process.

This is in addition to the fact that in reality that bright red barn and the stark white farm house are likely much further away from any other strongly colored structures in reality than they tend to be on our layouts.   

Eric White points out that atmosphere plays a role and of course we are "further away" from our N scale models than we are from our O scale models even if we are just as close physically.

So perhaps a case can be made to tone down the color palette in smaller scales.  My 2 cents.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 9:11 PM

Color is a tough act to follow.  Few people are really good at it.  The ones that are successful make an excess of six figures a year.  

Judy and I had signature colors for accent walls in our house that we came up with refining color over many years.  The key word is many years.  They eventually became perfect colors.  (For us)

With these accent walls we strived to pick a perfect neutral color for the rest of the house.  

A selected weekend we painted all the walls in the common areas.  The color was beautiful.  It was an earth tone mud color.

At 4:13 p.m. for 2 days our beautiful earth tone color turned into a split pea soup.  We couldn't live with that green hued barf.  We painted it all over again. 

You know that little color sample on the card your bring home and try to imagine it on the wall.  Good luck with thatLaugh

Color is extremely difficult in a normal environment.  I do believe even more difficult in a created environment.

Thanks,  I appreciate your thoughts on this.  A lot of good points here.

TF

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 10:08 PM

Color matching can be learned. I was taught by a guy who worked as a color guy for a major paint company, I will never be as good as him, he could do in one try what took me three or more.

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Posted by Mirobro on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:57 PM
Kevin, give it up. The term your looking for is "scale effect". As a scale modeler and a model railroader I have waded into this discussion a couple of times. You are right, for what ever reason model railroaders can't seem to wrap their heads around this concept.
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Posted by garya on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:30 AM

Mirobro
Kevin, give it up. The term your looking for is "scale effect". As a scale modeler and a model railroader I have waded into this discussion a couple of times. You are right, for what ever reason model railroaders can't seem to wrap their heads around this concept.
 

https://www.cybermodeler.com/color/scale_effect.shtml

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 11:43 AM

It makes sense that reducing size alters a color.  Consider household paint.  I was told to always use gallons of paint for rooms since the color is different when put in a quart container.   Even mixing a gallon and quart together won't help.

 

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 4:46 PM

SeeYou190
When light bounces from one surface to another some of the spectrum of the light is absorbed by the first surface. This diminishes the color available when it hits the second surface, thus the color reflected to your eye is different. The physics is very complicated, and well beyond the ability to be described in a brief forum response.

This is what I was trying to say.

On outdoor movie sets, I noticed they add different colour filters to the lighting throughout the day as the light changes even though they are shooting the same small area.

Brent

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Posted by Drumguy on Saturday, April 13, 2019 10:02 PM

 

kasskaboose

It makes sense that reducing size alters a color.  Consider household paint.  I was told to always use gallons of paint for rooms since the color is different when put in a quart container.   Even mixing a gallon and quart together won't help 

 

 Size or quantity of paint has nothing to do with perceived Color. Get a paint chit from the store , put against the wall you want to paint, but beware: that 2 inches square paint chit will look nothing like the 70 square feet of wall you paint. The color is 100% identical, the scale and environment have changed. Likewise on our models.

”Scale color” is a complicated beast, but comes down to atmosphere. Everything is 87 times further away than reality (in HO). Even on  clear day in a busy environment , there’s dust and maybe humidity in the air, which mutes color, and the only way we can simulate it is by muting paint colors. And that can not be scaled.

If you were blessed with a 100x100 foot layout, the color of freight cars won,t visibly change no matter where you view. If we could magically have scale color, the cars right in front of you would show as their true colors, the cars 100’ away from you would blend into almost uniform hues..

Maybe if you had an awesome fog machine and killer ventilation... 

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