The Wall of Inspiration:

A Computer Aided Color Selection System

Seth Berrier, Clement Shimizu, Patrick Chong, D'nardo Colucci & Gary Meyer

The Wall of Inspiration

The Wall of Inspiration is part of the room of Inspiration located in a paint store in Manhattan (see above).

The Problem

When purchasing paint, the color of a preliminary paint sample and the color of the
actual paint on a wall are perceived as two different colors.

The small, non-paint based color chips that are provided cannot capture the appearance of the paint on a large flat surface under complex diffuse lighting from multiple light sources. Newer paint samples are expensive to manufacture and this expense must be passed to the consumer. There is a need for a good pre-visualization of a paint color that is perceptually equivalent to the final color, that overcomes the problems of small paint chips and that has a minimal manufacturing cost.

Gloss & Metallic Color Simulation

Most paints have reflective properties (gloss and metallic effects) that cannot be captured with a flat sample. Our system can reproduce these effects in real-time allowing the user to interact with and experience the special reflective properties. The 3D Color Viewer (left) allows you to view gloss finishes and metallic colors on 3D objects. The system offers a set of common household objects and fixtures for visualization purposes. The Studio Finishes Module (right) shows a collection of metallic and pearlescent colors for browsing and selection

Visualizing and Navigating Large Collections of Colors

The Color Tweaker (above) was developed to help customers move arbitrarily through the entire color collection and make subtle tweaks to an ‘almost perfect’ color of choice. It visualizes the color collection as small spheres in CIE L*a*b* color space centered around the color of interest.

The Color Navigator (above) took this concept further. It shows the color cards plotted as curves through their approximate location in CIE L*a*b* space giving the customer the ability to manage the 3500+ Benjamin Moore colors and assess the degree of similarity of several colors (tasks identified as ‘navigation’). The addition of a clipping basket (left) also allows you to isolate a color region (reds, blue-greens, neutrals, etc.) and remove obscuring color strips from the visualization.

Both of these visualizations are fully interactive permitting rotation and movement in real-time creating a dynamic color selection experience.

More Info

Paper & Poster Downloads

  • CGIV 2008 Paper (PDF)
  • CGIV 2008 Poster (PDF low, high)

Author Affiliations

Seth Berrier, Clement Shimizu
- University of Minnesota, Computer Science & Engineering, Digital Technology Center

Patrick Chong
- Benjamin Moore & Co., Flanders, NJ

D'nardo Colucci
- University of Minnesota, Digital Technology Center

Gary Meyer
- University of Minnesota, Computer Science & Engineering, Digital Technology Center