The Color Cube

I developed the color cube about twenty years ago as a three-dimensional model for the perception of color. In recent years I wrote a Visual Basic program to allow the user to interact with the cube. If you would like to download a shareware copy of the color cube, see the bottom of this page.

Three-Dimensional Color

Since the human eye receives only three colors -- red, green, and blue -- any visual percept consists of a combination of three different numbers of neuron "firings", one number for each color. I represent one of these as a vector in three-space, V = (r, g, b) .

In this system, the origin, (0, 0, 0), is the color black. Each of the three primaries lies on one of three axes, which procede outwards in the positive direction to an indefinite maximum. Grays and whites would lie approximately on the main diagonal, while yellow/olive, blue-green, and magenta would lie on the diagonal of their respective planes.

Any color can be represented by one of these vectors, and this is essentially how color is represented on a computer monitor, with the familiar hex #FFFFFF designations for white, #00FF00 for green, #885500 for dark brown, and so on.

When you "take apart" the color cube, you can find the region for any color you choose.

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Color Cube

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Download a Shareware Copy of "ColCube"

You may download a copy of the program used to construct the images above. The program, plus various supporting files necessary for it, are archived in a 86KB file called COLCUBE.ZIP.

I do not own a Developer's Toolkit for VB, so the program will require that the DLL files for running VB 3.0 already exist on your system. If it refuses to run, this is probably why.

I welcome any feedback on this application. If you like it, please send $5 to me at the address given in the About window.

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Color Cube

Last Updated June 4, 1997
Web Page by Ned May
All images and text are ©2017 by Edward S. May unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.