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[Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Was there ever a clinic on Delano-based paint and weathering?


Bruce Smith
 

Bill,

Sorry, but you’ve “triggered” me. Please save us from the pseudo-science babble of people like your optometrist friend. Bottom line, the emission and absorption wavelengths of refracted and reflected light from a surface (ie, the “color” of that surface) are determined by physics and are what makes any given “color” that color. That is not subject to interpretation. It is thought that individual optical receptors (rods and cones in the eye) may respond to the same wavelength differently in different individuals. Here’s where it get tricky and your friend left out a lot of details. However, even though different eyes respond differently, your brain then “learns” that the input it receives for that wavelength is say PRR, 1930’s Freight car color. My brain learns the same thing even though the input from my receptors may differ some. When given samples to select from, we will both be able to pick the ones that match. We will both think that these are an oxide red. Here’s where it gets weird, and maybe where your friend is trying (and failing) to capture the weirdness. If you were to provide my brain with the input from your optical receptors, that 1930’s freight car color might look blue to me (as an extreme example), because now my brain is getting input from receptors that are tuned differently. The color of the object has not changed, it is the PERCEPTION of the color that has changed. 

So, while our biochemical perception of those may differ, our ability to perceive those colors in context is pretty much the same. I’m afraid that there is no excuse here for getting your freight car colors wrong. 

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

On Nov 16, 2020, at 1:52 PM, erieblt2 <williamfsmith22@...> wrote:

My optometrist friend rightly points our eyes ‘see’ different colors from  others peoples eyes. This color thing is important to me too. We need to allow a more relaxed definition. For example weathered PRR ‘Brunswick Green’ is ‘a shade of blackish’  Period. Respectfully, Bill S


On Nov 16, 2020, at 10:14 AM, Gatwood, Elden J SAD <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:


Bruce;
 
Of course I agree with you, but what else do we have to go by?  Kodachrome looks more accurate than any other film I ever took.  OK, warmer, but warm is good.
 
If I look at a photo or model, and it looks wrong, I will always feel it is wrong.  Vice versa.  We are only modeling a reality we want to look right.
 
And you cannot tell me the PRRT&HS “paint chips” we worked on as a group for so many years did not get consensus agreement that they look phenomenally correct!
 
Elden Gatwood
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2020 10:18 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Was there ever a clinic on Delano-based paint and weathering?
 
Elden sez:


"Kodachrome…..they are the only slides I took that looked like the real thing."


Actually, Elden, they are the only slides that look like your MEMORY of the real thing 😉. Memory is a notoriously tricky thing and tends to "warm" colors, just like Kodachrome. Kodak, or, as we from Rochester like to say, "The Great Yellow Mother to Us All" knew what they were doing. People are pleased when their photos look even better than their memories!


Regards,
Bruce 
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL



Rufus Cone
 

Nature of color and perception well described, Bruce:
the emission and absorption wavelengths of refracted and reflected light from a surface (ie, the “color” of that surface) are determined by physics and are what makes any given “color” that color. That is not subject to interpretation. It is thought that individual optical receptors (rods and cones in the eye) may respond to the same wavelength differently in different individuals. Here’s where it get tricky and your friend left out a lot of details. However, even though different eyes respond differently, your brain then “learns” that the input it receives for that wavelength is say PRR, 1930’s Freight car color. My brain learns the same thing even though the input from my receptors may differ some.
This excellent book covers color and perception for those who may want additional detail, and I do not think it has been recommended here before.
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing by Margaret Livingstone (2nd Ed)


For perception of color, I also recommend Chapter 2 in Jeff Schewe's The Digital Print book on photography (his The Digital Negative is outstanding, too, but not specifically for color).

Rufus Cone
Bozeman, MT

 


Tony Thompson
 

     Let me remind everyone that we do have a superb source of color information about PRR freight cars from the 1940s and 1950s: the Grif Teller calendar paintings. Teller was a skilled and experienced artist, and knew quite well how to paint what he saw. And he often went trackside, both for ideas, and to check on the look of a painting in progress. Some have doubted the "orangey-red" of his PRR freight cars, but his paintings are pretty likely far more dependable than old slides that may or may not have been carefully stored and handled.

Tony Thompson




Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Amen,

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tony Thompson
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2020 6:30 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Was there ever a clinic on Delano-based paint and weathering?

 

     Let me remind everyone that we do have a superb source of color information about PRR freight cars from the 1940s and 1950s: the Grif Teller calendar paintings. Teller was a skilled and experienced artist, and knew quite well how to paint what he saw. And he often went trackside, both for ideas, and to check on the look of a painting in progress. Some have doubted the "orangey-red" of his PRR freight cars, but his paintings are pretty likely far more dependable than old slides that may or may not have been carefully stored and handled.

Tony Thompson

 

 

 


Robert kirkham
 

Where does one go to see his paintings?  On-line, I see images that are affected by all the challenges we speak about whenever sharing colour information.  

Rob

On Nov 16, 2020, at 4:06 PM, Gatwood, Elden J SAD <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:

Amen,
 
Elden Gatwood
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tony Thompson
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2020 6:30 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Was there ever a clinic on Delano-based paint and weathering?
 

     Let me remind everyone that we do have a superb source of color information about PRR freight cars from the 1940s and 1950s: the Grif Teller calendar paintings. Teller was a skilled and experienced artist, and knew quite well how to paint what he saw. And he often went trackside, both for ideas, and to check on the look of a painting in progress. Some have doubted the "orangey-red" of his PRR freight cars, but his paintings are pretty likely far more dependable than old slides that may or may not have been carefully stored and handled.

Tony Thompson
 
 
 



devansprr
 

On Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 04:44 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:
"Sorry, but you’ve “triggered” me. Please save us from the pseudo-science babble of people like your optometrist friend."

What Bill wrote:
"My optometrist friend rightly points our eyes ‘see’ different colors from  others peoples eyes."
Triggered is a good description of your response - there are two ways to interpret Bill's note. You are correct about the emission and absorption of wavelengths of light coming off a surface, and that the same wavelengths enter all eyes (although cataracts can impact the absorption of specific wavelengths before the light reaches the rods and cones.)

But one could easily interpret the optometrist's remark to include the brain's portion of the process of "identifying" colors, which plays a very significant role in perceiving (and therefore "seeing") colors.

The immediate problem is that color is a perception of intensity over a broad range of wavelengths. This is why without changing the physical makeup of a surface, different lighting sources can make a color appear different  (which is why in the old days you could buy color film for daylight, or for tungsten light sources, or use filters to adjust the distribution of wavelengths entering your camera. Today, digitally, we adjust the "white balance.")

But in my experience you have oversimplified the brain's perception of color, and how people perceive them.

More significantly, people may see different colors depending on the context - what else is in the field of view? This is why I remarked that in most situations, especially those that frequently happen in the real world outside, our eyes are terrible "colorimeters."

My impression of color vision is that the optical portion of your brain never actually "learns" the wavelength of any color in any calibrated sense. Instead we "teach" the brain what a color is based on its previous memories of the color. But for minor nuances in color, the memory of the color also includes the surrounding field of view when "taught" that color. To minimize confusing the brain, minor variances in color are often "taught" with the color surrounded by white. Surrounded by white, the color data received by the brain is not modified by the brain's perception of color, light and shadow, and depth (distance.) But in the real world the brain works really hard to make sense of light, shadow, depth, distance, motion and 3D shapes. From an evolutionary survival standpoint (as both prey and predator), the brain is a lot more concerned with discerning three-D objects, movement, and determining distances and spatial relationships. So color is just one of many continuous vision interpretations performed by our brains that have little to do with the wavelength of light entering the rods and cones.

The problem is that in reality, the brain perceives colors in significant part based on ALL of the colors in the field of view, the lighting, and the perceived presence of shadows.  So while the same wavelengths may be falling into the eyes of two adjacent observers, the odds, in such a "feature rich" environment, of them properly identifying a specific reference color are remote. Note that the brain's effort perceiving the real world is much more sophisticated than observing the colors in a photograph. This was the major portion of the challenge in creating night pilotage systems - the brain is much more "focused" on identifying 3D objects, detecting motion (especially relative motion), and perceiving distance and depth, than it is in determining colors. Artists may focus on color because of the potential for creating illusions of some manner, which also points out that it is the brain that plays a significant role in assessing colors, not just the rods and cones in the back of your eye.

There are many optical illusions on the web to illustrate the variation in the perception of colors. See the following:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/54448/5-color-illusions-and-why-they-work

For starters, see example two - what if the center color was GN Blue?

And what if example 5 was caboose red? Which one is correct -t eh one alternating with white, or the one alternating with black?

Google "color illusions" and you will find many more. As a colorimeter, the human eye/brain sucks.

I suspect that if you took 4x8 sheets of plywood painted with modest variations of PRR FCC (from a specific era), and distributed them about a wide field of view - perhaps leaned against a railroad museum's varied rolling stock collection, with some in the sun and some in the shade, the odds of even a group of "skilled" observers reliably identifying the FCC panel would be low.

Between different lighting sources, shadows, and adjacent colors distorting the brain's perception of color (and that perception is unique to each brain), I am not interested in precise color matches of freight car colors, and I would agree with the optometrist's statement that "our eyes ‘see’ different colors from  others peoples eyes."  Although I would change "see" to "perceive", and "brains" in place of "eyes", just to reduce confusion.

Dave Evans
 


erieblt2
 

Thank you for the excellent detailed explanation. I learned a lot. Thank you again. Bill S


On Nov 16, 2020, at 11:44 PM, devansprr <devans1@...> wrote:

On Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 04:44 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:
"Sorry, but you’ve “triggered” me. Please save us from the pseudo-science babble of people like your optometrist friend."

What Bill wrote:
"My optometrist friend rightly points our eyes ‘see’ different colors from  others peoples eyes."
Triggered is a good description of your response - there are two ways to interpret Bill's note. You are correct about the emission and absorption of wavelengths of light coming off a surface, and that the same wavelengths enter all eyes (although cataracts can impact the absorption of specific wavelengths before the light reaches the rods and cones.)

But one could easily interpret the optometrist's remark to include the brain's portion of the process of "identifying" colors, which plays a very significant role in perceiving (and therefore "seeing") colors.

The immediate problem is that color is a perception of intensity over a broad range of wavelengths. This is why without changing the physical makeup of a surface, different lighting sources can make a color appear different  (which is why in the old days you could buy color film for daylight, or for tungsten light sources, or use filters to adjust the distribution of wavelengths entering your camera. Today, digitally, we adjust the "white balance.")

But in my experience you have oversimplified the brain's perception of color, and how people perceive them.

More significantly, people may see different colors depending on the context - what else is in the field of view? This is why I remarked that in most situations, especially those that frequently happen in the real world outside, our eyes are terrible "colorimeters."

My impression of color vision is that the optical portion of your brain never actually "learns" the wavelength of any color in any calibrated sense. Instead we "teach" the brain what a color is based on its previous memories of the color. But for minor nuances in color, the memory of the color also includes the surrounding field of view when "taught" that color. To minimize confusing the brain, minor variances in color are often "taught" with the color surrounded by white. Surrounded by white, the color data received by the brain is not modified by the brain's perception of color, light and shadow, and depth (distance.) But in the real world the brain works really hard to make sense of light, shadow, depth, distance, motion and 3D shapes. From an evolutionary survival standpoint (as both prey and predator), the brain is a lot more concerned with discerning three-D objects, movement, and determining distances and spatial relationships. So color is just one of many continuous vision interpretations performed by our brains that have little to do with the wavelength of light entering the rods and cones.

The problem is that in reality, the brain perceives colors in significant part based on ALL of the colors in the field of view, the lighting, and the perceived presence of shadows.  So while the same wavelengths may be falling into the eyes of two adjacent observers, the odds, in such a "feature rich" environment, of them properly identifying a specific reference color are remote. Note that the brain's effort perceiving the real world is much more sophisticated than observing the colors in a photograph. This was the major portion of the challenge in creating night pilotage systems - the brain is much more "focused" on identifying 3D objects, detecting motion (especially relative motion), and perceiving distance and depth, than it is in determining colors. Artists may focus on color because of the potential for creating illusions of some manner, which also points out that it is the brain that plays a significant role in assessing colors, not just the rods and cones in the back of your eye.

There are many optical illusions on the web to illustrate the variation in the perception of colors. See the following:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/54448/5-color-illusions-and-why-they-work

For starters, see example two - what if the center color was GN Blue?

And what if example 5 was caboose red? Which one is correct -t eh one alternating with white, or the one alternating with black?

Google "color illusions" and you will find many more. As a colorimeter, the human eye/brain sucks.

I suspect that if you took 4x8 sheets of plywood painted with modest variations of PRR FCC (from a specific era), and distributed them about a wide field of view - perhaps leaned against a railroad museum's varied rolling stock collection, with some in the sun and some in the shade, the odds of even a group of "skilled" observers reliably identifying the FCC panel would be low.

Between different lighting sources, shadows, and adjacent colors distorting the brain's perception of color (and that perception is unique to each brain), I am not interested in precise color matches of freight car colors, and I would agree with the optometrist's statement that "our eyes ‘see’ different colors from  others peoples eyes."  Although I would change "see" to "perceive", and "brains" in place of "eyes", just to reduce confusion.

Dave Evans
 


Brian Stokes
 

Dave, 

This is a great description. Another facet we most often overlook is how colour changes with scale. The military modellers (aircraft in particular) seem to understand this and lighten the colour as the scale shrinks. 

Brian

--
Brian Stokes
North Point Street in Proto:48


Daniel A. Mitchell
 

This is actually quite simple … Do you want an accurate model, or one that LOOKS like an accurate model? You cannot have BOTH!

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Nov 17, 2020, at 9:38 AM, Brian Stokes <bstokesndp@...> wrote:

Dave, 

This is a great description. Another facet we most often overlook is how colour changes with scale. The military modellers (aircraft in particular) seem to understand this and lighten the colour as the scale shrinks. 

Brian

--
Brian Stokes
North Point Street in Proto:48