MCSL Research

Munsell Color Science Laboratory Research

RIT’s Program of Color Science and Munsell Color Science Laboratory have a rich history of education and research dating back over 30 years to the early 1980s. Well over 100 graduate-program alumni have helped produce about 1000 journal papers and conference proceedings in areas such as spectroscopic and colorimetric instrumentation, color modeling and formulation, chromatic adaptation and color appearance, color matching functions and metamerism, color difference perception and prediction, image perception and reproduction, measurement and conservation of cultural heritage, and many more.

Going forward, these research initiatives will be expanded in an even more multidisciplinary fashion. The program and lab will work closely with researchers in the fundamental scientific disciplines of biology (human and animal vision), chemistry (colorants and formulation), physics (optical spectroscopy and illumination sources), mathematics (modeling of systems and observers), and psychology (understanding color perception). In addition, and in step with RIT’s strong history in applied research, we will pursue the applications of color science to a wide variety of technology areas including photography, imaging, textiles, computing, materials, photonics, lighting, sustainability, systems engineering, architecture, packaging, printing, gaming, cinema, and design.

Please see the pages linked here for some archives of information from past student and faculty projects and visit the individual faculty web pages for more detailed research information and opportunities.

Annual Reports

Each calendar year, the faculty, staff, and students of PoCS/MCSL gather some highlights of the past year into an annual report for our friends, supporters, alumni, and others. These reports also include a record of the journal publications, conference presentations, and other accomplishments of the group. They are also good references for lists of then-current students and a running list of MCSL alumni. Please take a moment to download and review our latest annual report (or historical reports dating back to the lab's founding).

Past and Present Sponsors

  • 3M
  • Apple
  • Applied Science Fiction
  • Avian Technologies
  • BASF
  • BYK-Gardner
  • Canon
  • Canon Development Americas
  • Colorcurve
  • CyberChrome
  • Cypress Semiconductor
  • DataColor International
  • DCI
  • Detroit Color Council
  • R.R. Donnelley
  • Dupont
  • Eastman Kodak
  • E-Color
  • Entertainment Experience LLC
  • Epson
  • FujiFilm Corporation
  • Fuji Xerox
  • Fujitsu
  • Geospatial Systems Inc.
  • Gemological Institute of America
  • GretagMacbeth
  • GTI
  • Hallmark
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • HunterLab
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • IC Media
  • Inter-Society Color Council
  • Iris Graphics
  • KonicaMinolta
  • Labsphere
  • Lexmark
  • LMT
  • Lumiére Technology
  • Management Graphics Miles
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Milton Roy
  • Microsoft
  • Munsell Color
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • Mutoh America
  • The National Gallery of Art
  • National Science Foundation
  • NEC
  • Nikon
  • NYSTAR
  • Oce
  • Okidata
  • Omnivision
  • Onyx Graphics
  • Panasonic
  • Pantone
  • Pentax
  • Philips
  • Photo Research
  • Pixel Physics
  • Pixim
  • Polaroid
  • Qualcomm
  • Ricoh Innovations
  • RIT Research Corporation
  • Samsung
  • SeikoEpson
  • Sharp Labs
  • Sinar AG
  • SunChemical
  • Technicolor R&I
  • Toppan
  • Sony
  • Tektronix
  • Texas Instruments
  • U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate
  • Sensors Directorate
  • Velmex, Inc.
  • Xerox
  • X-Rite 

Student Research

This is a collection of past research results, often in the form of student theses or unpublished technical reports.

Observer Function Database
This is a database of observer functions (color matching functions) that were derived in a PhD thesis work of Yuta Asano. The database includes individual colorimetric observer model, categorical observers, and estimated CMFs for 151 color-normal human observers. (more info)

Introducing (pronounced Waypoint) Wpt
A normalization methodology has been developed that linearly transforms sensor values / cone excitations (or linear transforms of sensor excitations) into a material color equivalency representation that can be used as a waypoint for defining Material Adjustment Transforms. The normalization process adjusts for the white point and independently preserves the perceptive aspects of lightness, chroma, and hue resulting in an opponent like coordinate system designated by the axes W, p, and t. (more info)

Introducing WLab
A set of invertible non-linear transforms was derived that adjusts Wpt (Waypoint) coordinates to and from a more perceptually uniform coordinate system (WLab or Waypoint-Lab) that allows for the advantageous features of Wpt to be directly applied to situations where other standard color spaces are typically used. (more info)

Euclidean Color Spaces
A movie [Euclid2CIEDE2K (3).mov] of how the CIEDE2000 system is embedded into an Euclidean space.

iCAM06: HDR Rendering
The latest High Dynamic Range rendering model.

Advanced Image Quality Studies of LCTVs
Detailed image quality analyses of liquid crystal televisions.

Helmholtz-Kohlrausch Effect
The Perceptual Amplification of Color for a Common Computer Monitor: Helmholtz-Kohlrausch at Work on the Desktop Computer

Fluorescence Measurement
Evaluation of Bispectral Spectrophotometry for Accurate Colorimetry of Printing Materials

Hue correction Look Up Tables
These tables (LUTs) are used to transform CIELAB coordinates to and from Hung & Berns hue-corrected space. This information pertains to Appendix H of the Ph.D. dissertation A Paradigm for Color Gamut Mapping of Pictorial Images, by Gustav J. Braun,RIT, 1999. See LSO P.Hung and R.Berns, "Determination of Constant Hue Loci for a CRT Gamut and Their Predictions Using Color Appearance Spaces," Color Res Appl 20, 285-295, 1995.)

There are two plain text, tab-delimited ASCII files: forward transform and inverse transform. The data from these files can be used to estimate the destination hue for any given input color, specified by its [Cab*,hab] coordinates, using bilinear interpolation.

Evaluating Color Matching Functions
Research on evaluating the 1931 CIE color matching functions.

Spectral Sensitivities
Evaluation and Optimal Design of Spectral Sensitivities for Digital Color Imaging.

Paint Research
Developing a Spectral and Colorimetric Spectral and Colorimetric Database of Artist Paint Materials.

AdvanceRIT Color Science Invited Scholars Program

AdvanceRIT and the Program of Color Science are happy to make a limited number of invitations to visit RIT and the Munsell Color Science Laboratory (MCSL) to PhD students or post-docs currently doing research in color science or related fields. The goals are to grow and reinforce research networks in color science and elevate the participation of underrepresented groups. We are primarily interested in women applicants of African American, Latin American, American Indian, or Alaskan Native descent, and others who are underrepresented and under-served in academia. 

Learn more or complete the application form today.

Art-Spectral Imaging

Visit the Art-Spectral Imaging website.

Archived Research

Bechmarking Art Image Interchange Cycles

This is a collection of past research results, often in the form of student theses or unpublished technical reports.

Many cultural heritage institutions are currently spending significant resources photographing their works of art for a variety of applications with distinctly different requirements. To create reproductions of their artwork, cultural heritage institutions employ a range of technology and a variety of workflows. A similar variety is used to publish these images in a number of output media. This project was undertaken to explore these workflows, their requirements, and the resulting image quality of the reproductions produced.

The main goals of this project were to: (1) determine the image quality inherent in the art image interchange cycles in use today, (2) understand the image quality expectations of the users, and (3) develop the capability to tie the two together. The three-year project started in April 2008 with financial support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. (download final report 32MB PDF)