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Spectrophotometer Analysis of Crayons 40

Volhav writes "Like many as a child, the photographer Mark Meyer wondered what the difference between Yellow-Green and Green-Yellow was in that Crayola box of crayons. Using a monitor calibration tool and the Argyll 3rd party software he evaluated a box of 24 Crayola crayons, and plotted them out with sRGB values. He even included a nice printable poster size version of the chart in his blog post. For the geek or curious this was a pretty interesting plot."
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Spectrophotometer Analysis of Crayons

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  • He's also on twitter: @markmeyerphoto

    Just in case you want to say hi.

    (Always pimpin' my fellow Alaskans)

    • Thanks ak_hepcat.

      Mrs. Grundy (a.k.a. @markmeyerphoto)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Are you the one who got Palin off the streets and into politics?

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @05:06PM (#37460444)

    Note that chemists have real recording spectrophotometers, not just monitor calibration gadgets. I spent way too long in my youth, if I recall correctly, classifying iron ore samples using one. Its a fairly elegant technique because accurate ultra wide range light sensors have been old stuff for decades. It seems like I took an entire 200 level quantitative chemical analysis chemistry class where all we did was F around with a spectrophotometer in different ways.

    If I recall correctly, the infrared ones were the cats meow before NMR got "cheap" for classifying organic compounds.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      TFA says it's an i1Pro which is a legitimate spectrophotometer—significantly more than a monitor calibration gadget, but less than an industrial, lab grade spectro.

    • Only the bottom end of the calibration gadgets for monitors use characterised colourimeters. Many of the medium and higher end monitor calibration gadgets are proper spectrophotometers. Typically many of the devices where one device is capable of doing the entire colour workflow from scanner to monitor to printer and compare them to pantone charts are the real deal. The i1 PhotoPro is also roughly 10x the cost of your run of the mill "monitor calibration gadgets" like the i1 Display.

      In this case his results

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @05:21PM (#37460638)

    Has anyone done a similar plot evaluating the taste of the crayons?

    And who pinned these mittens to my jacket?

    • by wsxyz ( 543068 )
      Despite your (and my) expectations, red crayons do not have a cherry flavor.
      On the other hand, black crayons taste just like that black stuff I dig out from under my toenails every now and then.
      • I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Ew. Gross."
      • oh shit Richard Stallman is onto graphic design! Quick! alert Apple fanboys!

        You should not patent rounded corner rectangles Apple, here look my toe nails, they have rounded corners since the beginning of UNIX time, are your iPads edible? because I know my toenails are. Stop thwarting the freedom of the rounded rectangles with your sub-par implementations.

    • by plover ( 150551 ) *

      That reminds me of one of my very favorite old Peanuts cartoons:
      Lucy brings Linus a steaming mug, and says "I brought you a mug of hot cocoa."
      Linus tastes it and says "It tastes like hot water with a brown crayon dipped in it."
      Lucy tastes it and agrees, saying "You're right. I'll go add another crayon."

    • by PPH ( 736903 )
      Is your underwear marked "Anonymous Coward"?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It is now. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • I think the better question is, has anyone designed and implemented a full-color plotter that uses a pack of crayons as the replacement plotting filiment? Or has anyone designed a full-color display that somehow uses a pack of (maybe mentled) crayons? Then the poster might actually be useful.
      • Not a plotter, but Tektronix did manufacture and sell a line of printers that melted a solid and spat it onto paper. Essentially, these "Phaser" printers used crayons. Xerox bought the printer line from Tektronix.
  • by Wolfling1 ( 1808594 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @05:36PM (#37460854) Journal
    One step closer to understanding some of the recent legislative changes...
  • I "work" with color science. We have an X-Rite spectrophotometer just sitting around. Takes an artist's thinking, I suppose.

    I ran into a paper a while back where the author captured spectrum of 100s of "natural" objects. Rocks, leaves, skin, etc etc. Made for an interesting chromaticity diagram.

    • I work in color chemistry too. I'd like to get excited about this article but it just reminds me of work and I start wondering about what the variation is in the individual colors between different boxes, or what the difference is between these same colors in the markers from the same manufacturer.
  • "But there's way too much information to decode the Crayola. You get used to it. I...I don't even see the spectral signature. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head..."
  • full-color PostScript plotter uses crayons as drawing filiments...
    does it exist?
  • "Using a monitor calibration tool and the Argyll 3rd party software he evaluated a box of 24 Crayola crayons..."

    But...but ... that's our secret recipe, just like Kentucky Fried Chicken (excuse me, KFC) or Coke (excuse me, Coca-Cola (Excuse Me, Coca-Cola Classic)). Now kids can just use it for free on the intertubes?!? And *no* royalties or renewables to parents to renew!!??!!??

    Release the lawyers!! Let the DCMA slaughter begin -- Leave No Chemist Standing!!

    (...and someone get me Jackson about tha
  • A monitor calibration tool is not a spectrophotometer, its a spectroradiometer.

  • Has anyone done the conversion to sRGB values via CIELAB?

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"