Exploring Emerging Shapes in Braille-like Color Representation Syatem

Humans and computers distinguish colors with numerical values such as RGB, CMYK, HSV, and HSL. However, these numbers do not reflect the social and cultural experiences that come to mind from seeing different colors. Therefore, artists often distinguish different colors through verbal expressions. This new color repre-sentation system, Color Pareidolia, can implicitly encode the shape of an object associated with a particular color while containing numerical information of the color. Just as people from other cultures see different shapes on the surface of the moon, Color Pareidolia is a visual experiment to discover the subtle meaning of color.

The Color Pareidolia system consists of a dot matrix of three columns and eight rows. Each column represents data of red, green, and blue of the RGB color system, and eight rows of each column represent the binary bit status of 8-bit data of each color. The dots of the matrix are activated or deactivated by the numerical data of color. The activated dots are connected by creating a bridge, and the bridges are made only with adjacent orthogonal arrangements (See Figure under).

The operation of the Color Pareidolia system consists of two processes encoding and decoding. The encoding pro-cess analyzes color and converts it into a form of a shape, and a decoding process interprets the transformed shape as a color again. In the JavaScript-based web application we published, the encoding process operates under the name of HSB mode. The user can select the desired color in this mode by adjusting three sliders of Hue, Saturation, and Brightness. In addition, by adjusting the slider, the user can perceive how the numerical data of color changes morpho-logically in finding the desired color in real-time. The color selected by the user is converted into numeric data of the RGB color system, and the 8-bit binary data of each red, green, and blue is implemented as a dot matrix graphic. The color conversion into shape is completed by adding bridges between adjacently and perpendicularly positioned active dots.
The decoding process converts the shape created by the Color Pareidolia system to color. It determines whether each dot point of the shape is active or not, converts it into bina-ry data, and converts it into an element of the RGB color system. In the web application, the decoding process is im-plemented in RGB mode. The user can click on the dots of the dot matrix to activate or deactivate them. By creating a shape as drawing a pattern, the shape is interpreted as nu-merical data of the corresponding color, which is expressed as the color of the shape drawn by the user.