Scale Model Helper - a utility for color matching
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Thread: Scale Model Helper - a utility for color matching

  1. #1

    Default Scale Model Helper - a utility for color matching

    Hi folks, I've been working on a free (no ads) application for Android mobile devices (requires android 4.0) for a bit now, which is intended for scale model builders and miniature painters.


    You can download Scale Model Helper for Android at the link.
    I also have an online version of it, as well as a blog where I will be posting further updates.


    Right now I have FS, RAL, RLM, Humbrol, Revell, Tamiya colors in it, but I will add as many color brands as possible. I'm also planning to add a color inventory features and other stuff.


    Anyway, check it out, and let me know what you think.

  2. #2

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    Hiya Miki, there have been plugs for similar online applications in the past and every one of them has the same underlying problem: they're not based on accurate info for the paints so I'm naturally wondering if that's the case here. I've read the relevant blog entry but I'm still unsure, how exactly was the colour information for each paint sourced?

    Einion

  3. #3

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    -What Eimion said, Plus- if your'e getting color swatches from the websites or even the company's color chart, they are much different on paper. You'd have to have a bit of dried paint on paper to accurately gauge each (Which would be expensive). But this is why I love that vallejo essentially copied GW line in their "Model colors" (Remember- you cannot copyright a color, just the unique name!)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Hiya Miki, there have been plugs for similar online applications in the past and every one of them has the same underlying problem: they're not based on accurate info for the paints so I'm naturally wondering if that's the case here. I've read the relevant blog entry but I'm still unsure, how exactly was the colour information for each paint sourced?

    Einion
    My process is going to each official manufacturer site, and collecting the raw data: name, rgb, etc. Then I use the lookup tables that each manufacturer publishes, and match according to what each manufacturer claims.

    I can tell you that I've ran into multiple conflicts in the color lookup tables as well as plain mistakes, and while I do try to make some common sense decisions about the color match, some of those conflicts cannot be resolved, so what I've done is design the color data structure for the application to support multiple options of matching colors. For example, if you'll search in the application for 70847, which is Vallejo Dark Sand, you will see that it appears in two lines, which is caused because of a chain of lookups between color manufacturers that end up claiming different FS numbers for each. In cases like this, I prefer to include the other options, rather than remove them, in order to give the modeler the option of deciding on the best match as he sees it.

    Eventually, since we're dealing with physical colors here, not every color can be matched correctly, but one of my reasons for starting this application, was to get a best or as close to best as possible color matches, since every other source I could find was very partial or not updated for a long time.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
    -What Eimion said, Plus- if your'e getting color swatches from the websites or even the company's color chart, they are much different on paper. You'd have to have a bit of dried paint on paper to accurately gauge each (Which would be expensive). But this is why I love that vallejo essentially copied GW line in their "Model colors" (Remember- you cannot copyright a color, just the unique name!)
    That's right, but unless I bought and photographed each physical paint, all I can rely on is the rgb as shown in the manufacturer web site, and hope for the best

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jbickley00's Avatar
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    Well one problem with rgb is that it's an additive color system and we paint, which is a subtractive process. So rgb is less useful than cmyk.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenDragon42
    My process is going to each official manufacturer site, and collecting the raw data: name, rgb, etc. Then I use the lookup tables that each manufacturer publishes, and match according to what each manufacturer claims.
    Okay using that as a basis might work all right. You've run into trouble already as you mention - the conflicts and plain mistakes - but that aside if each paint company did their due diligence then a lot of the matches will be right or close.

    I'm a little dubious about assuming that though, even before factoring in the occasional error. I'm not merely being cynical, some specific reasons to be doubtful have come up previously (e.g. where it would appear that company A really has no idea what Paint X from company B looks like).

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenDragon42
    Eventually, since we're dealing with physical colors here, not every color can be matched correctly, but one of my reasons for starting this application, was to get a best or as close to best as possible color matches, since every other source I could find was very partial or not updated for a long time.
    Seems to me that fixing it to compensate for where the paint companies' own info is flawed is the most important factor in this and there really is only one way to do this properly and despite the effort you've already gone to it dwarfs this, plus would incur significant expense.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenDragon42
    That's right, but unless I bought and photographed each physical paint...
    That wouldn't do it - standard photographs are not accurate enough for real-colour matching, even taken under standardised lighting with an expensive camera. You'd need a spectrophotometer (one of the significant expenses). Although if you had to buy all the paints that would eventually work out to be the major outlay.

    Einion

  8. #8

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    Hey Chrispy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jbickley00
    Well one problem with rgb is that it's an additive color system and we paint, which is a subtractive process. So rgb is less useful than cmyk.
    Neither is really of any benefit here, and honestly CMYK has no more practical application for this type of thing than RGB (smaller gamut too). Doing colour matching from colour readings you'd need to use one of the CIE colour models, like L*a*b* but more likely now CIECAM02.

    Einion

  9. #9

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    Just released version 1.4 of Scale Model Helper. It contains the following changes:


    - Testors / Model Master colors (not including Floquil and Pactra which are about to be discontinued)
    - ANA – American Army-Navy Aeronautical color standard
    - Added some basic terms and definitions for colors
    - Color filter will now search on each search term separately. For example, previously a search for “red blue” would not have found any results. Now it will return results for either the word “red” or “blue”
    - Any search on the word “gray” will also search automatically on the word “grey” and vice versa.
    - Any color with no specific rgb value will now have a background color of the general row color. For example, previously a color that didn’t had any other matches would have a blank background color, and the color would show in the RGB column. Now it will have a background color.


    I've also setup a poll on the website for what colors you want to see in the next update.
    If you don't see the color that you want on the poll, let me know and I'll add it.

  10. #10

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    Version 1.5 is now available:
    - New color brands: Citadel / Games Workshop
    - New color standard: British Standard - a set of standards used in Britain for construction and engineering, including colors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Standards). I've included BS381C, BS5252, BS2600 and BS4800
    - Search improvements: I've switched to an OR mode from the previous mode, which was a simple text search without separating the search terms, because I've seen people doing searches on multiple words, but because they weren't exactly the same as the color name, they didn't find what they were looking for. However, this caused a bigger problem, in that later searches would bring back a lot more results than what people actually wanted to search for.
    I did some changes to the grid and searches are now happening on the server side. This enables me to share the search code between the online version and the Android application, and being able to do better searches.
    Search will now be an AND mode between each term, so searching for "blue angel" will find all the colors that have both "blue" and "angel" in them, for example Testors 2023 "Blue Angels Yellow".
    Also, you can search on exact text by wrapping the search term in double quotes, and you can search only specific color brands by prefixing the color brand name and a colon to the search term, for example, fs:blue will search for anything containing the word blue in only the FS color brand, and fs:"blue" will search for exactly the word blue in the FS color brand.
    See the Advanced Help button in the applications for more details and examples.
    - Search will no longer search in the RGB values to prevent false positives when searching for color numbers.


    I've also reset the poll for the color brands in the next version, so vote for your favorite color brand. Reaper so far is in the lead. Let me know if there are other color brands that you want to see.

  11. #11

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    It's a somewhat small update, but I wanted to finish it before getting to the new features I've been planning.


    Here are the changes:


    - Added Reaper colors
    - Added Gunze colors
    - Fixed bug when searching for some colors with the word grey, for example "ulthuan grey"
    - Due to seeing people trying to search for specific brands but not adding colon, which would have returned zero results, I've added an option to search for specific colors with numbers without the colon. For example, instead of searching for "h:86" , you can write "h86" and get the same results. This will only work for searching for specific color numbers, otherwise you still need to separate the color brand and search term with ":" as explained in the Advanced Search section.
    - Improved search speed


    For the next version I'm planning a color inventory feature, as well as some more interactive features (flagging a color match and similar). I want people to be able to have access to their color inventory from either the online or the android versions, so I'll be doing an optional login of some sort, probably based on either facebook, google+, or just an email and password option, and the actual color inventory will be hosted on my server.


    I'm also having some ideas about actual physical tools but I'm keeping it under wraps for the moment, I need to see how well it'll actually work out.


    Scale Model Helper is a utility to make it easier for the scale model builder and miniature painter to match colors from different brands. There is an online version and an Android version.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
    -What Eimion said, Plus- if your'e getting color swatches from the websites or even the company's color chart, they are much different on paper. You'd have to have a bit of dried paint on paper to accurately gauge each (Which would be expensive). But this is why I love that vallejo essentially copied GW line in their "Model colors" (Remember- you cannot copyright a color, just the unique name!)
    I believe that this was not what happened. GW approached Vallejo to develop a range of paints. GW provided colour names and approximate colour values. GW then went with a different company to provide their brand of paints. Vallejo after spending some time and money to develop the colours for a client that no longer wanted their product, changed the names and released the paint with their own name.

  13. #13

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    Well, it's been 8 months since the last time I've released an update to Scale Model Helper, which is a lot longer than what I've been planning. I was having problems creating what I wanted with the application, and work was busy, so I didn't had much free time left. I did however managed to solve the technical problems, and I have more free time, so hopefully the next updates won't take as long.


    Since it's been so long, here's a quick reminder of what is Scale Model Helper. Scale Model Helper is intended to help the scale model builders and miniature painters in their every needs, from color selection and matching, to scale model building to-do and shopping lists, whether you’re building armor, aircraft, ships, cars or trains. There is an online version at online version and an Android version.


    Here are the changes in this version:
    - Added P3 colors
    - I've added support for marking colors in your inventory. It's very basic right now (you can see an example of how it works here, but will serve as a base for other online and shared content features that I'm planning. I'm using facebook as the identification mechanism as I didn't want to deal with usernames and passwords for now. An important feature is that this inventory is shared across both the online and the Android version if you login to facebook on each application.
    - I've started a UserVoice site for Scale Model Helper. UserVoice is a site that lets me get feedback from people with bug reports and more importantly, ideas and features that they're interested in seeing in the next version, so I can have a better idea of what to work on next. The main portal for it is here, give it a look, browse around, and vote / post about ideas and features you'd like to see next.

  14. #14

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    Dude its amazing for me that this scheme color is very charming i respect all your painting but scale model is also good but i have no idea why you make this scale model?

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