Color SpelunkerTM by

Spelunk
Computing

See instructions below

Color Spelunker is a tool for selecting colors and color combinations. It features an HSB map displaying colors corresponding to ranges of hue, saturation and brightness. A unique feature of this HSB map is the presence of plateaus within each component range. These plateaus provide a number of benefits:

  1. They isolate the effect of each component
  2. They combine to form a patch of the currently selected color at the point of adjustment
  3. They facilitate independent, graphical adjustment of each component

Beyond selecting single colors you can select palettes of related colors. The Palette Creator lets you choose from a number of common color relationships. The relationships are depicted within the HSB map, where they can also be adjusted.

Rounding out the color selection apparatus are a mixer that can be used to formulate shades between any two colors and a component value editor for specifying color components numerically.

Things You Can Do How To Do Them
Select a predefined color Click on any of the swatches in the upper left
Adjust the current color's hue The HSB Map contains a ring on which the hue varies with rotation. Click on the ring at a point that displays the desired hue. Drag around the ring to adjust the hue as you move.

You can also click on either of the two arrows just below the top of the hue ring. The arrows adjust the hue by a small increment clockwise or counter clockwise. Each arrow appears on a background that shows the color that will result from the adjustment.

Adjust the current color's brightness The HSB Map contains a square that displays saturation and brightness variations for the currently selected hue. Click on a point within the square that displays the desired brightness. The brightness varies from minimum at the bottom of the square to maximum at the top. To adjust the brightness without altering the saturation, click within the constant saturation band that runs from top to bottom. You can drag up or down to adjust the brightness.

You can also click either of the two arrows to the left of the saturation/brightness square. The arrows increment or decrement the brightness. Each arrow appears on a background that shows the color that will result from the adjustment.

Adjust the current color's saturation The HSB Map contains a square that displays saturation and brightness variations for the currently selected hue. Click on a point within the square that displays the desired saturation. The saturation varies from minimum at the left of the square to maximum at the right. To adjust the saturation without altering the brightness, click within the constant brightness band that runs from left to right. You can drag left or right to adjust the saturation.

You can also click either of the two arrows that appear below the saturation/brightness square. The arrows increment or decrement the saturation. Each arrow appears on a background that shows the color that will result from the adjustment.

Select the current color's compliment Click in the region of the hue ring bounded by dotted lines, diametrically opposite of the currently selected hue.
Undo a color change Click on the undo button in the upper left of the HSB Map to revert to the previous color. Click it repeatedly to recall earlier selections.
Redo a color change Click on the redo button in the upper left of the HSB Map to redo the most recently undone color change.
Save a custom color If the currently selected color doesn't correspond to an existing swatch, a small swatch with a green plus button appears at the bottom of the Swatches area. Click the plus button to add the color to the collection of swatches. Custom color swatches are saved locally on your computer and will appear anytime you return to the Color Spelunker page.
Mix two colors Select the first color to be mixed and then click on the left "ingredient" box within the Mixer. Select the second color to be mixed and similarly deposit it in the right ingredient box. Then click on the mixture box below the ingredients to select the mixed color. Initially the mixture is half way between the two ingredient colors. Drag the slider thumb towards either of the two ingredients to make the mixture more closely resemble that ingredient.
Create multiple mixture shades Follow the instructions for mixing two colors then increase the number of shades using the control to the right of the mixture.
Create a color palette Choose a base color. Click the "Enabled" checkbox within the Palette Creator. Then choose a color scheme from the combobox and a number of colors. Note the number of colors is restricted for some schemes.
Adjust the colors in a palette while maintaining their relationship Click in the center of the palette to select the base color (this color is automatically selected when you enabled the Palette Creator). Use any of the previously described methods to adjust the base color. The other "spoke" colors which make up the palette will adjust automatically. You can also adjust any of the spoke colors by clicking on it and then adjusting. The relationship between the palette colors will be maintained.
Adjust the relationship of colors in a palette Corresponding to each color in the palette are two marked points in the HSB Map, one on the hue ring and one within the saturation/brightness square. You can probe the relationship using the mouse. When you move the mouse over a color in the Palette Creator the corresponding points in the HSB Map are highlighted. Conversely, when you move the mouse over a point in HSB Map the corresponding color within the Palette Creator is highlighted. You can make adjustments by dragging individual points in HSB Map. Dragging these points alters the relationships among the colors. For example, with the Split Complimentary scheme selected, dragging either of the complimentary hue points adjusts their separation. The undo capability often comes in handy when experimenting with palette adjustments. Note that the size variations among the point markers have no significance they merely serve to make collocated markers distinguishable.
Create a palette whose colors have no formal relationship Choose the "Custom" radio button within the Palette Creator. Now each color in the palette can be adjusted independently. A useful technique is to start with a predefined color scheme then switch to Custom and tweak it to your satisfaction.
Save a color palette The upper left of the Palettes collection displays a small version of any palette you create along with a green plus button . Click the plus button to add the newly created palette to the palette collection Custom color palettes are saved locally on your computer and will appear anytime you return to the Color Spelunker page.
Specify a color in terms of its component values Within the Component Values area enter numeric values for Red, Green, Blue, Hue, Saturation or Brightness. Each component value is surrounded by four arrows which adjust the value as follows when clicked: decrease by a small increment, decrease by a minimal increment, increase by a minimal increment or increase by a small increment. Each arrow's background depicts the color that will result from selecting it.
Reorder color swatches Press the mouse on a custom swatch and drag it to a new location relative to other custom swatches. Note that the predefined swatches can't be reordered in this manner.
Sort color swatches Right click (Command click on Mac) within the Swatches area and choose "Detailed View" from the menu. The display will change to a tabular view, with a column devoted to each color component. Click on any column heading to sort the swatches by that component.
Reorder color palettes Press the mouse on any palette within the Palettes area and drag it to a new location.
Sort color palettes Right click (Command click on Mac) within the Palette area and choose "Detailed View" from the menu. The display will change to a tabular view, with a columns devoted to the color scheme, base hue, base saturation and base brightness. Click on any column heading to sort the palettes by that attribute.
Use Color Spelunker in my Java program Visit the Color Spelunker usage and download instructions