Unit Conversion

What is Color Space? | Definition & Conversion

Color Space

Color spaces are different types of color modes. Thus, these are used in image processing and signals & system for various purposes. Similarly, there are many color space that is popular and also has extensive use, such as RGB, CMYK, Y’UV, YIQ, Y’CbCr, HSV, etc. Therefore, we will see some details about color space, their examples as well as conversion methods from one to another.

What is Color Space?

We are using computers very much nowadays. Thus, we can see colors in images and diagrams on the computer screen? Those colors are determined on our screen and in print through the use of a color space.

Moreover, color space means the use of a specific color model or system which turns colors into numbers. Further, each color model is a method of creating many colors from a group of primary colors.

Similarly, each model has a range of colors that it can produce. Therefore, this range is the color space. Also, color spaces in different systems aren’t exactly the same.

Different media formats are there that use color like printing in books and magazines, digital media like websites and video games.

color space

List of Color Spaces

Types of color space depend on that which media we use i.e. digital or print format. For instance, digital devices use a color space called RGB i.e. Red/Green/Blue. It is based on colored light. Further, these colors of light combine in different ways to produce color.

Thus, none of the lights is bright, the eye perceives black. Similarly, if all lights are at their brightest, as in the middle of the diagram, the eye sees white. All other colors are made through specific percentages of the three basic colors. RGB includes a larger part of the visible spectrum that other color models and it most resembles how we see color.

Now think a picture printed on paper. Ink is essential because the color is produced through a physical process. This color space is CMYK, for Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black. Sometimes you’ll see CMYK called process color because it’s used in the four-color printing process.

The easiest way to understand this is to start with the white paper on which an image will print. The four inks are printed in layers on the white background until the darkest tones are complete.

The ink masks, or conceals, the brightness of the white background. Because you take away brightness as the color applies, CMYK is a subtractive color system. Black ink is there because when the cyan, magenta and yellow combine, they don’t create true black.

Learn more about Ray Optics and Optical Instruments here in detail.

RGB Color Space

RGB and CMYK are the most common systems. They include HSB i.e. Hue, Saturation and Brightness, a model where three numbers represent in each color. Hue has a scale of 0 to 360 and includes all colors. Saturation runs from 0 to 100, with 0 equaling no color and 100 being full color. Brightness runs from 0 to 100, with a higher number representing a darker color. By using specific combinations of numbers, you get different colors.

Solved Question for You

Q.1 Show RGB and CMYK Color Space Conversion?

We use RGB and CMYK color space conversion to translate from one color space to the other. The CMYK i.e Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key (black) color model is useful in offset printers. These formulas are present for RGB to CMYK color space conversion. RGB values are said to range from 0 to 255, whereas the CMYK values range from 0 to 1.


R‘ = \(\frac{R}{255}\)

G‘ = \(frac{G}{255}\)

B‘ =  \(\frac{B}{255}\)

K= 1-max(R‘,G‘,B‘)

C= \(\frac{1-R‘-K}{1-K}\)

M= \(\frac{1-G‘-K}{1-K}\)

Y= \(\frac{1-B‘-K}{1-K}\)


R= 255 × (1-C) × (1-K)

G= 255 × (1-M) × (1-K)

B= 255 × (1-Y) × (1-K)

From RGB to YUV

Y = 0.299R + 0.587G + 0.114B

U = 0.492 (B-Y)

V = 0.877 (R-Y)

We can represent it also as:

Y =  0.299R + 0.587G + 0.114B

U = -0.147R – 0.289G + 0.436B

V =  0.615R – 0.515G – 0.100B

From YUV to RGB

R = Y + 1.140V

G = Y – 0.395U – 0.581V

B = Y + 2.032U

Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Watch lectures, practise questions and take tests on the go.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

No thanks.