I have a database of colors in L-a-b format. the colors of the database comes from the colors of porcelain material and they are 80 or 90 colors, when I want to make a new color thes reference of the color does not is in the database to get the same reference we have to mix several colors with different quantities that we have in the database   I want to analyze how many colors there are [in an image (??)], and I want to know the quantity of each color that it contains.So I need it for creating a new color.

  For example: I want this color: L: 75, a: 3, b: 16. In the database there are many similar numbers of which the following are examples.

  L: 79 a: 6 b: 22   L: 72 a: 10 b: 18   L: 80 a: 7 b: 19

  I use to make a mixture of several colors with different quantities that are in the database, the result of this mixture must be the same desired color

  L: 75 a: 3 b: 16

  What method or algorithm can I use to get the right result?{Normally we use formulas of CIELAB ΔE, "Delta E" but this brings us closer to the color does not give you the same color so we have to calculate to know how many quantities of each color must be mixed to get the desired color.}

  • 1
    This is somewhat related to other questions about mixing physical paints like this or this.
    – Wolff
    Nov 10, 2019 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


You can bin colors.

You can not however solve your ultimate goal. See the color mixing on computers only work in relation to very narrow technical constraints. Mixing color with physical medium is not one of these.

The Lab color model is just not up to this task. It does not know anything about the spectrum of your samples. This becomes relevant when you make your mixture. So you would really need spectrographic data.

Also the color substances undergo chemical reactions in the kiln, so you would need to know about those also, but depending on your subtance you may disregard this.

  • I use ceramic powder, each powder has its color lab reference, to get a color its reference is not in the database, so I have to mix several colors of ceramic powder in different quantities and put the mixture in the oven, after the cooking the final result of the ceramic has to be the same desired color. The formulas CIELAB, Delta E gives you the colors near your color but does not give how many quantities you have to mix to get it Nov 10, 2019 at 22:40
  • 2
    I think what @joojaa tries to explain is that the Lab model cannot be used to predict the quantities needed of each powder to get a desired color. Mixing physical inks/pigments/powders follows highly complex patterns. Lab only describes the resulting visible color, but physical objects reflects light in the full spectrum, not always visible to the eye. The powders might also react differently to the oven depending on which minerals they are made of.
    – Wolff
    Nov 10, 2019 at 22:54
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    Similarily, in standard CMYK print, we know the Lab color of for example the cyan and magenta ink, but that doesn't necessarily help us to predict the result of mixing those inks in different tints. Color profiles are not merely based on a simple mathematical model, but on measurements made on physical test prints.
    – Wolff
    Nov 10, 2019 at 22:57
  • @Karimkalaje i understad that but Lab space is insuficient to tell how to mix that color. We do not know the full spectrum of your powders result in, so we do not know how the results mix even in best of cases. Lab is a measure of human senses. But unseen to human senses the reflected spectrums define the colors. So the resulting mixtures may be all over the place. Now if your database actually had the spectometric data then we could actually get a reasonable guess. Still no guarantee as the sizes of the individual molecules comes to play but a more reasonable guess nonetheless.
    – joojaa
    Nov 11, 2019 at 4:48
  • Hi guys The materials we use are porcelain powders for dental use, each color has its reference of the space L * a * b *, it cannot be changed because this reference comes with a gray reference card, they are more or less 90 colors . It is a fixed color does not change when mixed with water, so how are we going to solve this problem and create a color using our database. Nov 11, 2019 at 17:46

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