Eye Polluting (or "how your eyes play tricks on you"!)

It has happened to me, sometimes, to receive referrals for a color look where the customer said he would like the "warm" feel as he saw in the reference movie. Or cold. It does not really matter, for that example. So I prepare the proof and send (hj in the day I've done a lot of work from a distance) for the client to approve. The return is that the material is not as "hot" as in the reference ... I check the reference I have and we are in the same color temperature. Or vice versa, if the intention is a cold image.

When the customer arrives to partake of the session of color grading I present the reference along with the proof that had sent. Usually a surprise happens because the memory was that the reference was very different from what he was seeing there.

What happened? It may have been the difference in color balance of the monitor that the customer was seeing the reference. Or, most likely, the environment where this reference was being viewed could be illuminated by much warmer lights than the calibration of the monitor (or cooler). Or, perhaps, the place might be surrounded by walls of apparent brick.

I created an animated gi to exemplify in practice how our eyes get "tired" very quickly and our visual perception can be nothing more than a fantasy!

I created this animated gif in the following sequence:

1 - Image with color grading; 2 - Split solid colors (green and magenta) with a white circle in the center - the idea is to fix the look in the white circle during the 10 seconds that this image appears; 3 - Image with color grading (again) - you can see how the color perception of each half of the image has changed; 4 - at the end I created a gray solid to "recalibrate" the eyes - at first you can still see the influence of the colored solids until they completely disappear.

Why do we see more magenta on the left side and feel a more greenish image on the right side? The colored cones are excited unevenly. Then the green cones get more tired on the left side (we will not talk here about image inversion and compensation for the brain!) While the blue and red cones are no longer excited, thus creating the magenta image. The reverse happens on the right side, further exciting the red and blue cones while the green cones see "more".

I leave the same images, below, in a better quality, to replicate the test.

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