- the required number of colors.
- a function handle that converts from sRGB to a uniform colorspace (e.g. CIELAB, DIN99, OSA-UCS, CAM02-UCS, CAM16-UCS, etc.).
- Limit the lightness range.
- Limit the chroma range.
- Provide a colormap of colors to be excluded (e.g. background colors).
- Provide a colormap of colors to be included (e.g. company colorscheme).
- Specify the RGB bit depth (e.g. 8 bits per channel, TrueColor).
- Sort the colormap (e.g. by hue, chroma, lightness, farthest colors, etc.).
- Existing "distinct color" generators use inadequate colorspaces and/or algorithms, leading to suboptimal color distinctiveness.
- The realization that 64 bit PCs with 8 GB of RAM can operate on the entire 16 million colors of 24 bit TrueColor, allowing for neat and simple vectorized MATLAB code.
- An algorithm to find the best color combination requires finding the global optimum, a task which grows exponentially with the number of requested colors and with the color gamut size. In MAXDISTCOLOR I use repeated application of a simple greedy algorithm to find the maximally-distinct colors: the repeated greedy algorithm is not particularly fast and is not a general solution for finding a global optimum, but luckily it gives good results for the regularly sampled RGB cube. Note that this algorithm contains no random numbers: it is entirely deterministic and repeatable.
- Defining a true uniform colorspace: the venerable CIELAB (used by most existing tools I could find) is not really very uniform. For MAXDISTCOLOR I recommend OSA-UCS or CAM02-UCS or CAM16-UCS, all of which provide a more accurate measure of the color distance.
Stephen23 (2022). Maximally Distinct Color Generator (https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/70215-maximally-distinct-color-generator), MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .
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Inspired by: Generate maximally perceptually-distinct colors, colorSpectrum: Create N Distinct Plot Colors, Tol colors, Convert between RGB and Color Names, CubeHelix Colormap Generator: Beautiful and Versatile!, ColorBrewer: Attractive and Distinctive Colormaps, Custom Colors for Plots, Intuitive RGB color values from XKCD, Beautiful and distinguishable line colors + colormap, Color name identification: fuzzycolor
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