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1. Junior Member
Join Date
Aug 2004
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2

## Color Detection Algorithm

I am trying to write an algorithm for detection of the color green. The thing is that if I try detecting the shade of a pixel in a picture, there are more than a million different shades possible. How do I sift thourgh all these different shades and detect which ones are green ? Does anyone know of a simple way to do it or of any prevelant algorithms that does it for you ?

2. Elite Member
Join Date
Oct 2002
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Singapore
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Assuming that your picture uses some form of RGB format to store the color for per pixel, you can distinguish if the color of a pixel is green if both red and blue colors are zero.

3. One of the most popular methods used for this puprose is using the vector distance. I've used this in the past for detecting colors and it works fine. Here is a brief explanation:
Let's say you are searching for "green" pixels. Pure green exists when the values of the pixels are:
R = 0
G = 255
B = 0

Though, when searching for green you may want to have a "tolerance" meaning that you don't only search for pure green, but also for some other green-like combinations. Suppose that each pixel is a vector:
pixel = [R G B]
Also, the color combination you are looking for is another vector:
green = [0 255 0] (reference color)

The eucledian distance between those 2 vectors is:
D = sqrt((R-0)^2 + (G-255)^2 + (B-0)^2)
(in the place of 0 and 255 you can place whatever you want, according on the color combination you are looking for...)

So the algorithm goes:
Code:
for each pixel
{
1. compute the distance between that pixel and the reference color (D)
2. if D<Threshold
then
current pixel is accepted
else
current pixel is NOT accepted
}
PS1: "Threshold" is a constant value and has to bee set manually according on the "tolerance" you want to give to your algorithm (a high value of Threshold means that also less "clear" green pixels will be considered as green, whereas a lower value of Threshold will make the algorithm quite "strict").

PS2: Threshold can also be computed using addaptive algorithms but this is quite difficult

PS3: I've tested this simple algorithm using Matlab and it works fine, so if interested tell me to send you the code.

Hope this helped u.

4. Also, you could try image segmentation technuiqes like:
- fuzzy logic
- k - means vector quantization

5. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

I think you should give more tolerance to the brightness. To do so, norm the color vectors by 1 and then distance is distance between the resulting vectors+some cooff*difference in length.

6. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

Nice idea RoboTact. Though, that depends on what the seach is done for. Maybe the user doesn't want to give tolerance to brightness. But if he does, then you are right, that by normalizing the RGB coefficients he achieves that.
Another way to do this is to execute histogram equalisation in each coefficient (R,G,B), or even better to transform the RGB matrix to HSI and perform histogram equalisation to the I coefficient only.

7. Junior Member
Join Date
Mar 2005
Location
West Michigan
Posts
20

## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

Assuming you receive pixel values in RGB form, another option is to convert the color to HSV (Hue - Saturation - Value). Pure green has (I believe) a hue value of 192.

This would make it easier to weight saturation and light levels differently than hue.
--
Scott

8. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

with a screen that is 32 bit you use this (this is how I get colours from a direct draw surface)

long colour = (*(reinterpret_cast<long*>(ddsd.lpSurface)+(Y*Xres+X)))&0x00FF00

&0x00FF00 is a bit mask that will extract the green value so all you need to do is this

if(colour) //if true then there is some green in the pixel

there ya go be carefull with 16 bit numbers as some systems consider 16 bit to be 15

(ddsd.lpSurface is a void pointer to the beginning of the screens memory address, which is why it needs to be reinterpreted)

oh and in a 24bit BMP (just RGB no alpha) you have 16,777,216 different colours

9. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

Originally Posted by wsmmi6674
Assuming you receive pixel values in RGB form, another option is to convert the color to HSV (Hue - Saturation - Value). Pure green has (I believe) a hue value of 192.

This would make it easier to weight saturation and light levels differently than hue.
--
Scott
Also: hsv is sometimes better to use for color detection problems. For example, it is prooved that for human skin color detection, hsi (or hsv) model is much better, because it is closer to human color perception.

10. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

How does HSV work? I've never heard of it

11. Junior Member
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Mar 2005
Location
West Michigan
Posts
20

## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

Whereas RGB represents the Red, Green and Blue components of a color, HSV represents the Hue, Saturation, and Value (light- or dark-ness) components. Some feel it is a better match with the way humans think about color. You can covert RGB colors to HSV using the algorithm found here: http://www.cs.rit.edu/~ncs/color/t_convert.html
--
Scott

12. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

HSV and HSI are 2 very similar color models. HSV stands for:
• H (hue): Ranges from 0-360. In some cases it is normalized 0-100. Hue represents the COLOR type (e.g. blue, red etc).
• S (saturation): Ranges from 0-100. It represents the "purity" of the color: the higher saturation value is, the clearer the color is. If saturation is low, the color looks closer to gray.
• V (value): This is the brightness of the color, and it ranges from 0-100.

HSV model is sometimes represented as a cone. Try find a tutorial for explanation on this.

How to convert from RGB to HSV:
Suppose you have (R,G,B) values:
MAX = max(R,G,B)
MIN = min(R,G,B)
then:
H = ((G-B)/(MAX-MIN))*60 if MAX = R
(2+(B-R)/(MAX-MIN))*60 if MAX = G
(4+(R-G)/(MAX-MIN))*60 if MAX = B
S = (MAX-MIN)/MIN
V = MAX

Hope it helps,
Theodore

13. Junior Member
Join Date
Feb 2007
Posts
2

## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

hello yiannakop
please i want the matlab code because i need it urgently and as fast as possible in my graduation project thnx a lot.

14. Junior Member
Join Date
Feb 2007
Posts
2

## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

please i want the matlab code ,it's very urgent
my mail is kimohoss@hotmail.com
please iu want it as soon as possible

15. ## Re: Color Detection Algorithm

You realize this post is almost 2 years old. It's possible Theodore isn't reading this forum anymore.

Viggy

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