Observer variability in metameric color matches using color reproduction media
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Standard color-matching functions are designed to represent the mean color-matching response of the population of human observers with normal color vision. When using these functions, two questions arise. Are they an accurate representation of the population? And what is the uncertainty in color-match predictions? To address these questions in the dual context of human visual performance and cross-media reproduction, a color-matching experiment was undertaken in which twenty observers made matches between seven different colors presented in reflective and transmissive color reproduction media and a CRT display viewed through an optical apparatus that produced a simple split-field stimulus. In addition, a single observer repeated the experiment 20 times to estimate intra-observer variability. The results were used to evaluate the accuracy of three sets of color-matching functions, to quantify the magnitude of observer variability, and to compare intra- and inter-observer variability in color-matching. These results are compared with various techniques designed to predict the range of color mismatches. The magnitude of observer variability in this experiment also provides a quantitative estimate of the limit of cross-media color reproduction accuracy that need not be exceeded. On average, the differences between matches made by two different observers was approximately 2.5 CIELAB units.