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Color space conversions, support for International Color Consortium (ICC) profiles

The toolbox represents colors as RGB values, but there are other models besides RGB for representing colors numerically. The various color spaces exist because they present color information in ways that make certain calculations more convenient or because they provide a more intuitive way to identify colors. The toolbox provides functions for converting color data from one color space to another. The toolbox also support International Color Consortium (ICC) profiles for describing colors.


rgb2lab Convert RGB to CIE 1976 L*a*b*
rgb2ntsc Convert RGB color values to NTSC color space
rgb2xyz Convert RGB to CIE 1931 XYZ
rgb2ycbcr Convert RGB color values to YCbCr color space
lab2rgb Convert CIE 1976 L*a*b* to RGB
lab2xyz Convert CIE 1976 L*a*b* to CIE 1931 XYZ
xyz2lab Convert CIE 1931 XYZ to CIE 1976 L*a*b*
xyz2rgb Convert CIE 1931 XYZ to RGB
ycbcr2rgb Convert YCbCr color values to RGB color space
ntsc2rgb Convert NTSC values to RGB color space
lab2double Convert L*a*b* data to double
lab2uint16 Convert L*a*b* data to uint16
lab2uint8 Convert L*a*b* data to uint8
xyz2double Convert XYZ color values to double
xyz2uint16 Convert XYZ color values to uint16
iccfind Search for ICC profiles
iccread Read ICC profile
iccroot Find system default ICC profile repository
iccwrite Write ICC color profile to disk file
isicc True for valid ICC color profile
makecform Create color transformation structure
applycform Apply device-independent color space transformation
imapprox Approximate indexed image by reducing number of colors
colorcloud Display 3-D color gamut as point cloud in specified color space
whitepoint XYZ color values of standard illuminants


Understanding Color Spaces and Color Space Conversion

A color space maps a color in a multidimensional coordinate system.

Device-Independent Color Spaces

Device-independent color spaces define a standardized three-dimensional space where three values represent a color.

Profile-Based Color Space Conversions

The Color Management System (CMS) provides a means for translating color data between input, output, and display devices.

Display Colors

Learn how to determine the screen bit depth of your system and how to change the bit depth.

Reduce the Number of Colors in an Image

To reduce the number of colors in an image, use color approximation, dithering, or the imapprox function.

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