Computer aided method for colour calibration and analysis of digital rock photographs


  • Matic Potočnik
  • Bojan Klemenc
  • Franc Solina
  • Uroš Herlec



The methods used in geology to determine colour and colour coverage are expensive, time consuming, and/ or subjective. Estimates of colour coverage can only be approximate since they are based on rough comparison based measuring etalons and subjective estimation, which is dependent upon the skill and experience of the person performing the estimation. We present a method which accelerates, simplifies, and objectifies these tasks using a computer application. It automatically calibrates the colours of a digital photo, and enables the user to read colour values and coverage, even after returning from field work. Colour identification is based on the Munsell colour System. For the purposes of colour calibration we use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport colour chart placed onto the photographed scene. Our Computer application detects the ColorChecker colour chart, and finds a colour space transformation to calibrate the colour in the photo. The user can then use the application to read colours within selected points or regions of the photo. The results of the computerised colour calibration were compared to the reference values of the ColorChecker chart. The values slightly deviate from the exact values, but the deviation is around the limit of human capability for Visual comparison. We have devised an experiment, which compares the precision of the computerised colour analysis and manual colour analysis performed on a variety of rock samples with the help of geology students using Munsell Rock-color Chart. The analysis showed that the precision of manual comparative identification on multicoloured samples is somewhat problematic, since the choice of representative colours and Observation points for a certain part of a sample are subjective. The computer based method has the edge in verifiability and repeatability of the analysis since the application the original photo to be saved with colour calibration, and tagging of colouranalysed points and regions.


How to Cite

Potočnik, M., Klemenc, B., Solina, F., & Herlec, U. (2015). Computer aided method for colour calibration and analysis of digital rock photographs. Geologija, 58(2), 247–260.