Chrominance aided the development of techniques for transmitting information about color, which enabled the transition to color television.

If you are unsure what chrominance is, don’t worry- we’ve got your back.

Read on to discover what chrominance is and how it revolutionized the TV and film industry.

If you want to start from the beginning, why not take a gander at our page on filmmaking to boost your knowledge?

color chrominance

What is chrominance?

There are many different definitions of chrominance on the internet. Here is a quick summarization of the term to void all confusion:

Chrominance, or Chroma, is an attribute of light that produces a sensation of color. It is a measurement of the quality of the light obtained by comparing qualities such as hue and saturation with a reference color source.

We can visualize it as part of a video signal that carries the information of the colors that are being displayed.

Specifically, it is the color of an object measured quantitatively in terms of a reference color. Therefore, it is the difference between a color and its reference color of the same brightness and chromaticity.

This is different from luminance.

It is represented as two color-difference components: U = B′ − Y′ (blue − luma) and V = R′ − Y′ (red − luma). By separating RGB color signals into luma and chrominance the bandwidth can be determined separately.

A chrominance signal is the product of the U and V signals modulating a color subcarrier signal. The phase and amplitude of the chrominance signal will mostly correspond to the hue and saturation values of that color.

Video and still photography systems may use a luma or chroma decomposition for improved visual compression.

Hue in chrominance

Chrominance is made up of two essential quantities of hue and saturation. Hue will take on a similar definition as in color theory. (If you’ve studied that before then you’re good to go!)

Hue can be described as a distinction between the colors around a color wheel- therefore, we can begin to think of it as a hue wheel.

You might say that a color has a greenish or reddish hue- it is the pure value of a color.

color chroma

Saturation in chrominance

Saturation can be described as the colorfulness of an area, judged in the context of its brightness.

It is a qualitative measure of determining how pure a color looks based on how it appears in its environment and lighting.

It can help to also think of it as a color’s ‘intensity’- it is the extent to which an area lacks grayish tones or is a ‘pure’ color. We can measure this by the strength of a hue.

Now we can put this all together to understand chrominance. For example:

  • Gray is neutral and can be described as a very low chroma.
  • A telephone box red can be described as a high-chroma red.

Up next: What is luminance

Now that you’re clued up on chrominance, it’s time to take a deep dive and discover the importance of luminance. Check out our page on luminance here.

What is chrominance?

Chrominance is a signal that is used in most video systems. It conveys information about colors by comparing attributes such as hue and saturation with a reference color.

What is hue and saturation in chrominance?

Hues and saturations help determine the value and tone within chrominance. A hue describes a dimension of color that we experience when we look at a color. e.g. red, blue, green, etc. Saturation is the strength of dominance of that hue: it is the amount of white light mixed with a color.

What is chrominance made of?

Chrominance is the combination of two different quantities: hue and saturation.

Popular listings for rentals