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5

I think it would be a good idea to get back to the basics. It's a large post, so there's a recap at the end. Colour can be represented in a couple of ways. We can have Red, Green and Blue (RGB). We could have CMYK (used in printing). There's also YCbCr/YUV (one for luminance and two for colour) and similar flavours of that. We have HSV/HSL/HSB (hue, ...


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The actual color of a pixel, outputted on a monitor, does not linearly depend on the applied voltage signal for that pixel. For CRT monitors, the actual color is approximately proportional to the applied voltage raised to the power of a so-called gamma value, which depends on the monitor. This gamma value typically lies between 2.2 and 2.5 for CRT monitors. (...


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Welcome to the world of 8-bit graphics! Other answers here are excellent, and most of what you need to know is described well on Wikipedia but let me take you on a human-friendly journey of understanding that I wish someone would have taken me on when I was younger. The first realization that you need to make is that a pixel with RGB values 128, 128, 128 ...


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Gamma correction originated as a way of correcting the output of a CRT to be a better fit for the human visual system. Modern monitors don't need to do it, but, they followed the CRT and there were millions of CRT's that all had gamma correction and most signals already had gamma correction in them. Today we have a chicken and egg problem...but reversed. ...


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Yes, I think you're right. The values from a typical color picker would be in a gamma encoding or sRGB encoding and would need to be converted to linear to use as reflectance. This is probably just a mistake in the book. (BTW, in case you're not aware, sRGB isn't actually gamma 2.2 but a more complicated transfer function.)


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