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Double Hexadecimal Hexagon, Hex Colors Palette Wheel

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double hexagon, html hex colors wheel palette at
The double hexagon color palette allows the eye to see hue transitions with greater ease then hex number charts that use simple tables.

The Top, Middle and Center palette charts use an abbreviated hexadecimal number sequence, hex code, to create different hex triplet hues by combining red "R", green "G" and blue "B" bytes: RRGGBB - Each color's hex code and hue are displayed inside an html table cell.

The 216 colors shown on the hexagon wheel palette were once known as web safe colors, each color is a combination three, two-digit hex numbers: 00, 33, 66, 99, CC and FF. Adjacent cells have the next higher or lower sequential hex number. There are 216 possible six-digit combinations of these "three-byte hexadecimal numbers (hex triplets)". Scroll down for more info on the hexadecimal number system.

Each of the three wheel palettes consist of a left and right hexagon joined along a common yellow-green axis. The Key colors, using only the hex numbers FF and 00, are underlined in the palette and are located at the corners of each hexagon, they are:

  Key Colors
FF0000 _Red
FFFF00 _Yellow
00FF00 _Green (Lime)
00FFFF _Cyan (Turquoise, Aqua)
0000FF _Blue
FF00FF _Violet (Magenta, Fuchsia, Purple)

Secondary hue transitions between Key colors are displayed in the "outer rings" of each hexagon. The outer rings of the left and right hexagon also mirror each other. Imagine the two hexagons as gears, the outer rings as teeth, the black and white centers as hubs; as the gears turn the matching pairs of outer ring colors mesh and merge.

The hex palette can be seen as a color cube. Selecting either the Top, Middle or Center Palette can be compared to peeling an onion, successive "internal layer colors" will appear more muted, as their shades are closer to gray. The outer rings contain the most vivid colors, that is, those hues with the minimum amount gray.

 From the outer ring of each left or right hexagon, the hues transition inward towards the "hub", one of these six gray scale colors: 
Top_left Middle_left Center_left Center_right Middle_right Top_right
FFFFFF CCCCCC 999999 666666 333333 000000
white light gray medium gray dark gray slate gray black

Some of the 216 colors appear more than once; repeating in the Top, Middle and Center palettes. The Top_left hexagon contains 91 unique colors, the Top_right - which repeats the Top_left's outer ring - has 61. The Middle_left repeats the Top_left's two outer rings and so has 37 unique colors. The Middle_right - which repeats three rings - has 19. The Center_left has 7 and the Center_right just 1. Switching between the three palettes helps reveal which colors repeat.

double hexagon, html hexadecimal color palette at
Double Hexagon, HTML Hexadecimal Color Palette continued...

Hexadecimal notation or base 16, uses the standard base 10 digits; 0 through 9 as well as using the letters A through F as digits too. Think of this as being born with 16 fingers instead of 10 and having a need to give each finger it's own symbol.

The advantage of hex numbers is that with combinations of 2 digits, 256 numbers can be created in hexadecimal notation (00 to FF), compared to only 100 numbers in base 10 (00 to 99). Thus, a complete hexagon palette wheel would consist of over sixteen million combinations, 2563 = 16,777,216. Creating a palette of this size, with html, would not only be a daunting task, it would also also be difficult to fit on a single web page. And at this scale, many of the hues would not be distinguishable to the eye from the hue next to it.

The wheel palette can aid computer artists in creating colors to their liking by adding or subtracting hex values between hues. By saving this web page to your pc, copies of the hexagon palette can be easily modified.

 Key colors converted to grayscale 
FF0000 FFFF00 00FF00 00FFFF 0000FF FF00FF
4C4C4C E6E6E6 999999 B3B3B3 191919 666666
 Key colors converted to grayscale, arranged from dark to light 
0000FF FF0000 FF00FF 00FF00 00FFFF FFFF00
191919 4C4C4C 666666 999999 B3B3B3 E6E6E6
 Grayscale hex triplets, black to white 
000000 333333 666666 999999 CCCCCC FFFFFF

While the hexagon chart's colors are equidistant hex values, certain color sequences appear to show a greater change or jump from some hues to the next hue then others. The right hexagon, which centers on black, appears to "jump hues" at greater intervals than the left hexagon. Although this is partly due to the big "33" jumps in values, this is most apparent with the mid-spectrum colors; green and yellow, the eye can easily distinguish these hue variations which are in the middle of the visible color spectrum ranging from red to violet.

Big jumps also appear to occur in the left hexagon around the key colors; yellow, cyan and violet. These "bright colors" have four F's and two 0's in their hex codes and so are closer to white than the surrounding hues. Conversely, the key colors red, blue and green, have two F's and four 0's; closer to black than white, and show less apparent transitions. However, colors that are easier for the eye to see look brighter. For comparison, when all the key colors are converted to a gray scale, two-F green is still brighter than four-F violet.

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Printing the Top palette of the double hexagon
will result in a unique appearance, since printers and computer monitors handle colors differently.

For further info see this wikipedia article for an explanation of the hexadecimal number system in relation to html color schemes. sponsored links & navigation

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