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HSV to NCS Converter

This HSV to NCS converter does a great job by quickly running through a list of all possible NCS colors and considering each one of them as a match to your input HSV color. The tricky part in this case is to find a good match when the HSV color does not represent any predefined NCS color. In that case, we use our internal algorithm that is equipped to pick the best match and present this NCS color for your judgment.

Enter HSV color values

Important: It is expected that your input format in HSV matches the standard expression for HSV colors, which consists of three values representing hue, saturation, and value. The hue value should be an integer between 0 and 360, while the saturation and value should be integers between 0 and 100. E.g.: 33-36-100 for Hue: 33, Saturation: 36%, and Value: 100%. This converter tool will only process valid HSV values and will not compute invalid or incomplete HSV codes.

How does this tool work?

Converting HSV to NCS requires us to match two fundamentally different color systems. While HSV is very widely used in digital spaces to represent colors in terms of hue, saturation, and value, NCS does not have this versatility in digital space, as it is intended for other purposes. However, even if we cannot directly match these together, we do our best to approximate such conversions.

Here’s an outline of our general approach that is being taken:

    1. We first convert your HSV input values to RGB. This step is straightforward as HSV can be mathematically converted to RGB values.
    2. We then convert your RGB values to a Perceptual Color Space (namely, CIELAB). For this, we use a standard RGB to CIELAB conversion, which involves converting RGB to XYZ and then to CIELAB. This is necessary because CIELAB is a perceptually uniform space, meaning distances in this space correspond to perceived color differences.

      RGB to XYZ (for hsv to ncs)
      XYZ to CIELAB (for hsv to NCS)

    3. We then compare the distance between the resulting CIELAB values and our known subset of CIELAB values that already have mapped NCS colors.

You can see this in action, just click the links below to perform some conversions:
NCS Color: S 2060-B from HSV: H200, S100%, V50% (blue)
NCS Color: S 0580-Y from HSV: H50, S100%, V100% (gold)
NCS Color: S 2030-Y50R from HSV: H30, S50%, V87% (tan)

You can try different variations or even use HSV values from some known color collections like RAL, Pantone, Munsell, etc. Some matches may be more accurate than others, however, this should be sufficient for general reference purposes. Hope that you will find it useful. Let me know what you think via the contact form on this site.