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RGB to NCS Converter

This RGB 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 RGB color. The tricky part in this case is to find a good match when RGB 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 judgement.

Enter RGB color values

Important: It is expected that your input format in RGB matches the standard expression for RGB colors which is a triplet of numbers ranging from 0 to 255 each. E.g.: 155,150,100 for Red: 155, Green: 150 and Blue: 100. This converter tool will only process values in integer (natural number) format and will not compute numbers that includes a whole part and a fractional part.

How does this tool work?

Converting RGB to NCS requires us to match two fundamentally different color systems. While RGB is very widely used and based on additive color model, 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 do convert your RGB input 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 rgb to ncs)
      XYZ to CIELAB (for rgb to NCS)

    2. We then compare the distance between 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 RGB: R0, G135, B189 (blue)
NCS Color: S 0580-Y from RGB: R255, G215, B0 (gold)
NCS Color: S 2030-Y50R from RGB: R221, G156, B119 (tan)

You can try different variations or even use RGB 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.