Newton's Color Wheel by T. Ford, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Color schemes for general use and Ultra Fractal. Documentation is at the bottom of the page.

Red  00-FF  0-255
Green  00-FF  0-255
Blue  00-FF  0-255
HSV Hue 0-359 hues.jpg
HSV Saturation 0-100 sat.jpg
HSV Value 0-100 val.jpg
HSL Hue 0-359 hues.jpg
HSL Saturation 0-255 hsls.jpg
HSL Luminance 0-255 val.jpg
AVS Degrees  1-359
Lum. Variance  -255-254
Grad. Divisions  0-300
Grad. Style
Grad. Split By
Flame H  -359-359
Flame V  -100-100
Flame S  -100-100
Your Color:  
Split Complement:      

Ultra Fractal Gradients


Most computer color scheme generators work from the RGB (or true) color wheel, based on light. The primary colors are red, green, and blue.
RGB Color Wheel

Artists tend to use Sir Isaac Newton's color wheel. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.
Newton's Color Wheel

Harley Brown's eternal truths for every artist uses Munsell's Color Notation System. This wheel has 5 primary colors, red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. This has the effect of shifting red's complement to blue-green. It almost looks like it's got the right half of the RGB wheel, with the left half of Newton's wheel. The underlying math for this wheel should be considered beta - if you see something not quite right, let me know.
Munsell's Color Wheel

This generator lets you choose between all 3 versions using a mathematical "best guess" by a non-artist.

  1. Choose your color by filling in the hex, decimal, red, blue, green, hue, saturation, and/or value blocks.
    Or click on the hue/saturation/value graphics.
    Or click on one of your result colors.
  2. Select your color wheel.
  3. Choose how many degrees (around the color wheel circle) you want between colors for Analogous, Value, and Saturation results in the AVS Degrees field.
  4. Choose a Luminance Variance which modifies the lightness of every other color to create more lively and vibrant schemes. Try -100 to see the effect (-40/-50 are my favorites).
  5. Choose a Flame H, V, and S (hue, value, saturation) which modify how much the base color is changed in each color of the flame. For dark colors, use a negative value in Flame V. For light colors, use a positive value in Flame V. Try a bright yellow, with Flame H -25 and Flame V 15.
  6. If you plan to use the Ultra Fractal gradient text:
    1. Choose how many color controls you want. If you do not use as many divisions as you have colors, you will not get all the colors in your gradient. If you have more divisions than colors, colors will cycle according to the style.
    2. Choose your gradient style for multiple divisions. Hill goes abcdcba. Ascending goes abcdabcd. Descending goes dcbadcba.
    3. Choose if you want colors separated by black and white - if you choose to separate colors with black, white, or both, remember to adjust the number of gradient divisions to allow for the additional colors.
  7. Use the color numbers in your program.
    1. Copy the hex, decimal, or rgb "numbers" to use in your graphics software or HTML.
    2. For Ultra Fractal - all gradients:
      • The gradient text for all the color sets is in the big text box underneath the others. Copy it and put it in a text document, then save it with the gradient extension (.ugr) and put it in the correct folder (mine is My Documents\Ultra Fractal 4\Gradients\). When you use file/open and change the type to gradients in Ultra Fractal, it should turn up there and then you can copy/paste the gradient set you want into your fractal.
    3. For Ultra Fractal - single gradient (Directions compliments of Diane Walker):
      1. Note the name (such as "Complement," "Triad," etc.) of the color scheme you prefer.
      2. Now click in the tiny white box with that name. *While in the tiny box,* press control-A and then control-C. (Don't do anything with the large block of text.)
      3. Move to an Ultra Fractal window and click on any open color gradient. Press control-V. Then click control-L making the gradient the way you like it regarding "Link Color and Opacity."
      4. Click "File-Save As", and then double-click "Standard" to place your gradient into your gradient folder. Change the title of your gradient as desired. (Diane usually gives them a name according to the number and predominant colors such as, "3 y-bl-pnk.")
      5. Click on the "Save" button.


Cyan and magenta push to blue-green and purple, respectively, if you reduce the color's value, so Newton's Wheel may need to clip the colors.

Newton's Wheel color conversion loses 120 hues in the cyan and red ranges, but as these are every-other hue, the loss isn't so bad.

If it doesn't work, you may have Javascript turned off, or the browser may not correctly support the options. Firefox does not support the Copy Gradient button's Javascript, so you'll have to highlight the text and copy it.

HSV - Hue, Saturation, Value
HSL - Hue, Saturation, Luminance (Lightness)

Flame: If you look closely at a flame, you'll see the hue shifts and grows darker farther away from the center, white to yellow to red, being the most common, white to cyan to dark blue, and white to yellow to light green to dark green, also frequently seen. The "flame" colors here mimic that and should produce pretty fractals. Use positive and negative values for flame hue and flame value to find the colors you want.

Ultra Fractal Gradient Samples that show how the parameters affect the gradients.

Objective C / Cocoa CattailArtNSColor Class - For Mac developers, all this JavaScript math has been converted to Objective C and NSColor objects.

CattailArtNSColorDemo - For Macs, this application (source code provided), recreates this page in a nifty Cocoa application with some differences.

Email Me or Visit the Rest of my Website

Change Log:
09/13/2009: Added support for the Munsell System of colors. Underlying math should be considered beta.
01/13/2009: Added links to my Mac equivalent code and application.
10/17/2008: Updated the step by step help. Thank you, Diane! Also added some html keywords/description.
10/14/2008: Added Flame color set. This shifts hue, value, and saturation. Some cosmetic changes. Updated samples.
01/27/2007: Added an animation for Ultra Fractal help.
10/27/2006: Linked color to transparency by default for UltraFractal gradients.
10/27/2006: Added HSL support.
10/28/2006: Added Luminance Variance.