1492: "Dress color"

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1492: "Dress color"

Postby Eutychus » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:02 am UTC

Image

title="This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they'd revealed was a goat or a car."

Maybe this helps explain all those arguments with my wife over whether my jumper is blue, green or black, too?
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slinches
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:15 am UTC

What's the illusion being alluded to here? Aren't the dresses the same color? And what's with the stripe down the middle?

I'm confused :?


ETA: Oh, and I think it was probably one of these behind the door.
Spoiler:
Image

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keithl
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby keithl » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:23 am UTC

What an embarassment. You show up for the Beltane revels, and the woman painted in woad is wearing the same dress you are.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby mric » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:28 am UTC

I do worry that the fashion industry uses such stick-thin models.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Qaanol » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:28 am UTC

The picture making the viral rounds clearly and unambiguously has colors that are, approximately, periwinkle and bronze. If it were under blue light, that would mean the original would be white and gold.

The dress in question doesn’t come in white and gold though. It does come in blue and black, however, which is exactly what you’d expect if the picture were under yellow light. And as it happens, you can look at the background of the viral picture to see that indeed the entire scene is washed with yellow.
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:30 am UTC

I see the same blue in both dresses, though she could still probably save money on separate day/night outfits.

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player_03
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby player_03 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:33 am UTC

A quick Google search turns up this and this.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby CharonPDX » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:34 am UTC

For the I Don't Get It crowd:

This started spreading from a tumblr page, the comment was "my friends and I don't agree if this is blue and black or white and gold." Thus PRIMING people to see one of those two combinations, rather than letting people naturally decide.

The illusion is that some people see it as "a blue and black dress in bright light, washing it out," and others see it as a "white and gold dress in a shadow, dimming it" The fact that the background is severely overexposed allows BOTH interpretations - the dress could be the one thing in the picture that is in shadow. As it is the only "dark" thing in the image, it is easy to jump to that conclusion.

That said, the FULL Tumblr shows that the dress is, indeed, blue and black. And as can be seen with an Amazon search, the dress is available in blue and black, in ivory and black, but not white and gold (and a few other colors, but none of those would fit this.) The ivory and black would appear with the ivory COMPLETELY blown out in an overexposed picture, and with the black PITCH black in an underexposed picture, so we know it's not that one. Thus, it's the blue and black.


Edit: I originally linked to http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112158479910/trinititties-snacksandharts-swiked, but that wasn't the original Tumblr, apparently. Now I can't find it.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby think_of_a_shape » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:50 am UTC

"It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed."

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:55 am UTC

Ah, thanks for the explanations. They're arguing over the colors in a shitty over exposed picture. I think I'll go do something more productive now ...

The proper plural forms are Legos and math.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Story » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:08 am UTC

CharonPDX wrote:That said, the FULL Tumblr shows that the dress is, indeed, blue and black. And as can be seen with an Amazon search, the dress is available in blue and black, in ivory and black, but not white and gold (and a few other colors, but none of those would fit this.) The ivory and black would appear with the ivory COMPLETELY blown out in an overexposed picture, and with the black PITCH black in an underexposed picture, so we know it's not that one. Thus, it's the blue and black.

Edit: I originally linked to http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112158479910/trinititties-snacksandharts-swiked, but that wasn't the original Tumblr, apparently. Now I can't find it.


Where is this Full Tumblr thing that makes it clear? I've looked at every version I can find, and while I can see how the dress part is blue, I still can't see the lace as anything other than bronze at best.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Faikus » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:25 am UTC

That picture is incredible. In case you haven't noticed, the dresses are the same color in both pictures, the blue and the orange part, the same as the stripe in the middle.

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player_03
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby player_03 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:27 am UTC

CharonPDX wrote:Edit: I originally linked to http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112158479910/trinititties-snacksandharts-swiked, but that wasn't the original Tumblr, apparently. Now I can't find it.


It's quoted in your link, but here's the original if you still want it.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Antior » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:29 am UTC

Apparently this was a later post by the original uploader:

http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112164479 ... -please-we

She says she sent it to a 'literal rocket scientist' and they said it's blue. As rocket scientists are known to be colour experts, I am not gonna doubt that.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Linux0s » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:34 am UTC

Whatever the original color of the dress I think those who don't see it as appearing white/gold in that particular image are goofy.

It resulted in a locked ELI5 thread at Reddit because no one could actually explain why. It's just a whole bunch of conflicting opinions as to what:

ELI 5 Why does this dress appear white/gold to some?
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:34 am UTC

slinches wrote:Ah, thanks for the explanations. They're arguing over the colors in a shitty over exposed picture. I think I'll go do something more productive now ...

The proper plural forms are Legos and math.

You are correct on all three counts.


On the stupid subject of this stupid debate anyway: remember that human eyes suck at blue in general, and in my experience most people's eyes (or brains) suck terrible at seeing hues accurately in low-saturation high-lightness colors (i.e. pastels), at least compared to my own; in projects of mine, people have described scenes that to me look like a bunch of faded low-saturation colors as "all grey". (I've also noticed that people tend to see low-lightness pure yellow as tinted greenish; like, illuminate the whole screen with 25% red and 25% green and no blue, and people will see a dark olive green color instead of a dark yellow, even though the hue is exactly the same as full-saturation banana yellow. That's because our eyes also suck at red compared to green, though not nearly as much as they suck at blue).

I can thus understand some people simply not being able to see the obvious blue in this blue dress, and thinking "eh it's a light color so it's basically white". And then as the black parts of the dress clearly do appear with a goldish tinge to them (probably due to lighting but plausibly it's an "antique bronze" color, i.e. basically black but with some yellowishness to it), I guess I can see them calling them gold, washed-out to black in the oversaturated photo. The unrecognized blue background of the rest of the dress likely also exaggerates the yellowishness of the black as seen in the photo.

Also, remember that people's monitors suck and are usually poorly calibrated. And that cameras suck. But people's eyes and brains suck too.

But it is clearly, 100% without a doubt, a blue (possibly very light blue depending on lighting and exposure) dress with black (possibly with slightly goldish tinge depending on lighting and exposure) trim.

Either that, or it's a white and gold dress under unnaturally blue lighting, such that there's precious little red or green to reflect, leaving the gold black and the white blue. But seriously, who the fuck has lighting that blue? Not the background of the photograph, for one.
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Anquilis
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Anquilis » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:46 am UTC

You're all nuts; adaman hauberk is clearly purple.

LockeZ
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby LockeZ » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:12 am UTC

I can't really even understand where the idea that any part of the dress might be black is coming from. Weird lighting and bad exposures could potentially make a white dress look blue, but no amount of bad photography can make black look gold/bronze, can it? Someone will need to explain this one to me.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby OP Tipping » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:24 am UTC

Well... I am glad I missed out on what this is about.
a) Please explain the specific MEDICAL reason for ordering this MEDICATION !
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby 5th Earth » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:26 am UTC

What I want to know is, what camera is that, so I can never, ever buy it? The whole debate is a result of incredibly shitty picture quality.

To my eye, my first instinct is to say white and gold, probably because in the natural world, we are used to white things looking blue-ish when shadowed, but black things pretty much never wash out so badly they appear anything other than tones of gray (seriously, what the fuck is wrong with that camera?). If I turn my artistic eye to the image, I say the dress is pale blue and dull gold/bronze, but that's because those are the colors literally present in the image, not because they reflect what the "actual" color of the dress is (i.e. if i was making a painting of that photograph, those are the colors i would have to mix up to reproduce it).

Part of the problem is probably that the "black" sections are translucent lace, so if the picture is taken with a strong light source like a flash, and shown in low resolution, the white will reflect through and blur with the black, drastically changing the apparent color.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Cauchy » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:26 am UTC

slinches wrote:The proper plural form [is] math.


Whoa there. "Math" isn't a plural noun. You don't have one mathematic, two mathematics. "Mathematics" is a mass noun, and so is "math". "Maths" is some weird contrivance that shouldn't exist.

On topic, when I looked at the "actual" dress and that picture back-to-back, I saw two differently-colored dresses. If the dress in the picture were black, it shouldn't look that brown. But then I saw some Vine video of a person pushing back his monitor, and the dress changed colors to the "correct" ones. Then I went back to the image. It started looking blue and black. As I stared at the image, I could see the light part of the dress getting bluer, somehow, as my mental circuits made whatever adjustments they needed, in real time, to interpret the picture as blue and black.

It was really, really cool.

The Vine thing in question:

https://vine.co/v/O21nlFP9KKl
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:28 am UTC

LockeZ wrote:I can't really even understand where the idea that any part of the dress might be black is coming from. Weird lighting and bad exposures could potentially make a white dress look blue, but no amount of bad photography can make black look gold/bronze, can it? Someone will need to explain this one to me.

The black is not a solid matte black. It has some specularity; it reflects some of the ambient lighting. Here's an example of a glossy black object in neutral white lighting:

Image

Note how it's not a solid black circle. It's mostly shades of grey, where it's reflecting the light. But in neutral lighting your brain accounts for all of that and sees it as just black, with a glossy shine.

Now imagine if instead of neutral white lighting it was in the warmer yellowish lighting typical of most indoor lighting, and the photo was terribly overexposed. All those shades of grey would instead be shades of unsaturated yellow, including lots of dark shades of unsaturated yellow... here, I've just filtered that exact image to produce the intended effect, doing nothing but adjusting the hue and saturation of the glossy highlight, leaving the second image every bit as dark as the the first:

Image

Looks kinda gold or bronze now, eh? Not to me... still looks like black in yellowish lighting, but maybe to you. Especially if you oversaturate the whole thing and wash out the darkness of it.
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby speising » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:32 am UTC

was randall that annoyed that this virus hadn't yet spread to this forum that he had to lay out bait?

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LittleMikey
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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby LittleMikey » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:56 am UTC

I see the dress as blue and gold. What's wrong with me?

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:22 am UTC

Oh great, tumblr is leaking.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:52 am UTC

Cauchy wrote:Whoa there. "Math" isn't a plural noun. You don't have one mathematic, two mathematics. "Mathematics" is a mass noun, and so is "math". "Maths" is some weird contrivance that shouldn't exist.

Why, only yesterday we were comparing the relative difficulty of different mathematics: calculus, algebra, group theory etc. I'm not sure about the conclusion, but I think most people would agree that maths are hard. ;-)

Edit: Add link and smiley.

ETA: One of the more counter-intuitive maths is stat.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby PeteP » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:04 am UTC

LittleMikey wrote:I see the dress as blue and gold. What's wrong with me?

I see that too (well gold/brown except for the shiny part) and I believe that is what the picture does show when you look at the pixel values. Both white and black result from the brain compensating. Granted the compensation to blue black is apparently the correct one but I don't mind seeing the colors like they are in the picture.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:16 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
LockeZ wrote:I can't really even understand where the idea that any part of the dress might be black is coming from. Weird lighting and bad exposures could potentially make a white dress look blue, but no amount of bad photography can make black look gold/bronze, can it? Someone will need to explain this one to me.

The black is not a solid matte black. It has some specularity; it reflects some of the ambient lighting. [followed by lots of nice illustrations...]

To add to this: The more you think about it, the less meaning it has to say that an object "is" a particular colour. The best you can say is what colour it would be under perfect white lighting of a given intensity, since the perceived colour is the spectrum of the reflected light weighted by the response of the cones (and as noted the cones start to hand over to the monochrome rods at lower light levels). And you can essentially never say that something is black, since that would require zero reflectivity and no combination of fabric and dye in real life is going to be perfect in this respect. You might hope to achieve a very dark grey, which in other words is a very very dark white, but you shouldn't be surprised if your black object looks any arbitrary colour under strong enough light. My issue with the photo is that I can't persuade myself to see the incident lighting as being bright enough to make the black look gold.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:35 pm UTC

The striped dress argument confuses me. I see it as a light blue and a dirty gold.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby mccdyl001 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:00 pm UTC

No one is mentioning it but was this filtered to hell-and-back before it was uploaded to tumblr as in the standard "instragram post" these days? Could explain how the black gets shifted to look like gold?

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:14 pm UTC

To make the duck/rabbit thing happen, just obscure the background in the right side of the dress. The white and gold immediately becomes indubitably blue and black. Interesting.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:14 pm UTC

CharonPDX wrote:The illusion is that some people see it as "a blue and black dress in bright light, washing it out," and others see it as a "white and gold dress in a shadow, dimming it" The fact that the background is severely overexposed allows BOTH interpretations - the dress could be the one thing in the picture that is in shadow. As it is the only "dark" thing in the image, it is easy to jump to that conclusion.

Since we have Photoshop (for 25 years now) and camera phones (for 14 years), it can be any combination of colors.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby speising » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:15 pm UTC

i just took this badly overexposed photo of my desk phone. which colour is it?
DSC_0006.JPG


this is the same, but exposed normal (and sharp and dirty)
DSC_0006_1.JPG


and here with correct white balance...
DSC_0006_2.JPG
Last edited by speising on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Marsh'n » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:17 pm UTC

While everyone else is bickering about the dress...
*asks Megan for a date*

"That's a very clever dress you're wearing. I know a restaurant with interesting lighting conditions... I'd love to see how you look in cerulean and chartreuse!"

ETA: @suffer-cait - Hi! I'm not panicking! At least, I think this is the first part of what not panicking looks like.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby tophu » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:51 pm UTC

The OP said the dress was blue/black in person, plus the dress is not available to purchase in white/gold (search UK Amazon for "Roman Women" Lace Detail Bodycon Dress).

The white/gold that many (most?) people are seeing is a contrivance of their minds.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby password » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:51 pm UTC

For those comparing the dress with the Amazon pictures, have you considered that the dress might have been laundered too much and that the black dye may have washed off a bit? :-)

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:53 pm UTC

speising wrote:and here with correct white balance...

It could be worse.
Spoiler:
DSC_0006_2-1.jpg

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Rossegacebes » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:14 pm UTC

tophu wrote:The OP said the dress was blue/black in person, plus the dress is not available to purchase in white/gold [].

The white/gold that many (most?) people are seeing is a contrivance of their minds.


To me it's simpler: the real dress IS blue/black; in the picture it IS white(whitish)/gold.

Bad photo, I'd say, if it was supposed to be accurate colourwise.

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:15 pm UTC

I'll just drop this here...
Attachments
dalek blue white.jpg

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Re: 1492: "Dress color"

Postby mschmitt » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:17 pm UTC

OK, that explains the background of the dress, but I still don't get the comic.

Is the dress supposed to appear to be a different color on each side of the comic?

To me the color of the dress on both sides looks the same as the colors in the strip down the middle.

Is it because I'm slightly red-green color blind?


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