What is metamerism?

What Does metamerism Mean

Metamerism is a term that is not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ). The concept refers to the phenomenon that is generated when two color samples appear identical under certain circumstances and then, under other conditions, they turn out to be different .

The viewing angle and the illumination source are among the factors that can cause metamerism. Many times this phenomenon is a complication when acquiring a painting , for example: people buy a certain tone according to how they perceive it in the sample and later, when applying the paint at home, they notice that it is different.

The so-called illuminance metamerism is the most frequent. It occurs when the samples are coincident under one kind of light , but if they are viewed with other lighting, the color that is reflected is no longer the same.
The geometric metamerism , while it depends on the viewing angle. In this way, if the samples are seen from a particular point, they coincide, although not from another position . Another phenomenon of this group is field metamerism , associated with changes that occur with distance.
In order to avoid metamerism, companies that manufacture assembled or piece-based products use various processes and mechanisms, so that the result is homogeneous. The use of gloss meters , spectrophotometers , colorimeters and visual evaluation cabinets , in this framework, is frequent. It should be noted that metamerism can also be a problem for visual artists due to the characteristics of the materials and supports used.

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