Color Depth
   
Home: Graphic Academy
 
Graphics Books
 
Graphics File Formats
  Animation File Formats
Bitmap File Formats
CAD File Formats
Cursor File Formats
Font File Formats
Icon File Formats
Metafile File Formats
Prepress File Formats
Vector File Formats
Video File Formats
Web File Formats
More Graphics File Formats
 
Graphics Software
  Banner Design Software
CAD Software
Diagram Drawing Software
Illustration Software
Photo Editing Software
Video Conversion Software
More Graphics Software
 
Graphics Tutorials
 
  • Adobe Dreamweaver Tutorials
  • Adobe Photoshop Tutorials
  • AutoCAD Tutorials
  • How To Draw Tutorials
    Banner Design Tutorial
    Banner Display Tutorial
    Color Combinations Tutorial
    Color-Safe Conversion Tutorial
    eBook Covers Tutorial
    Favicon Tutorial
    GIF + Photo Tutorial
    Good Web Design
    Image Slice Tutorial
    Image Tiling Tutorial
    Imagemap Tutorial
    Photography Tutorial
    Prevent Copying Tutorial
    Screenshots Tutorial
    Should I Use Flash?
    Text to Images Tutorial
    Web Image File Formats
    More Graphics Tutorials
  •  
    Graphics Glossary

    Advertisement
     
    Learn PhotoShop


    Perfect for Beginners...
    - Start immediately
    - Save time
    - Avoid confusion
    - Save effort
    - Improve creativity
    - From beginner to advanced
    Click here
     
         
    GraphicsAcademy.com  >  Glossary  >  Color Depth

       

     

    Color Depth

    Color Depth refers to the number of bits (binary digits) of computer memory that are used to store color information for an image (typically a bitmap) or for a device (such as a screen).

    The greater the color depth, the more colors may be stored, and this also determines how many different colors the image or device may simultaneously contain/display.

    The most commonly used color depths are as follows:
    • 1 bit allows monochrome or 2 colors.

    • 2 bit allows 4 colors.

    • 4 bit allows 16 colors.

    • 8 bit allows 256 colors.

    • 15 bit (High Color*) allows 32,768 colors (16 bits are allocated for each pixel, but 1 bit is unused).

    • 16 bit (High Color*) allows 65,536 colors.

    • 24 bit (True Color) allows 16,777,216 colors.

    • 32 bit (True Color) allows 16,777,216 colors (24 bits are used for color, plus 8 bits may can either be unused or used alpha transparency).

    • 30 bit (Deep Color) allows 1,073,741,824 colors.

    • 36 bit (Deep Color) allows 68,719,476,736 colors.

    • 48 bit (Deep Color) allows 281,474,976,710,656 colors.
    At lower color depths (most often 8 bit or less) there is a very limited range of colors that the image or device can simultaneously/display. Which particular colors are chosen in this limited range may either be predetermined, or can be (and in most cases is) determined by a palette.

    At higher color depths there is little point in using a palette and instead the the color of each individual pixel is defined by three separate Red, Green and Blue values (see RGB) which are generated by dividing up the total color bits between the three channels:
    • For 16 bit color depths, 5 bits are normally used for Red, 6 bits for Green, and 5 bits for Blue. (The extra bit is used for Green because human eyes are more sensitive to shades of Green). However, some systems use only 5 bits for each of Red, Green, and Blue, and allocate an unused bit for each pixel.

    • For 24 bit color depths, 8 bits are normally used for each of Red, Green, and Blue.

    • For 32 bit color depths, 8 bits are normally used for each of Red, Green, and Blue. The remaining 8 bits may in some cases be unused, but other cases may be used for alpha transparency (see RGBA and Alpha Channel).

    • For 30 bit color depths, 10 bits are normally used for each of Red, Green, and Blue.

    • For 36 bit color depths, 12 bits are normally used for each of Red, Green, and Blue.

    • For 48 bit color depths, 16 bits are normally used for each of Red, Green, and Blue.


    *Note: Some recent Microsoft documentation uses "High Color" to refer to what we (and most others) call Deep Color.


    Discuss Color Depth


       

    Please feel free to post your comments:




    Related Pages on this site:
    Related Books:
    • A Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design

      Disclosure: Products details and descriptions provided by Amazon.com. Our company may receive a payment if you purchase products from them after following a link from this website.
       
      A Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design
       
        
      By Gavin Ambrose

      Brand: Fairchild Books
      Released: 2006-11-15
      Paperback (288 pages)

      • Used Book in Good Condition


      Product Description:

      The Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design is a comprehensive guide to the numerous terms used within graphic design and associated disciplines.

      Over 250 terms are explained and contextualized, with concise definitions accompanied by illustrations and examples taken from historical and contemporary graphic design.

      The dictionary covers traditional practice and process terms as well as modern terminology. It also defines a wide variety of practical terms, such as Perfect binding, Deboss and Strikethrough, as well as movements and styles including Surrealism, Psychadelia and Postmodernism.



      List Price: $22.95*
      Lowest New Price: $13.65*
      Lowest Used Price: $1.80*
      Usually ships in 24 hours*
      *(As of 19:20 Pacific 22 Oct 2017 More Info)

      Buy It Now
       


    • Computer Graphics Dictionary (Advances in Computer Graphics and Game Development Series)

      Disclosure: Products details and descriptions provided by Amazon.com. Our company may receive a payment if you purchase products from them after following a link from this website.
       
      Computer Graphics Dictionary (Advances in Computer Graphics and Game Development Series)
       
        
      By Roger Stevens

      Brand: Charles River Media
      Hardcover (460 pages)

      • Used Book in Good Condition


      Product Description:
      The popularity of special effects movies and the video game industry has introduced thousands of new terms, techniques, and software applications to both the computing professional and the general user. Unfortunately, these graphics creations represent a convergence of expertise from several different subject areas, resulting in a lack of familiarity with many terms. This unique dictionary includes over 4,000 definitions and illustrations from the computer graphics world, including those from digital filmmaking, animation, programming, mathematics, holography, photorealism, lighting, character creation, game development, modeling, and more.

      List Price: $49.95*
      Lowest New Price: $46.88*
      Lowest Used Price: $3.54*
      *(As of 19:20 Pacific 22 Oct 2017 More Info)

      Buy It Now
       


    • Design Speak: Bridging the Communication Gap Between Clients and Designers

      Disclosure: Products details and descriptions provided by Amazon.com. Our company may receive a payment if you purchase products from them after following a link from this website.
       
      Design Speak: Bridging the Communication Gap Between Clients and Designers
       
        
      By Anistatia R. Miller

      Brand: Rockport Publishers
      Hardcover (160 pages)

      • Used Book in Good Condition


      Product Description:
      What does a client or art director really mean when they say "I want a clean look" or "The design should be bold"? Graphic Design Speak offers the answers in an easy-to-follow format that both clients and designers can use as points of reference in design briefs or strategy meetings. This book is an essential tool for any designer seeking to gain a better knowledge of the wants and needs of their clients.

      --Over 200 color projects showing specific design solutions to answer client demands

      --An international gathering of designers, studios, and ad agencies

      --Quotes, tips, and anecdotes from both designers and clients

      List Price: $40.00*
      Lowest New Price: $29.50*
      Lowest Used Price: $2.51*
      Usually ships in 1-2 business days*
      *(As of 19:20 Pacific 22 Oct 2017 More Info)

      Buy It Now
       





       
     
       
     
       
    Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

    Our sites use cookies, some of which may already be set on your computer. Use of our site constitutes consent for this. For details, please see Privacy.

    Contact Us     Privacy     Terms Of Use     Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

    Copyright © 2005-2014, Answers 2000 Limited

    In Association With Amazon.com
    Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
    In Association With Amazon.co.uk
    Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

    CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
    CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S. r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

    All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
    All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.

    Some graphics on our web sites are Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Hemera Technologies Inc., and used under license. All such pictures are provided for viewing purposes only and are not to be saved or downloaded. All such pictures of recognizable individuals are models and used for illustrative purposes only, and not meant to imply any association or endorsement of said individual with any product or service.
     
       
    Photo Editor X Photo Editing Software