The CIE XYZ color space was derived from a series of experiments done in the late 1920s on how the human eye perceives color. In an attempt to produce a uniform color space two color spaces are commonly used today. The L, a, b scale or CIE Lab (L* a* b*) are both derived from the CIE XYZ Master scale Lab Color Scale.
In both the L, a, b scale and CIE L* a* b*, the L a b values have the same meaning, but they are calculated slightly differently, thus a description of L, a and b is valid for both scales.
L indicates the lightness from 0=Black to 100 =white. Following the L axis, we can see a grey scale.
a and b are the chromatic (Color) coordinates.
a is the green to red axis with negative values indicating green colors and positive values indicating red colors.
b is the blue yellow axis with negative b values indicating blue colors and positive values indicating yellow colors
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