I have a model of a structure that will be painted, and I wanted to examine how different colors would look on it. So I created some custom colors based on RGB values provided by PPG (the paint manufacturer) and the colors on the model appear a lot lighter than they do on color card samples I have. The shade is also off somewhat. Are there some tricks to getting these to match more closely (light control, etc). Thanks for any suggestions.
If you are on ST7 or ST8, try rendering the model in Keyshot.
Perhaps you will get to see a closer match.
With light control, you are headed in the right direction.
A point light will certainly cause a shade change even over small distance.
So the best option would be a distant light or directional light with the viewing direction same as the direction of the light.
I am still on ST6 - no Keyshot. Most of my understanding of color shades and lights is derived from usage of 3D Studio MAX. but I think these tweaks should apply in your case too.
I was also going to mention monitor. Accurate color reproduction starts with the monitor and some are incapable of accurately representing colors at all.
Here is a good resource: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/monitor-calibration.htm
There are very cost effective monitor calibration systems out there that help with color calibration and even re-adjust your monitor based on the light in your room. If you need to repeatedly do color matching it's something to consider.
Grundey posted a link to a good one. Worth checking out.
I also find, if you are better comparing the resulting SE color to a swatch on your screen, rather than a real world one back to your display, as you'll see different result,...which goes to what the others have suggested.
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We also have this with custom colours for specific customers.
Keyshot is great for doing proper renders as you can pick pre-made RAL colours etc. but for the SE model view I've found that you get a decent result if you make the Edges, DIffuse, Specuclar and Ambient Colours match the RGB of the colour you want and the Emmission colour black, or almost black.The key to making it reasonably accurate is making the Emission colour very dark, otherwise the colours are too light. Obviously you can tweek these colours as much as you want, but for a quick fix, this is pretty good.
Also remember you'll probably have to divide your RGB vaules by 255 to change them from a 0-255 range to 0-1 range that SE wants.
If you're interested in what's going on, the Diffuse colour is the 'actual' colour of the part, the Specular is the colour of bright hotspots, e.g. the white spot on a sphere lit by a spot light. The Ambient colour is that when the part is light by indirect light, and emmissive colour is about the colour of light being emmitted from the part, hence it is zero for most things.