OSCAR Color Gamuts

While there are a wide range of colors that can be used for digital renditions of heraldic art, the set of colors that gets discussed most often in the context of SCA submissions is the one used for OSCAR’s “color checker” display.

When armory images are uploaded to OSCAR, color-checker thumbnails are generated which convert each area to one of these standard tinctures. This doesn’t mean you should use those specific colors in your graphics, but it does simplify things if the colors in your image are not transformed incorrectly.

The tinctures used by OSCAR’s color-checker thumbnails are shown in dashed circles below, with outlines delimiting the range of colors that are converted to each of those targets.

(Click for a larger image, or download a printable PDF.)

While the color-checking process usually goes smoothly, there are a few things to watch out for:

  • Warm golds (containing more red than green) can end up being rendered as orange or brown.
  • Warm browns can develop streaks or splotches of red.
  • Blues and purples can become ambiguous if they come too close to the violet boundary.
  • Although not apparent on this chart, fine-line details, like black outlines within a charge or around an argent charge in a fieldless badge, can disappear entirely, so it’s better if the overall silhouettes of your charges are still recognizable without that detailing.

Many thanks to Elena Wyth for the experimentation which allowed these OSCAR ranges to be estimated.

Heraldic Search Shortcuts

I’ve put together an integrated search page that allows you to easily run search queries against a number of different websites that contain useful heraldry information.

It was inspired by similar collections of search shortcuts posted by Morsulus Herald and Sofya la Rus, but I’ve added a bit of JavaScript to make the interface less repetitive. I’ve extended the list of search targets with some other useful sites including OSCAR, some of the onomastic reference books posted by Wenyeva atte grene, and some old armory books I have been using as sources for images for the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art.

I hope it may prove useful to others — if there are websites that seem of general interest that I have omitted please feel free to point them out and I’ll see if I can add them as well.