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KopaLeo's avatar

Analysis of Color Schemes of MLP: FiM

Full title: Analysis of Color Schemes of Some Characters of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
My hard work. Four days. It's done.

Why did I do that? Simple reason: I want my ponysona to look good, so I went over the top and studied color harmony.

Document created in LaTeX. Scatter plot created with R (programming language for statistical analysis).

IMPORTANT: The compressed file (which includes the research paper, the hue graphs used, and the raw data) can be found here [link].
© 2013 - 2021 KopaLeo
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Drake-Astley's avatar
reading this analysis made me feel less alone because i have never encountered who sits here and puts time and thought into a subject like you have here. Everyone i meet simply don't have the attention span or mental power to do so. I am glad i have came across you Kopaleo
KopaLeo's avatar
Do you have a ponysona? You should use this guide for help in designing the ponysona's color scheme.
Drake-Astley's avatar
i am in the midst of making one
SnivvitySwooty's avatar
This is brilliant. I will have to experiment and compare to what you have done here. I love digging through your gallery, you often have very interesting things to look at, most of them thought provoking. Nice work :)
CashieCashew's avatar
*watching this on phone*
Oh my god it's moving!!!
CKlein07's avatar
Very cool!  Back when I made my avatar (not really an OC), I was gonna use color theory (had a mild interest in it at the time), but kinda got lazy and just eyeballed it since I didn't have any real idea of what I wanted to do with it.  Figured I could always fix it up later, but never really got around to doing that

If it's not too much trouble, would you mind evaluating my avatar?  I actually prefer this image over the I have on dA.  Not really a fan of my cutie mark, either, but I couldn't actually think of anything I'm good at
KopaLeo's avatar
        hue, saturation, lightness
body 43, 35, 100
hair 35, 100, 45
eye 233, 57, 80

robe 8, 86, 49
robe tip 38, 65, 95

hair is too saturated and too dark, body color is good.
robe is also very saturated, but if you are not aiming to have a pastel robe, then it's alright.
CKlein07's avatar
Thank you so much!

No, the robe's not meant to be pastel.  That image references Unforgotten Realms.  Pinkie's dressed as Sir Schmoopy of Awesometon, and she's quoting a famous line from the show, while my pony's dressed as Eluamous Nailo.  The artist took some liberties with the outfits, but I thought they worked
QMMWI's avatar
"Document created in LaTeX. Scatter plot created with R"

No Word, no Excel. You, sir, know how to use proper tools. I approve.
KopaLeo's avatar
They don't run on Linux, duh.
DangerCloseArt's avatar

I feel dark colors can work fine however, using the correct saturation you mentioned. 
Thunder Lane is one of the darkest coat colored characters who keeps reappearing, and seems to fit nicely.

And while gratuitous body customization is objectively horrific, earrings and bracelets seem fine.  Pretty sure I've spotted those in the show a few times as well. 
KopaLeo's avatar
Personally, I think Thunderlane doesn't fit very well. Everytime he appears he is very distinctive. 
EqDBot's avatar
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HydrusBeta's avatar
Hello KopaLeo! That's a very neat analysis you wrote. I didn't see it before writing up this report. I like how yours looks at the arrangement of all of a character's colors on a color wheel; it's informative for picking colors that go well together.

We both noticed that saturations are moderately low while values (brightnesses) are typically very high. The low saturation values surprised me, because I naively assumed that since the ponies are bright and colorful that they should have a high saturation.

Your scatterplots show a clear trend that saturation+value is usually greater than 100 for the characters you analyzed. I took another look at my own scatterplots and found that the trend is far less pronounced when looking at all of Equestria's mares ( I would bet that they're more careful about chosing colors for the main and secondary characters than for random background ponies. Still, the raw data definitely shows significantly fewer datapoints in that lower triangle than any generated population of 637 mares from my algorithm (12.8% of data points in the raw data vs 26% +/- 2% for the generated data).

Thank you for writing this up! It was great read.
KopaLeo's avatar
My result about saturation+value>100 is a stronger result than you assume, because I actually plotted the colors of the coat, the mane, the iris, and the cutie marks, rather than just the coat and the mane.
RestartBob's avatar
Good read. Glad I found this. It's easy to miss good pieces posted a while ago through only a quick browse of the gallery. Looking closely might be a it creepy, but oh well.

This is a great guide on the basics of pony colour selection. I have no experience in colour theory and the bare minimum in the arts. I had caught on to the gist of "pastel ponies are good" and "dark ponies don't fit in Equestria". My colour scheme does not pass the rule "Value + Saturation >/= 100". Could have been a lot worse though. Still, these are all good things to keep in mind.
vekarvonkostu's avatar
So Awesomely Awesome!!! :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin)  You are so Awesomely Awesome and Talented, I praise you for all of your Awesomeness!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Aryanne-von-Nurnberg's avatar
Impressive! I might do some statistical analysis on this, would you be alright with that? And message me if you ever want help with LaTeX - I'm pretty good at it. I helped my professor with it the other day uWu
KopaLeo's avatar
I release my work to the public domain.
That means you can do whatever you want with it. Changing it is allowed as long as the name is changed.
iWantcoal's avatar
Just to add another highly successful complementary design: Libra (ponyscope)
She's somewhat similar to Scootaloo, but differs just enough to not ambiguate. 
PickFairy's avatar
Hmm.. nice find on this, and I wonder if my own oc is pleasant or not. Then again, I probably wouldn't change her ^^'
Kimsdoodles's avatar
Thanks for this, its very helpful. 
DevineArtistics's avatar
after reading this I realised all colours in my OC and compliments of each other :P (as far as my understanding of compliments go)
KopaLeo's avatar
Your icon pony is pastel enough, though the mane bothers me a little bit, so I measured the three colors, and they turned out to be very precisely triadic.
Though, what's her cutie mark? Or is she a blank flank?
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