Impressions in a horror movie depends on tone, texture and mood. Good horror always rely on color as the main engine of the mood of the picture, unlike other genres that rely on other elements (dialogue, story metamorphose, etc.). However, this does not mean at all horror films do not need in good dialogues and a screenplay- they fade into the background, giving way to the atmosphere and mood.

We do not even realize exactly how horror films excite our imagination work literally on a subconscious level. A huge, if not a key role in this process is played by the color: the general tone of the frame, the coloring of clothes, objects, and so on.

Monster in the shadow

Horror chooses black and white. If white color point to a conditionally safe zone, where nothing happens with the main characters (we hope so), then black is the opposite - it creates a heavy, oppressive atmosphere. Basically, horror stories happens at the night time, even if the action takes place at day time - then such place is very lightless and ominous. A human is afraid of what he cannot see - he is afraid of the dark. Filmmakers try to awake this natural human fear with the help of color. Black color is always hides something in itself, attracts to itself and at the same time makes you scared (fear of the unknown). A striking example of the successful use of black - “Alien” by Ridley Scott (1979). Completely all actions with the monster take place in the gloomy, cramped corridors of the spacecraft where the monster (also black) is almost impossible to see.

Red filters

Red color filters in horror movies can be very effective, because the red color makes the viewer nervous on a subconscious level. Operators often use red filters on luminaires that are responsible for drawing light.

As an example, consider the movie “Suspiriya” in 1977. The color here plays almost the main role. Red here is an indicator of evil, so all the scenes in the ballet school, where terrible murders and ominous events take place, are colored in red or pink.

In addition, red color is a hint that in this film will be a lot of blood. For example, many killer characters are specifically highlighted in red.


The contrast of the two color palettes is a classic technique which is used in a cinema to separate two different states of a hero or the worlds in which they are located. It is the basis of the visual narration of the movie. This is especially noticeable in silent films, where the maximum attention is paid to the visual component. The tense scenes in the movie “The Witches” of 1922 were made in red, while calmer - in blue.

Association and alteration

In horror films, color has only two types of use: association and alteration. In the case of association, color is used to display any ideas. For example, we associate the clown Penny from the movie “It” with red, and if in one of the frames we see red, then we understand that there is a connection with the character.

. If the colors in the film are stable, then a sharp change of tone is already a transition. Alterations can be simple - like changing locations, or complex, like changing the character's mindset.


The role of color in the movie is very important. With help of color, filmmaker increase the intensity of emotions, accent the importance of the episode, show the details, and create the necessary atmosphere.

“Like Wes Anderson,” “Retro Cinema,” “Blue and Yellow,” many viewers have already remembered these color schemes.

Michael Bay's favorite palette. 

Yellow and blue - perhaps the most common combination in modern cinema. No matter how much we are tired of the borderless “Transformers” and “Avengers”, the choice of such a palette is primarily due to the color contrast - this is a very successful pair. Almost in each episode, we can observe actors whose complexion is as close as possible to pastel, yellow and orange colors. Based on the color contrast the opposite pair is blue or light blue - so the background or environment is usually painted in these colors.


Horror in cold tones.

Cold, too blue or green colors do not give rest to the creators of thrillers and horror films. In fact, these are standard colors for these movie genres. Such palette is close to our perception of color at night, in fact, the story of most of these movies happens at night. 



Discoloured apocalypse.

Gray, blurred, discolored – description of the color palette of most apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies.

Even when the action take place in the desert, the sand around for some reason is not yellow (as, for example, in “Mad Max”), but certainly gray, as if only dust and cement are around. This color cliche is so deeply rooted that sometimes scenes with rich vegetation look almost like b/w.



Interesting video:

As we can see, the color palette in the movie work for different aims. However, in most cases, the choice of palette depends entirely on the vision of the film director, colorists and editors.


What helps us to perceive a character as good or evil even before he speaks or shows his nature? Most likely the design and the color as well.

Think about it, because multipliers (as well as designers and marketers) often use color to denote a character. If he is bad, he will wear a black hat, if he is good, he will wear a white coat, etc. This technique is built on the psychology of color, because our perception largely depends on the cultural environment, which imposes a stereotype on us. In the end, when you draw an image of a villain in your head, he is not wearing a pink tights.

A study was conducted that established the connection between the prevailing color in character design and how “good” or “evil” they are. After analyzing more than forty Disney characters, it turned out that the design of the villains is dominated by dark colors: black and purple, and the characters are dominated by bright, rich yellow and orange.

Purple. One of the most villainous colors. Associated with power, nobility, luxury and ambition. Characters striving for power in one form or another: Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Dr. Fasillier from Princess and Frog, Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Interestingly, this color is also present in the design of some hero characters, like Aladdin, which clearly indicates his ambitions.


White. Despite the fact that most of us unwittingly associate white with something kindly light, in Disney cartoons it is found in very different characters. Take, for example, Miss Barashkis from Zeropolis: because of the white color, she is initially perceived as a positive character, but in fact she is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Or, for example, Auto from WALL-E: in the cartoon he is shown as a villain, but in fact he has no moral at all.


Black. It so happened that this is the color of the villains. But if Scar and Ursula is a 100% concentrated evil, then Yokai from the City of Legends is a much more complex character who can still atone for sins - it is actually displayed with white mask on the background of a completely black suit.


Red. This color is equally found in both villains and heroes; heroes cannot live without a scarlet cloak.


Blue. In most cases, blue is the color of goodies. But, it is found in the design of some evil (Elsa from the Cold Heart) or characters like Stitch, who are on the verge between good and evil.


Yellow. The color of good and positive: Pocahontas and Winnie the Pooh. Try to remember at least one evil character painted in this color? The only exception is Pinocchio, who has a habit of lying.


Orange. Bright, rich orange is one of the most popular colors in Disney cartoons. Mostly predominantly in positive characters, with the exception of Sher Khan. But, in this case, it is impossible to ascribe any meaning of the color because what to take from it if he's a tiger!


Green. Green is the color of heroes who struggle with circumstances or with themselves. As an example, Mulan, who grew out of a princess into a fearless warrior, or Ariel, a young mermaid, who left the ocean for the life she had long dreamed of.


Each color has its own "energy", so the multipliers carefully select colors for their characters. They do everything to convey their character as best as possible. There are a lot of articles about color characters meaning, but it is necessary to admit that the one color can have several meanings. Sometimes completely opposite.




Chroma key is the technology simplified to combine multiple images in one frame. This technology used in television, film and video production. Chroma Key allows you to remove a green background and superimpose any image on its place.

The editor in the special application chooses the command “delete all green pixels”, and the system will automatically replace them with another image, most often with computer graphics. The background color can be any color, even red (the main idea - color should not coincide with the object in the frame), but video production usually used green.

Green background color is widespread not by accident. The fact is that the matrixes based on the Bayer filter, which are used in modern digital cameras, are more sensitive to green shades. So, the image in the green channel is cleaner, contains less noise - all this greatly simplifies its subsequent processing. And the blue color of the chromakey has receded into the background for a rather banal reason - because of the blue-eyed people and blue jeans that often flash on the screen.

By the way, there are films that are almost completely made using a green background. For example: “City of Sins”, “Avatar”, “Alice in Wonderland” or “Life of Pi”. In some cases, the substitution is quite obvious - they cannot shoot all these cosmic, unreal landscapes from nature! But sometimes we don't even notice this substitution...


Surely, you are already familiar with the work of David Fincher. Among the most popular of his works are such films as: "Zodiac", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Fight Сlub" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Many people call David a  "Prince of Darkness", and they are right, because in his paintings dominate the dark color palette. It usually consist of colors such as yellow, green and blue, i.e. the colors of the films is chosen according to the principle of the triad. But there is the films of Fincher, which is based on the contrast between warm and cold colors.

Correctly selected color tones create a good mood, enhance the impression of music and game of actors. For example, in the film "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" the color of the past on the screen is much darker than the color of the present, you can see it with the example of these two frames.

This means that the characters in the movie are experiencing is not the warmest emotions, remembering old times. In "Zodiac" Fincher with the help of gloomy tones conveys the fatigue of the main characters, they seem to fade together with the color scale.

With the change of tone is changing the behavior of the characters, they become very lethargic, their appearance is changing. In this case, the color change everything is also intended to emphasize the state of the characters, not only emotional, but physical.

The story of Benjamin Button is told these days from a hospital. The colors of these frames maximum faceless, the absence of life is feeling. Within the story there are flashbacks, most of which are cold. But when Benjamin becames younger, the colors of the flashbacks abruptly changed to the warmer pastel palette, thus symbolizing the white band in the character's life.

Cold and warm colors - are the most important ingredients in David Fincher's ideal author's recipe, according to which he, one by one, prepares masterpieces of modern cinematography.



Ingmar Bergman made black and white films all his life, but for the "Cries and Whispers" he made an exclusion. Red, white, black are the main colors of the film. Each of them tries to resist the onslaught of another and all this ultimately creates vivid visual images.

Three colors in "Cries and Whispers" is so tightly connected that it can be completely silent: facial expressions of the main characters, the camera angles and colors in the frame can fully describe what is happening in the frame. Bergman's color is more expressive than any dialogue. Color changes replace the plot of the movie, they say much more than words.

Red, according to Bergman, is the soul, the protagonist of the film. It prevails in almost every frame and especially in the scenes that take place in the manor house. Red color is the conductor between the scenes, between the past and the present.

White is a thematic color, first of all it is connected with faith in God. For example, all the main characters of the picture are dressed in white, which symbolizes purity. When they lose faith, they dress in black, which clearly indicates the approach of death. By the way, black is also one of the key colors. 



"Cries and Whispers" combines monochromatic colors rather unique way. Red is present in 90% of duration of the film. Its inseparable connection with white and black creates a dichotomy, that is, a duality, a gradual division into two parts. If red is a soul, then black and white are her two collide states. By the way, even the name of the film is two opposite words.

This work with color is amazing, it's not a modern movie, where you can easily customize any shade. "Cries and Whispers" shows that a exellent use of color in the movies was long before the beginning of the digital era.


Long before the appearance of full color cinematography, the creators of silent films used color for visual storytelling or to recreate any effects. Over time, the directors who put the main emphasis on the visual flow, started to create their own color palettes that are remembered not worse than the film itself.

Build a special mood of the film pretty much depends on the creation of a limited, catchy and memorable color palette. That is, the filmmakers use a few colors from the entire visible spectrum. Let's look at a selection of the best color palettes in the history of cinema.

Limited color

In films with a color limitation, everything is black and white, except for one key object that stands out against the background of the faded environment due to the very bright color. In fact, this is the first color technique in the cinema, because earlier the color could be added exclusively by hand, by painting the film. In modern cinema, this technique is used in order to emphasize the emotional tension as in the movie "Schindler's List".

The most striking example of the use of a palette with limited color is "Sin City". The color in this film is used so narrowly that it becomes an important, integral part of the plot.

A monochrome palette

The essence of using a monochrome palette is to select one color on the color wheel, play with saturation, but still only stick to it. A similar technique is often used to separate the time frame of the story or to demonstrate flashbacks of one of the characters.

For example, in the film "Only God Forgives" the blue color and its shades are used to show the departure of the hero Ryan Gosling from reality. According to Ingar Bergman, the director of "Screams and Whispers", the red color helps to reflect the interior of the soul.

A complementary colors

In the complementary palette, one color is taken and the opposite color is selected. It is quite attractive, eye pleasing color palette. The most striking example of this scheme is the combination of orange and blue, which have become boring for the viewer because of the widespread use in Hollywood blockbusters. Filmmakers use this technique not from laziness, in fact it is the best way to show the human skin. Perhaps the most memorable example of this contrast is the film "Mad max: Fury Road".

But nothing prevents us to turn the color wheel and get much more original contrasts, as in the film "Curse of the Golden flower" directed by Zhang Yimou.


The triad is three colors, located at an equal distance from each other on the color wheel. Such combination you could see in a game "Twister". This scheme can ideally create a light, carefree mood. Triad vitalize the scene, even if the colors are not saturated.

Triad is one of the less popular color schemes in the films. It is difficult to implement, but gives quite a striking effect. Prominent examples are the paintings of Jean-Luc Godard's "Pierrot Le fou" or "Contempt". In this case there is a triad of red, blue and green colors.

Neon palette

Playing with brightness and saturation you can get an unusual neon effect. It is used to recreate the aesthetics of signage of Tokyo at night. Here as the "Blade Runner" (both the original and the sequel) and of course "The Neon Demon". Muted mid-tones in these works is still there, but neon takes the maximum amount of screen time. Everything here is either all black or all drowning in neon light.

Pastel palette

The pastel colors is used mostly in old comedies or fairy tales. Pastel colors can be found in the "The Danish Girl" and even "The Shining", but master of these palette is considered to be Wes Anderson, and the most striking example of his work – "Hotel "Grand Budapest".

The muted palette

Unsaturated, dark, nude palettes are a favorite of the entire post-apocalyptic genre. Under a muted color palette may be meant desaturation, discoloration of everything around, such as in the film "The Road" by John Hillcoot. It is the gloomy image of faded everyday life not only attracts the eye, but also cuts into the subconscious, because it is associated with large-scale catastrophes. The world of "Matrix" by Andrew and Laurence Wachowski shows in unsaturated greenish tones.

Color can affect us not only psychologically but also physically and often we do not notice this. Color is a powerful tool, knowledge of color theory gives us the ability to control what is happening around with colors and shades.

If you want to practice creating your own color palettes - you can try the mobile app Color Assist. It allows you to quickly and easily select the most suitable color solutions on color wheel.



When talking about Wes Anderson, people always notice a few features of his style: symmetry, puppet animation, a great soundtrack and of course the color palette.

The color has always been the main feature of the Anderson films. This independent film director always prefers soft pastel colors - no matter it is landscape, or the interior of the house, or a suit of one of the characters in the movie.

It is difficult to imagine "The excellent Mr. Fox" without golden and amber hues, "Hotel Grand Budapest" without different shades of pink and blue.

Anderson's style so recognizable, that has already become part of modern pop culture. People look at reality through the eyes of Anderson, showing you all of this in Instagram, shoot a parody video about how could look a particular film if it was shot by the Anderson.

Amazing color palette leads to the fact that the films of Wes Anderson can be recognized instantly, by one frame. You can see more palettes in the video below:

(Video: "the colour palette by Wes Anderson")

Undoubtedly, the favorite color Anderson is yellow, bright yellow color is present literally everywhere, in every picture.

And even if you simplify the film to a banal sets of colors, then even fans of the film maker will be able to understand who is who.



Red is the colour of danger, blood, death and traditional color of executioner clothes. That is why dressed in this color so-called "food for powder". It is the characters of the second plan, which die a violent death as soon as was introduced in the story. 

Well, gentlemen, you`re all going to die...

The term went from "Star Trek", where the officers in red died as soon as they stepped on the surface of a new planet. Soon the trend became obvious for the viewer - if the probability of survival of the characters in the yellow jerseys is 100%, the probability to die for a character in a red jersey still equal 100%. In addition, red clothing is a great target.

But, by the way, the well written hero dressed in red, gets injured no less than the same "red shirts". They of course never die, but sometimes it seems that it would be better dead...

Where else can you find such relationship:

  • South Park. The hero of the animated series Kenny wears a jacket in carrot color and dies a brutal death in every episode, where he took at least some part;
  • Deadpool. This hero of Marvel comics wears a red suit, it is constantly shoot, maim and try to kill themselves in sophisticated ways;
  • Hellboy. The situation is similar with Deadpool, but unlike the first - Hellboy red completely. In the eponymous novels by Guillermo del Toro, this demonic guy get hit a lot, none of the characters in the movie is not getting such many injuries.

In the first color films this approach, perhaps, dictated by considerations of censorship, because on wounded or slain hero, dressed in red, no longer need to paint blood stains.

There are exceptions to the rule, for example, in the TV series "Game of thrones" filmed for the fantasy series "a Song of Ice and fire" George R. R. Martin die all, and secondary and main characters. However, almost none of them wears a red and to calculate the potential victim is simply impossible.

If George R. R. Martin wrote the scenario for the TV series "Star Trek", the characters would look like in the image below:



Unexpected combinations of colours, lots of neon, natural, muted and luxurious, rich colors – these are just a few color trends that in the opinion of science fiction filmmakers await us in the not very distant future. What other read in this article.

Let`s review only movie fiction writers, in the filmography of which there are at least a few pictures about the future. Book fiction will not be here, because it is very problematic to imagine in which colors they saw the future.

Ridley Scott: natural, muted, sickly yellow

According to Ridley Scott filmmaker, the future will be colored mostly with muted shades of natural colors, because most of people will move to permanent residence in the space. The action takes place in a closed space with insufficient light: buildings, cabins of spaceships, corridors of the extraterrestrial colonies , just like in a submarine. Bright colors in this future there are no jobs.

In the interiors of the spaceship "Nostromo" (Alien 1979) there are only natural, not distorted colors and shades.

Dirty yellow is also the main color in "Prometheus" by Ridley Scott. Shades of yellow, sickly colors slowly affect the final perception of the movie, made "Prometheus" very expressive.

Yellow accent is everywhere, this pastel yellow-green creates a feeling of lifelessness. Each frame in the film is sterile, cold, as if treated with bleach.

Neil Blomkamp: the muted, apocalyptic shades

The entire filmography of the South African science fiction filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie) riddled with social problems and colors of dust, dirt and poverty - the dull, muted shades.

Denis Villeneuve: neon, luxury gold

Blade runner 2049 vivid example of how color and light help filmmaker to create the right atmosphere.

Each color has thousands of shades, and every shade carries a specific idea. It helps the author to properly convey idea to the viewer. 

Analyzing the colors of the movies, we can conclude that the filmmakers predict not very the bright, saturated and colourfull future for us.


The experiments with color are the key to harmony in the movie. Consider the techniques with the light, which was used in the movie "Running on the blade" by the director Ridley Scott.

The limited color palette

Most things in the world are divided between two directions - monotony and diversity. And if in nature the variety of colors and shades prevail, then all creatures of man are inherently monotonous. That's why, we react faster to a monotonous, synthetic image, subject to a clear plan, since this phenomenon is much more rare for the eye than the natural chaos.

Скриншот из фильма «Бегущий по лезвию»

The operator specifically uses a limited color palette (blue and its shades) in this frame, and everything in order to draw the viewer's attention to the characters, to the dialogues, and not to the environment.

Annoying color to the eye

What is annoying, very often attracts attention. You yourself noticed this by the abundance of "screaming" neon signs on the streets of modern cities. For example, in this case, yellow and green colors seem to "shake" the viewer, distract from previous scenes with a monotonous color palette. Now, the main emphasis is not on the hero (it's like in the shadows), but on a futuristic environment. Deckard seems to dissolve in neon, an important person for the film is just an ant in a giant anthill of the future.

Скриншот из фильма «Бегущий по лезвию»

The contrasts

These two frames are made with the difference of a few seconds, the characters are in the same room, and the color and light contrast here is obvious. Light and color shares not only two heroes, but also visually distinguishes a person and a replicant (synthetics). Although, perhaps Ridley Scott wanted to say this and something else.

Скриншот из фильма «Бегущий по лезвию»

Скриншот из фильма «Бегущий по лезвию»

 Interestingly,the replicants are presented in lighter colors in most scenes, while people are almost always in darkness. Although synthetics and do evil, but they do this evil rather forcedly.

By the way, the operator and director Roger Dickins, who shot the original "Runner", was nominated for the Oscar 13 times and this year he still received the treasured statuette, but for "Running on the blade 2049". Still, his work with light and color was finally appreciated!



Why are the Simpsons yellow? This is an eternal question, to which there is no unambiguous answer. Let us consider some of the most common theories.

 Initially the " Simpson "  were black and white    

Today, the "Simpsons" look as if they were painted by a child who did not have a pink color, well, or a person who had never seen other people. But, in fact, everything was much easier.

 In the early interviews, the creator of the most popular cartoon in the world, Matt Grouning answered this question this way: "Initially my" Simpsons "were black and white, but on TV they wanted the cartoon to be colored. I really do not like that nasty shade of pink, which often imitates the color of human skin. So I decided to give sketches to the animators, and since most of the characters did not separate the face and hair, it was decided to paint them all in one color. And when they brought me yellow-haired Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, I realized that this is what the viewer needs! "

Branded yellow

Over the years, Grouning's answer has changed and now the yellow has become the trademark of the "Simpsons", that is, the brand element: "There is no person in the world who does not remember exactly how the" Simpsons "look. The yellowness of their skin is the symbol of the brand, the yellow makes the cartoons recognizable. " Do not forget that the yellow color painted the most flinging in the eye of objects: taxis, barriers and some warning signs.

The Simpsons and the color theory

The theory of color says that yellow is best distinguished against the blue sky or, for example, water. Such "yellow" characters as the Simpsons, Minions, SpongeBob, Butters from the "South Park" and Winnie the Pooh are a vivid confirmation of this. 

And the most of the events in the animation tapes occur against the sky, this combination is the most contrast.

In general, the "Simpsons" most likely turned yellow as a result of the experiment - not with radiation, but rather with the attention of the viewer. And today the Homer family is easily recognized around the world.

Red is the favorite Kubrick’s color. It exists almost in all the movies, giving them even more surrealism. Indeed, if you look closely at the filmography of Stanley Kubrick, you can clearly see this feature. Red in this case is a symbol of mysticism; it extends anxiety, by using red objects in the frame it constantly refers the audience to the subject of death. Whether it is a boy’s sweater or elevator’s doors from “The Shining”, astronaut’s suits or HAL 9000 sensor from “2001: A Space Odyssey:”

It should be noted that not all the films of Kubrick red finds vivid expression, but most of the key scenes in the films highlighted in this color. This feature at least gives the films uniqueness and originality, but relished not for everyone.

The red color provides a powerful informational impact. It is an excellent tool for creating the right subtext, correct perception and mood. According to Kubrick himself, this effect can be achieved through a successful combination of a surreal image, an abundance of red and specific, "the other world" music.

For example the «Star Gate» scene from “2001: A Space Odyssey” or a scene from «the Shining», where the Elevator doors opens and blood flows foods the corridor, surrounded by strange and frightening sounds. The most memorable scenes are speechless moments where there is nothing but red, music and emotions of the hero.

American designer Rishi Kaneria, released a short video ( ) with shots from Kubrick's films which presented usage of red color.

The short video shows screenplays from “The shining”, "Eyes wide shut", "2001: A Space Odyssey ", “A Clockwork Orange” "Full metal jacket" were following by Beethoven's 9th Symphony.


David Lynch uses almost the same color palette in most of his movies. For example, other producers and directors are mostly focused on selection of scenery, costumes, and actors. As Tim Burton is all built on the fabulous gothic scenery, Lynch screenplay is all around the colors.

Although every director’s film has his own set of certain colors, you can still highlight a single pattern - a combination of red and blue.

Let's look at the footage from the series "Twin Peaks" 2017

Such a set in Lynch films is of particular importance. For example, red often symbolizes danger or deceit, and blue is a mystery, a mystery that the main hero has to solve. Blue is a symbol of uncertainty.

Despite the limited color set, this color contrast creates a recognizable style of the director. In some moments, such colors seem exaggerated, ostentatious and even base, but in the vast majority of cases red and blue help create a gloomy atmosphere, by means of colors contrast.

In some cases, Lynch uses warm tones, but only to emphasize dark blue or azure objects, since blue refers to a mystery to be solved. In the "Twin Peaks”, series red and blue are used to highlight the transition between the worlds.

In Lynch's works, red is usually complementary to blue. For example – pale blue rose on a background of scarlet cloth, firefighters and police cars blinkers, etc. Moreover, a gloomy and rather ominous red curtain that repeatedly appeared in the director's films.

These two colors contrast conceals some insanity or depravity of heroes behind itself, and is often the key for the spectator.


The main color function in computer games is to simplify objects identification by player. We easily define virtual apples because they are also red or green as in real world. In games color has other functions as in art, design and movies. Let's take a look how the color elevated in games, the factors of change and how it influenced the games themselves.

Color and game mechanics

Initially games were completely black and white, for example Spacewar (1962). Limited technological solutions and hardware of those years simply was not designed for computer games. However, even existing hardware was enough to run simple games.

After a while, with the advent of more advanced technologies and mass distribution of color TVs, color appeared in games. For example, Galaxian (1978), which used RGB colors.

Since than color has been used not only to identify items, but also became one of the core elements of in game mechanics. For example, puzzle and casual games.

The development of technologies allowed new devices to display more and more colors, and the color palette in games expanded accordingly. By late 80’s 4th generation game consoles could easily display more than 256 colors. Of course, devices that can reproduce the entire visible spectrum still do not exist, but technologies are confidently moves towards this target. 

Some projects are starting to use more shades of primary colors to expand color spectrum. This is a simple way to get a character or an object of a different color by outputting the same sprite (graphic object) just with a slightly different palette.

Everything changes with the appearance of the first, really three-dimensional, first person shooters - colors become more realistic. Color started to be used not only to identify in game items, but also to define friendly and enemy characters. For example, your team mates are highlighted as green and enemies as red, respectively.

This color scheme helps the player to understand what to do: whom to shoot, where to go and what items to collect.


The color is the most available way to increase the variety of game content. The capabilities of the graphics subsystem and the popularity of certain genres of video games determine the choice of the main color palette of the game.

Below there are examples of how the popularity of colors in computer games has changed over the years. 

If in the late 80's, early 90's computers and game consoles could display a limited number of colors, and the resources of the graphics system were very limited, then over time the situation began to change.The designers, the artists and the game developers no longer need to use bright primary colors. There was an opportunity to display game universes in more realistic colors and semitones. As you can see, after 2012, faded colors and shades begin to dominate in games, even the red color fades slightly, giving way to muffled, realistic and «atmospheric» shades. The discoloration and toning in modern games is not without purpose: the games look more natural, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in the game process.

Plus, the choice of mostly faded tones is due to the fashion for games in the post-apocalyptic entourage and survival simulators in the natural environment. And, of course, in a world that has survived a nuclear war or an invasion of zombies, there can be no question of any bright colors.

Of course, the trends do not stand still, and with the appearance of new topics in computer games, colors will change.


In the theory of color, yellow is considered the color of happiness, peace and security. It is warm and sunny color. The symbolism of yellow color is unusually contradictory. On the one hand it is the gentle glow of the sun, on the other hand is the withering autumn leaf. The withering, disease become dark symbols of yellow. Of course, each of us will experience unique and quite subjective sensations of color, however, in most cases, the authors can play with colors in such a way as to cause true emotions.

Security. Carelessness. Serenity.

Let's turn to the serial "Very strange cases". Yellow, almost honey, shade in the second season appears in moments when speech is about the house full of security. Even in some way, convenience and comfort. Yellow highlights exactly those places where the characters of the series are not threatened, or moments when the threat recedes.

 At such minutes they can deal with their daily affairs, not forgetting to investigate the circumstances surrounding events. For example, Sheriff Hoper turns his house into a refuge for the Eleventh. Together with the transformation of the room, the colors begin to change: faded and more unpleasant halftones are replaced by a rich warm and cozy saturated yellow. At the same time, the rest of the world outside the door of the house continues to remain cold and very hostile, which of course is reflected in the color scheme.

The another example from this serial is the search for a house. When the Eleventh escapes from the sheriff, a yellow truck drives her home, while she puts all the valuable things into her bag in yellow. Again, in these scenes, yellow symbolizes security, letting us know that at the moment the heroine is not in danger. This color will be constantly used throughout the serial to visually embody security. Approximately the same solutions were applied in such films as "The Incomparable Mr. Fox" and "The Voice of a Monster."

 And if in the first yellow was used to give the warm, lamp atmosphere to the film as a whole, but in the case of "The Voice of the Monster", yellow is security.

The dark side of yellow

The yellow color has another effect is the creating of a hostile and repulsive impression. In the scenes from the laboratory, the yellow is shown dimmer, creating a rather unpleasant atmosphere. But again, at the moment of transition to another dimension, warm yellow (security) was replaced by cold blue (danger) and all this within the same scene!

Bright yellow is the signal color. It calls to focus your attention for preventing the danger, so its use in pauses is more than justified. Drawing our attention, he instantly interests the viewer with what is happening on its background.


Stanley Kubrick loves red, Martin Scorsese adores red, Coens go crazy from green. You might not know this fact, but Coen brothers apply green colors to almost every movie they make.

Our eyes perceive green color better than anyone else. Being physiologically most optimal it exert relaxing effect on our nervous system and allows our organism to concentrate.

Green is normal, natural color it is a part of our everyday life, but Coens use it in their own way, frequently applying it to crucial turning point of their movies. However, in most cases it remains simply unnoticed. Simply because green is much more restrained and unremarkable unlike the other clear and eye catching colors. It’s enough to take a look at the motel door from “No country for old men”.

For example, the toilet in the film "Inside Llewyn Davis".

Coens green color not only highlights key scenes, but also an objects that are very important for narration. For example, wiretapping device from the mentioned “No country for old men” or a nail varnish on a finger of the girl in “Big Lebowski”.

These details are highlighted for spectators, but not for in film character. Green nail varnish of the girl manicure in “Big Lebowski” gives us a clue for solving the future plot. Coens use green in almost all their films, except “The man who was not there”, because it’s completely black and white and “True Grit” where a very faded, restrained pallet prevails. 

Now you have a new motivation to re-watch brother’s classics, to find a sense of green colors in their films.


Cinema is not only an interesting story, plot and acting. The movie is the sets, costumes, music, and of course color. In most cases we don't notice what a huge role he plays. Consider some color techniques, which are used in the industry.

Complementary contrast

Complementary colors are used to bring more vivid color contrast, such colors complete each other perfectly. When our eyes notices harmony of the opposites the brain attention is accentuated on this target. Color contrast allows to amplify perception of crucial and dramatic moments. That’s why filmmakers frequently use this technique.

Combination of red and green colors are often used in a combats between good and evil. Notice the shot from “Star Wars” movie with two light swords crossed or a fight scene from “Harry Potter” series. 

Color contrast is never used during the whole film screenplay, despite of all its benefits. The difficulty is that constant usage of bright colors are not enough to obtain necessary effect on the viewer. The contrast should be only used when neutral and smooth scenes are combined with visually saturated.

A change of palette

Video pallet contrast can be used to clearly define the character state. In The Matrix trilogy all the events happens in real world of Zeon or in the cabin of Nebuchadnezzar are shown in more realistic colors with a light shade of blue and gray. The Matrix virtual world is shown in greens – the light of the binary code.

Such contrast helps us to navigate what is happening, to accurately understand in what world events occur, and thus better perceive what is happening on the screen.

A similar effect was used in "Oz the Great and powerful", and not only in the modern film adaptation, but in the first film "the Wizard of Oz" in 1939. The real world is shown here faded, black-and-white. While fairy-land is demonstrated to the viewer in a very bright, intense palette.

In a series of films about the young wizard Harry Potter still applies the color contrast, but still a little different, not so dramatically as in other examples. Many may have noticed how the color palate changed from film to film.In the first parts, warm pastel colors prevail, but after a while, when events begin to acquire an increasingly serious manner, the colors also change. 

Color correction in the film becomes much more gloomy, with a predominance of cool shades and green. The last films, namely, the first and second part of the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" are more like a fantasy thriller than the fairy tale about the wizards whose Harry Potter was at the very beginning.