What is RGB Color Model?

RGB Color Model

What is RGB Color Model?

RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green and blue colors are mixed together in various proportions to form a different array of colors. The name was given with the first letters of three primary colors red, green and blue. In this model, colors are prepared by adding components, with white having all colors in it and black without the presence of any color. RGB color model is used in various digital displays like TV and video displays, Computer displays, digital cameras, and other light-based display devices.

Understanding RGB Color Model

A color model is a process for creating more colors using a few primary colors. There are two types of color models: the Additive color model and the subtractive color model. In the additive color, model light is used to display colors. While in the subtractive color model, printing inks are used to produce color. The most common additive color model used is an RGB color model, and a CMYK color model is used for printing.

RGB color model is the additive color model using Red, green and blue colors. The main use of the RGB color model is for displaying images on electronic devices. In this process of the RGB color model, if the three colors are superimposed with the least intensity, then the black color is formed, and if it is added with the full intensity of light, then the white color is formed. To make a different array of colors, these primary colors should be superimposed in different intensities. According to some studies, the intensity of each primary colour can vary from 0 to 255, resulting in the creation of almost 16,777,216 colors.

Working for RGB Color Model

As we already discussed above, the basic principle behind the working of the RGB color model is additive color mixing. It is the process of mixing 3 primary colors, red, green and blue, together in different proportions to make more different colors.

For each primary color, it is possible to take 256 different shades of that color. So by adding 256 shades of 3 primary colors, we can produce over 16 million different colors. Cone cells or photoreceptors are part of the human eye that is responsible for color perception. In the RGB color model, the combination of primary colors creates different colors that we perceive by stimulating the different cone cells simultaneously.

RGB color

As shown in the figure above, the addition of red, green and blue light will cause us to perceive different colors. For example, if we combine blue and green light in some proportions, it will result in the formation of cyan. And if we combine red and green light, it results in yellow light. Popular Course in this categoryAll in One Design Bundle (280+ Courses, 100+ projects)280+ Online Courses | 2000+ Hours | Verifiable Certificates | Lifetime Access
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Uses Of RGB Color Model

Below are some uses of RGB color, which are as follows:

1. RGB in Display

The main application of the RGB color model is to display digital images. It is used in cathode ray tubes, LCD displays, and LED display such as television, computer monitor or large screens. Each pixel on these displays is built by using three small and very close RGB light sources. These colors cannot be distinguished separately at a common viewing distance and viewed as a single solid color.

RGB is also used in component video display signals. It consists of three signals, red, green and blue, which carried on three separate pins or cables. These video signals are the best quality signal that can be carried on the standard SCART connector.

2. RGB In Cameras

Digital cameras for photography that use a CMOS or CCD image sensor mostly perform with some type of RGB color model. Current digital cameras are equipped with an RGB sensor that helps perform light intensity evaluation in a crucial manner. And this results in the optimum value of exposure in each image.

3. RGB In Scanner

An image scanner is a device that scans a physical document and converts it to digital form and transferred it to the computer. There are different types of such scanners, and most of them work based on the RGB color model. These scanners use a charge-coupled device or contact image sensor as the image sensor. Color scanners often read data as RGB values, and these data are then processed with some algorithm to convert to other colors.


  • No transformations required to display data on the screen.
  • It is considered as the base color space for various applications
  • It is a computationally practical system.
  • With the help of additive property, it is used in video displays
  • It relates simply to CRT applications.
  • This model is very easy to implement


  • RGB values are commonly not transferable between devices
  • Not perceptually uniform.
  • Not perfect for identification of colors
  • Difficult to determine specific color
  • The difference between colors is not linear

Examples of the RGB Color Model

Below is an example of the RGB model, which is as follows:

1. Photography

Experiments with RGB in color photography were started in the early 1860s. And thus made the process of combining three color-filtered separate takes. Most standard cameras capture the same RGB brands, so the images they create look almost exactly what our eyes see.

2. Computer graphics

RGB color model is one of the main color representation methods used in computer graphics. It has a color coordinate system with three primary colors.

3. Television

The world’s first television with RGB color transmission was developed in 1928. And in 1940, experiments on the RGB field sequential color system was started by the Colombia broadcasting system. In the modern century, RGB shadow mask technology is used in CRT displays.


Scientists found three colors, Red, green and blue, which produce many other colors while mixing. They called these colors as primary colors. When combined, red and green produce yellow, blue and green produce cyan, red and blue produce magenta. And this technology is later made as a color model and is named as an RGB color model.

The main purpose of this color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in an electronic system. The evolution of the RGB color model creates a huge development in the digital field. It was used in different electronic devices like TV, monitor, cameras, printers, etc.

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This has been a guide to RGB Color Model. Here we discussed some basic concepts, Definitions, advantages, and disadvantages with the uses of the RGB Color Model. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –

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