Is the shade of blue you see the same shade of blue I see?
The debate about the view of the world involving colors is quite philosophical. But, for those who have color blindness, this issue is genetic and the interpretation of shades as most see it, is affected by a change in the visual system.
The Brazilian ophthalmologist Dr Ricardo Guimarães, president of HOlhos de Minas Gerais, informs that 1 in every 12 men in the United States can be affected by color blindness and 8% of the American male population is colorblind. This means that of every 200 men, 16 are colorblind. On the other hand, only 1 in 200 females have color blindness.
What would it be like to see colors differently as an artist? Is color blindness a barrier?
To our surprise, during internal conversations, our Film Director, Gabriel Ryota, said that he had been diagnosed with color blindness. After him, two more of our 3D artists, Thiago Kyoshi and Vinícius Gonzaga, commented that they also had it.
And so, what is it like for the artist who works with film production, contrast, color, and design to have an anomaly in the visual system? What do they practice to compensate for this difference? We wanted to understand more about color blindness.
See the world in different colors.
Gabriel Ryota, Film Director at ES, explains that today 90% of the projects he delivers are not pleasant for his vision. That being said, everything is fine for the vision of a non-colorblind person.
Gabriel went through several challenging situations in his career. He chose to hide his color blindness in order to participate in large and important projects to further his professional endeavors.
He recalls: “I worked on a prominent film for Brazilian cinema. One of the prerequisites was that the professional not have color blindness. I experienced a great impasse: I could shut up, trust in my potential, and seize this opportunity, or I could speak up and probably lose this chance that was very important for my career.”
Ryota's type of color blindness is anomalous trichromacy, being red-green blindness. In the film Faroeste Caboclo, there was a colorization structure that was based on the study of the color of the cerrado. “Cinema production is much deeper and richer in detail than we imagine. And due to the complexity of the work, I couldn't see the color green.”
Vinícius Gonzaga, 3D Artist at ES, confesses that no one on his team knows that he has color blindness. Though, they will probably know after this article is published.
His grade is light compared to Ryota’s. He cannot perfectly distinguish between green, orange, and brown tones. He discovered he had color blindness as a teenager during a geography class. The map was half orange and half green, but he saw everything in green.
The artist's work routine with color blindness.
Due to his lack of vision, Vinícius always works with a color and contrast reference on the side. But, he recognizes that what is the same for him may be different for others.
Understanding the meaning of colors and the sensations transmitted to different cultures is knowledge that greatly supports the artist with color blindness.
Vinicius explains, “If I want to convey a more peaceful context, something more relaxing, I have to pull the image toward something more yellowish, something cozy. When I think about the sensations I want to bring, it really makes the process easier, because it is possible to create a balance between contrast, temperature, and the emotion I intend to awaken.”
Ryota highlights a very positive point among people with color blindness: the ability to see a scene in a macro way, managing to harmonize as many elements as possible.
As an example. “When the objective is to highlight the living area of the development, turning the camera to the right gives an impression of security and you feel firmly fixed on the ground. Movements to the left, on the other hand, give the feeling of instability. Depending on the light, it can cause nausea if yellowish, but if I remove the yellow, I can provoke a feeling of surprise.”
Artistic expression involves numerous elements. Although understanding color is important, the complexity of each project, combined with the artist's ability to deal with the context, does not affect the final delivery. On the contrary, attention turns to emotions, scenario, and in the assertive expression of these sensations to the client and public.
Collaboration and empathy is very important for the person with color blindness
Having a different vision does not genetically eliminate artistic talent and ability. Our artists are proof of that!
The artist with color blindness, which is an incurable condition, needs the support of close people and co-workers to help with the correct interpretation of colors.
3D Artist at ES, Thiago Kyoshi, adds that the interpretation of colors is complex in and of itself, as it can vary depending on country and culture. It is even more challenging for the person with color blindness, who has this interpretation distorted by genetic issues.
“My entire team knows and supports my situation. I have always worked with reference images and the help of a non-colorblind person. When I have a color to match in 3D or Photoshop, I ask someone for help and explain that this is the reference I have to get to that color. If I choose to work alone, it becomes quite complicated.”
Ryota, after facing many challenges and having to hide being colorblind in order to not miss out on opportunities in his professional life, no longer sees this as a problem. He has managed to 'reprogram' his vision and be assertive in the projects he develops.
“I stopped seeing color blindness as an anomaly or disability. Today, I see it as a super power. I wear the condition with pride.”
By being in the right environment and with the right people who support your growth and your differences, you won't need to hide. Just be who you are and freely express your talent. After all, in addition to being colorblind, you are elephants!
Embrace the Challenges!
Gabriel Ryota Film Director
Vinícius Gonzaga 3D Artist
Thiago Kyoshi 3D Artist
Communications Manager - Roberta Lemos | Communication Intern – João Victor Campos
Author – Jornalist Daiana Barasa and Juliana Rodrigues | Naiá
Interviewed – Gabriel Ryota - Film Director, Thiago Kyoshi - 3D Artist, Vinícius Gonzaga - 3D Artist
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