Imaging techniques such as multispectral photography make it possible to convert the spectral composition of image elements on the “input side” into a different color space and thus output them as a “false color” (or false color); i.e., colors that deviate from the natural color impression are deliberately used.
An unintentional false color display can occur as a color cast, for example, if the white balance has failed.
False color imaging is based on the principle that the human eye perceives only a few hundred brightness levels of a color tone, but can distinguish about a million color shades. Therefore, a false color image uses a color scale instead of a gray scale. The color channels of the original image are assigned to other colors – for example, red to blue and blue to green. This allows individual details of the captured originals to be seen more clearly, provided that the color gradient is uniform to the eye.
In the field of art technological analysis, false color images are used to make fine nuances of a color tone or a gray level in a work of art clearly distinguishable.