3D Color Picker

AKA the first of many forays into the world of custom visualizations!

 
Those who regularly follow the blog may have noticed that we have lately been rapidly expanding our visualization portfolio beyond the more "traditional" types of vizes, to include some innovative and unique styles that may better serve a particular purpose. Libraries like d3 allow us to take the next step in that journey, totally unfettering our clients from the limitations of any given tool. With custom libraries, Infinity Insight's extension development team is able to create some truly mind-blowing visualizations. I want to introduce you today to one such visualization, which was created by our team at my request: the 3D color picker. The 3D color picker was born through a simple idea: if every 24-bit color can be represented via RGB, then wouldn't plotting R/G/B as X/Y/Z axes in 3D space result in a cube that contains every possible color? And indeed it did.

click the picture for an interactive version!
 
After we created this cube, we noticed that RGB is actually kind of a confusing palette. For instance, slicing along a particular value of the "R" axis will not produce a cross-section that is equally red to the human eye. So we created an analogous HSL color picker, which provides less distinct colors (3.5M instead of 16.7M) but is much more intuitive to use in finding a desired color:

click the picture for an interactive version!
 
I'm thrilled to announce that both of the above visualizations are also available as free Qlik Sense extensions. These 3D color pickers are the inaugural members of our new Extension Catalog initiative!
 
As a boutique BI consulting firm, having in-house extension developers (such as the d3 team that created the colors pickers!) truly spoils us. It allows our talented BI consultants to use the full range of their impressive imaginations to custom-fit the perfect solutions for our clients. It also allows us to be perfectionists; if we are unhappy with how a natively-provided visualization looks or feels, we can simply create our own version. Read more about Infinity Insight's vision for the future of Qlik Sense and our commitment to extension supportability here.
 
Acknowledgements
This visualization was indirectly inspired by one of my favorite fiction authors, Neal Stephenson, in his book Reamde [sic], which introduced me to the idea of three dimensional colorspace. Neal is a great author and I highly recommend this novel as well as all of his other work!
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