What is the best way to capture different surfaces?

Pico is able to capture a variety of surfaces but in saying this there are some guidelines and restrictions to follow that will optimize the color capturing process. Here are some examples of commonly encountered surfaces and how best to go about capturing them.

Capturing walls, panels and other flat objects

The best technique to apply when capturing these surfaces is fairly simple:

  • Press Pico firmly and directly on the surface
  • Tap the Pico touchpad and wait for the indicator light to stop flashing

For best results, place Pico against a smooth part of the surface so that no ambient light can enter the sensor port.

Capturing rough surfaces

Most rough surfaces can be captured just like a flat smooth surface. For best results, try and find a section of the surface which is as flat as possible.

For very rough surfaces, such as heavily textured concrete, it would be advisable to take more than one reading to ensure any given reading is not an anomaly due to surface texture.

Capturing textiles

Most textiles won't pose any capturing difficulties. However, depending on the kind of material you are trying to scan, you may need to be a bit more careful. Here are some different fabrics you may encounter and the best way to tackle them.

Cotton - Tightly threaded cotton can be sampled normally. If, however, the fabric is extremely thin, you may wish to place a piece of white card underneath the fabric when sampling.

Nylon, polyester and other synthetics - Generally these types of fabrics will be thinner and therefore tend to leak light through the fabric itself. You may wish to double over the fabric (multiple times if required) to effectively present a thicker fabric for more accurate sampling. If this is not possible, placing a piece of white card underneath the fabric when sampling will also help.

Wool and yarn - These typically thicker stranded fabrics can be difficult to sample as a lot of light tends to leak through air pockets within the strands themselves.

Note for all textiles: Pico sample aperture is 2x7mm in size. Some fabrics (such as those with blended threads or small color blocks) contain more than one color within this area, which presents some difficulty. To accurately capture color, the entire patch must be one solid color.

Capturing powder

Capturing various powdery material (such as ground coffee beans, soil or flour) is possible. Sampling can be performed normally, however care must be taken on several fronts:

  • Do not allow any foreign material to enter Pico's sampling aperture
  • Make sure there is a sufficient thickness of powder to avoid light leakage - this will depend on the transparency of the powder being measured.

Capturing glossy or metallic surfaces

When capturing the color of glossy or metallic surfaces, Pico capture the underlying color of the target surface. In some cases, however, the light reflected from glossy surfaces will cause the surface to appear visibly lighter or darker depending your position in relation to the surface. Since Pico will not take into account these angular differences, your captured results may appear different.

Capturing objects in nature

Many objects in nature (such as leaves and flowers) are translucent and care must be taken to ensure light is not leaking from the other side of the sample. You may wish to place a piece of white card underneath the sample to avoid these issues.

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