In Looking up color table I showed how to look up colors from a growing table of color models, in order to create color swatches. These show distinct colors with a hard stop between them, like this

But lets say that we wanted the intermediate colors to be automatically calculated – creating a smooth transition between each color.

Creating Ramps to get between colors smoothly

You can calculate the transition between two colors by adjusting the red, blue and green mix proportional to the distance traveled between the source and target color. Putting it all together, you can see the smooth transition between each color in the swatch, compared to the discrete individual color components.


How does this work

This is covered in detail in the Color ramp library. Here’s the code for creating the diagram above, using the libraries in the cDataSet.xlsm workbook.
Public Sub makeRampedSwatches()
    Dim r As Range, nameList As Variant, i As Long, _
        ramp As Variant, self As cDataSet, totalPoints As Long
    ' going to make some color swatches
    Set r = firstCell(wholeSheet("swatches"))
    r.Worksheet.Cells.Interior.color = vbWhite
    ' going to use some dulux names
    Const schemePrefix = "dulux-"
    Const width = 72
    Const height = 64
    Const pointsPerMilestone = 50
    ' get the color map table
    With getcolorMap()
        ' refer to the dataset for later
        Set self = .self
        ' these are our colors
        nameList = Array( _
            "charred chocolate", _
            "charred clay", _
            "cheater", _
            "cheesy grin", _
            "chenille" _
        ' lets get the actual colors
        ReDim ramp(1 To arrayLength(nameList))
        For i = LBound(nameList) To UBound(nameList)
            ramp(i + 1 - LBound(nameList)) = .value(schemePrefix & nameList(i), "rgb")
        Next i

        totalPoints = arrayLength(nameList) * pointsPerMilestone
        With r.Resize(2, totalPoints)
            .columnWidth = width / totalPoints
            .rowHeight = height
        End With
        ' ramp with intermediate colors
        For i = 1 To totalPoints
            With r.Offset(, i - 1)
                .Interior.color = rampLibraryRGB(ramp, 1, totalPoints, i)
            End With
        Next i
        ' add a title
        With r.Resize(1, 1)
            .value = "ramped swatch"
            .Font.color = makeColorProps(.Interior.color).textColor
        End With
        ' now contrast that with the non ramped
        For i = 1 To arrayLength(nameList)
            With r.Resize(1, pointsPerMilestone).Offset(1, (i - 1) * pointsPerMilestone)
                .Interior.color = ramp(i)
                With .Resize(1, 1)
                    .Font.color = makeColorProps(.Interior.color).textColor
                    .value = nameList(i + LBound(nameList) - 1)
                End With
            End With
        Next i
    End With
End Sub

For more color topics see here


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