The most widely used color-difference formulas are based on color-difference data obtained under D65 illumination or similar and for a visual field; i.e., these formulas hold true for the CIE 1964 observer adapted to D65 illuminant. This work considers the psychometric color-vision model based on the Optical Society of America–Uniform Color Scales (OSA-UCS) system previously published by the first author [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 677 (2004); Color Res. Appl. 30, 31 (2005)] with the additional hypothesis that complete illuminant adaptation with perfect color constancy exists in the visual evaluation of color differences. In this way a computational procedure is defined for color conversion between different illuminant adaptations, which is an alternative to the current chromatic adaptation transforms. This color conversion allows the passage between different observers, e.g., CIE 1964 and CIE 1931. An application of this color conversion is here made in the color-difference evaluation for any observer and in any illuminant adaptation: these transformations convert tristimulus values related to any observer and illuminant adaptation to those related to the observer and illuminant adaptation of the definition of the color-difference formulas, i.e., to the CIE 1964 observer adapted to the D65 illuminant, and then the known color-difference formulas can be applied. The adaptations to the illuminants A, C, F11, D50, Planckian and daylight at any color temperature and for CIE 1931 and CIE 1964 observers are considered as examples, and all the corresponding transformations are given for practical use.
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