Fake Color

Fake color, also known as false color, is a digital image processing technique used to enhance the visualization of images by assigning colors to grayscale images based on their intensity levels or other data properties.

This method is commonly employed in various fields such as satellite imaging, medical imaging, and scientific research to reveal details that would be invisible or unclear in natural color or grayscale.


Colorized imaging


  1. Satellite Imagery: In remote sensing and satellite imagery, fake color is used to enhance features such as vegetation, water bodies, and urban areas by assigning different colors to various infrared and other non-visible wavelengths, helping analysts to assess environmental conditions and land use more effectively.
  2. Medical Imaging: In medical imaging, fake color can be applied to MRI and ultrasound scans to differentiate between tissues, organs, and other structures, facilitating a clearer diagnosis and assessment of medical conditions.
  3. Astronomical Imaging: Astronomers often use fake color to process images from telescopes that capture data in non-visible wavelengths, such as ultraviolet or x-ray, enhancing the visibility of celestial phenomena and improving the analysis of cosmic events.


  • Data Interpretation: It is crucial to understand the basis on which colors are assigned in a fake color image to accurately interpret the data. Misinterpretation can lead to incorrect conclusions, especially in critical applications like medical diagnosis or scientific research.
  • Color Mapping: The selection of colors in a false color image is not arbitrary; it must be done thoughtfully to ensure that it enhances the visibility and differentiation of important features in the data.
  • User Training: Users and viewers of fake color images need appropriate training or guidelines to understand what the colors represent. This is especially important in fields like medicine and environmental science, where decisions are data driven.
  • Software and Tools: Utilizing robust software and tools that offer advanced options for color mapping and adjustment is essential for creating effective fake color images.
  • Communication: When presenting fake color images, especially in public or educational contexts, it is important to clearly communicate that the colors are artificial and what they represent to avoid misrepresentation of the visual information.

To learn more about this or other printing techniques, contact us at American Print and Bindery today!