Let’s Find Out What ColorBlind People See


I have recently done my Master’s with first grade. During the course I got the opportunity to learn a lot in the realms of graphics, video production, 2D & 3D animations, and many other mediums, such as paintings, drawing, sculptor and photography. My thesis topic was color blindness. I made a video documentary on this subject and tried to convey as much information as was possible within the limited time.

I would like to share this with you all,  hope it would be a kind of video that you may never have seen before.

Color Blindness, The Enigma of Colors


Color blindness is a condition in which ability to distinguish some colors and shades is less then normal. It occurs when the color sensitive cone cells do not properly pick up or send the proper color signals to the brain. It is most commonly due to an inherited condition or acquired by diseases of the optic nerve or retina. These color problems are linked to the X chromosome and are almost always passed from a mother to her son.

Prevalence of impaired color vision in males is 8% and only 0.5% in females. Although it must have been existed for centuries, the first case on record was discovered in the practice of Dr Tuberville in 1684. Nearly a hundred years later an English chemist by the name of Dalton, who was color blind himself, published the first accurate description of the condition.

The advent of the information age brought with it an increasing importance of colors. Color coded computer information, color printers, color applications for safety, color comparison test mechanism and other needs are driving increasing changes in the occupational requirements for color vision.

What’s Inside this video

Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, is a phenomena which is not very well understood by most people. The video highlights different aspects of this deficiency in order to create awareness and help people better understand the condition.

The video explores a whole range of dimensions including the genetic origin of the color vision deficiency and the effects this deficiency has on the lives of those who suffer from it.

This work also features some interviews of color vision deficient people to highlight the struggles of their daily lives and the challenges they face in pursuit of their dreams. Professor Saeed Akhtar, a  painter and the recipient of the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance, also talks about his trials and triumphs and how he was able to carve a colorful career in an area for which colorblind people are considered unsuitable.

The documentary is an attempt to cast light on color vision deficiency and see the colors of life through the prism of a colorblind eye.

Video Script

According to Indian Institute of Forensic Medical Sciences and Research, the term color blindness is not correct. A more appropriate term is Color Vision Deficiency, because such a person can see colors but the names for these colors are not the same for him. For example, red grass, green blood, purple sky…

This condition has always been there but it was first diagnosed by Dr Tuberville in 1684. In 1798 the condition was documented for the first time in the form of a scientific paper by a colorblind English scientist, John Dalton. To acknowledge his work, the condition was also called Daltonism.

8 percent of the male and 0.5 percent of the female population in the world suffer from different types of color vision deficiency. 99 percent of color vision deficient people cannot recognize red and green colors. 75 percent of these cannot recognize green, while 24 percent cannot recognize red. Only 1 percent cannot recognize blue and yellow. Medically, these types are known as Deuteranopia, Tritanopia, and Protanopia.

There are different tests used to diagnose color vision deficiency, but the most commonly used test is Ishihara Plates. Color vision deficient people cannot recognize the color-coded numbers in these plates.

“Colorblindness is a genetically inherited disease that has no cure. It runs in the families. The only way to prevent it could be to discourage inbreeding to prevent the carrier genes from coming together in the offspring. There are jobs for which the vision is very important… For example, if you want to fly a plane, or join the police force or air force, you should have the normal vision. Similarly, a doctor should be able to recognize the red blood. However, it doesn’t mean that those who cannot see colors cannot be effective workers; they can still see the world in general. But it is necessary to test this deficiency for those jobs that require normal vision for their effective execution.”

Color deficient people have to face some difficulties in their daily lives… traffic signals, choice of clothes, electric wires, road maps, weather newscasts. For the air force or a plane pilot, color vision should be perfect.

I always wanted to join the army and I worked hard for it. After my Intermediate when I went for the army admission test, I was given a test that involved recognition of color-coded numbers. I couldn’t pass the test. That’s when I realized that I was unable to see the colors that others could see…

To diagnose color vision deficiency, parents should have their kids tested in their childhood. This way they can better prepare for the difficulties ahead in their lives.

“I was in sixth grade.. Our teacher asked us how we could tell a blind person about colors. My class mates explained how leaves are green, roses are red and the sun looks golden-yellow. I was surprised to hear their replies as for me the meanings of these colors were totally different.”

The fields of textiles and painting are not considered suitable for color vision deficient people. However, Pakistan’s famous artist Professor Saeed Akhtar, despite this weakness, won Presidential Award for Pride of Performance by virtue of his natural gifts.

“Strangely enough, I didn’t know I was colorblind. When we used to play carrom in the hostel, the queen disc, which was of dark crimson color, looked black to me. People started making fun of me and called me blind. I was called by my teacher who questioned me about different colors asked how I could paint so well if I couldn’t see all colors. I explained that I read what’s written on color tubes. I read if it’s yellow, blue or red, and then arrange these colors in order on my palette. So on my palette I know what color is red, blue or yellow. God has made man the prime of all creatures because he can think.. and then act on his thoughts. Man propounds a theory and then disproves his own theory. And that’s what I did – proved a theory wrong. I don’t say the theory itself is wrong, but I was able to prove it irrelevant in my case.”

A man can face colorblindness or any other challenge only if he has the support of people around him. With enough help and support, these people can easily overcome the difficulties in life… Even they can become invaluable national assets like Saeed Akhtar.

Thesis Report

It consists of all the phases of the project including pre-production, production plan and post-production.

Download PDF

The Design Work

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