2019 FRC Deep Space Rocket Color

Has anyone seen documentation or drawings specifying the color of the rocket’s hatch and port panels? They seem to be an off-white. All the drawings for the field components indicate that they are clear polycarbonate panels with a screen print attached to the side without the countersinks. I know the cargo ships panels are either red or blue, depending on the alliance side.

I was told that the rockets are going to be assembled similar to how strongholds tower was with the frame and peel and stick polycarbonate.

Edit: Not sure if this is accurate though

Thanks. My primary interest is in the color, for computer vision purposes. I suspect We’ll just wind up having to make a guess and calibrate it during a practice round, but having a specification for the color would be helpful.

I would highly recommend you use the vision targets built into all the goals, the highly reflective tape makes for a great vision target when illuminated by coloured LEDs. There are tons of resources on CD and throughout the FIRST community about how to target these reflective vision targets.

Your team is pretty old (frc 610) but they are 1622 so I figure they know what they are doing. If they want to do vision based on the color of the rocket, I say power to you. Sounds pretty innovative to me.

There have been two threads and a Q&A on this already. It’s Pantone 649C.


No, not trying to use the color of the panels themselves. I’m just trying to account for the fact that panel color could influence color filtering of the retroreflective targets, despite attempts to mitigate ambient effects. Did the cargo ship first, since they’re bright colors. Not expecting much impact for the rocket since it’s a neutral color, but thought I’d ask.

If you use the retro-reflective tape with a bright (green) light, you shouldn’t have any problem with seeing the color of the field. The only small false positives could be reflections of the light off the polycarbonate, but that should be filter-able based on size and/or shape.


As @petercooperjr stated above the color is Pantone 649C, a blue tinted light grey.

If you are not familiar with Pantone coloring, and for others wondering how to get a sample, typically any professional printing shops will have official Pantone chip-card fan books. They are very expensive as the color samples are standards and I wouldn’t suggest buying a book for one color. If you can find a company willing to sell single chips to the public, you may be able to pick up a color sample for $20-50. Otherwise if you call and ask nicely, the print shop (possibly even Staples or OfficeMax printing departments) will let you come in and look at and photograph the color sample (bring a flashlight as the color changes with different lighting).

For what it’s worth, Pantone does give some CMYK values for printing it (and offer to sell you a sample) on its web site. Though of course printing it out on your home printer isn’t going to be a true match, it may be close enough depending on what exactly you’re trying to do.

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The CMYK, RGB, and Hex values that are “paired” to Pantone colors are “estimations”. Because Pantone colors are considered IP and actually copyrighted, and produced through PMS (Pantone Matching System) mixing, they cannot be reproduced in other formations. Printing a color, or even viewing it on your monitor, will be very different than the actual color. While yes that may be a “close enough” if the color is being used as a background or differentiation for vision systems this year, I don’t know why you wouldn’t go seek out the real thing. FIRST told us Pantone 649C, they didn’t say grey, so if you are looking to see the actual color, go search for a sample.

As an aside: Pantone Colors exist so whether in Albany, NY or Haifa, Israel McDonald’s red is 485C, Coca-Cola red is 2347C, and Google red is 7619C, and customers will recognize the same color for their favorite product wherever they go.

I called around locally. It seems the Sherwin Williams Commercial Paint store can use a Pantone number, at least for some colors, which included the rocket color. The regular Sherwin Williams store I called couldn’t. Most places, Home Depot and Ace Hardware included, had no idea what Pantone was. Surprised me but I guess I’ve had a lot of familiarity with artists, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., where Pantone is well known.

The Pantone Color System was developed for flat and offset printing. Sherwin-Williams uses their ColorSnap to approximate the Pantone colors for paint blending.

Likely everyone posting in this thread is aware, but light color/white balance will have a significant effect on how a camera views any color as well. If you are calibrating a vision system with a strong color constant light source and a camera with a dark exposure – your light source will be largely consistent and optimizing for a particular color on the rocket/cargo ship may make sense (but is in my experience generally not required).

If you are using your camera in a mode where ambient light (from arena/gym lights) is a significant portion of your exposure, that exact color of your sample is going to be lost in the white balance of those lights and you are going to need to calibrate for location and if there are windows time of day – don’t do this it is painful, there is a reason you see all of those bright green rings.

Agreed. Goal is to eliminate auto exposure, be in control of the lighting source, minimize ambient lighting contribution to exposure and minimize probability of needing to calibrate for the venue lighting. It may be overkill, but developing against close color matches is towards that end.

For people that want a close match, ACE hardware has an old color called Marina del Rey 104-F that is a very close with a “Delta E” of 0.5