Chapter 9: Color. Additive Mixing: Yellow. Additive Primary Colors 10/31/2012. What is color?

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1 What is color? Chapter 9: Color Color mixtures Intensity-distribution curves Additive Mixing Partitive Mixing Specifying colors RGB Color Chromaticity Additive Primary Colors Additive Mixing: Yellow Red, green and blue are called the additive primaries We want to select primary colors that allow us to create the largest possible number of other colors using just those primary colors 530-nm green yellow cyan 650-nm red magenta 460-nm blue Most colors can be described in terms of mixtures of red, green and blue 1

2 Display Pixels: Partitive Mixing Partitive Mixing: Pixels What it instead, we make the different colors coming from separate, very small, very closely spaced points You eye cannot see them as separate sources, so the colors mix and you see the same color. This is called partitive mixing Subtractive Mixing In additive mixing, we added the wavelengths that were hitting the eye: say red light and green light Subtractive Mixing Suppose we have a range of wavelengths hitting some object: What about things like filters and dye pigments? These mix by subtractive mixing Three things can happen to each wavelength of light: Reflection: that particular wavelength bounces off the object Transmission: that wavelength passes through the object Absorption: that wavelength is soaked up by the object In general different things happen at different wavelengths 2

3 Colored Filters Recall that magenta is the additive mixture of blue and red If a light looks magenta, it means that red and blue light is reaching our eyes, thus a magenta filter must transmitblue and red light, and subtract, by reflection or absorption, green light. Colored Filters What happens if we layer colored filters? Filters subtract light by absorption or reflection = = Incident white light Magenta filter subtracts green Cyan filter subtracts red Only blue gets through Another example: = Colored Filters Subtractive Mixing: Primaries The subtractive primaries are Cyan Magenta Yellow Incident white light Magenta filter subtracts green Yellow filter subtracts blue Only red gets through In subtractive mixing, combining complementary colors produces black 3

4 Subtractive Mixing: Reflection Colored filters subtract some colors and transmit others. Subtractive Mixing: Reflection A green surface absorbs (subtracts) red and blue (magenta), and reflects green Subtractive mixing can also occur when a colored surface absorb some colors and reflect others White in Green out White in Magenta out A magenta colored surface absorbs (subtracts) green and reflects red and blue, thus appeared to be magenta Subtractive Mixing: Real Filters Real filters are non-ideal, they transmit a range of wavelengths, not just one. We can specify which wavelengths using an intensity distribution curve. Magenta Filter Transmission 4

5 Cyan Filter Transmission Subtractive Mixing: Colored Light We have so far been assuming that we are illuminating our colored filters and surfaces with uniform white light. But most light is not uniform white, or even white at all. How can we figure out what objects will look like in non-ideal or non-uniform light? Colored Light: Example Combining Intensity Curves Fluorescent light emission Reflectance of a magenta shirt To combine two intensity curves, you multiply the curves at each point to get the combined curve When illuminated by this fluorescent light, this magenta shirt will appear gray (colorless) 5

6 Combining Intensity Curves: Example Color Mixing: Ink and Paint Color mixing with ink and pigment is in general, a complex mixture of additive and subtractive mixing. Light rays hitting paint or ink on a piece of paper can interact with the pigments in several ways Color Mixing: Ink and Paint Some light is reflected from the surface Some light passes through the ink and reflects from the paper underneath, while the ink absorbs some wavelengths The rays from these two processes combine in the eye, mixing additively Color Mixing: Ink and Paint This process only occurs if the ink or paint is at least semi transparent, such as watercolors and some printing inks. 6

7 Watercolors Watercolor is a challenging medium, because the transparent colors have to be layered carefully to avoid a muddy looking appearance As light passes through each color layer, more wavelengths are subtracted, just like layering a set of filters The light also reflects off the paper underneath, so the reflectance curve of the paper itself also subtracts some colors. Process Ink Printing The transparent inks used to print colored documents and packaging are called process inks A printer wants to use the best primaries possible to create the largest number of colors from the smallest number of printing plates. Each separate color requires a separate printing plate or roller Process Ink Printing Non-ideal Inks The printing primaries are Cyan Magenta Yellow Black Black is necessary because the printing inks are not ideal, and combining them together does not produce a true black, but a slightly color-tinged black. This is also called the CMYK color system The reason inks cannot be ideal is that they cannot be too saturated. A narrow reflectance curve (more saturated) reflects less overall light, so saturated colors would be very dark 7

8 CMYK Printing CMYK Printing CMYK Printing We have seen that we can generate a range of colors by subtractive mixing our CMYK primaries But what it we want to print lighter, less saturated colors? Diluting the inks would require a new printing plate for each color. CMYK Printing: Halftones To avoid having to add even more printing plates or rollers, printers use a variation of partitivemixing to generate lighter colors They simply print less ink in a given area This is called half-tone printing, and is common in newspaper and magazine printing 8

9 Halftones 9

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