RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation showing the process of mixing subtractive colours, as occurs in colour printing. The subtractive colours used in inks and pigments absorb the primary colours of light, and the reflected light gives the pigment its colour. Cyan absorbs red light, yellow absorbs blue, and magenta absorbs green. Mixing two or more pigments produces all the different colours, for instance mixing cyan and yellow means that red and blue are absorbed from the white light, and only green light is reflected. Where all three pigments meet, all light is absorbed and the area looks black. In practice, a fourth pigment, black (or key), is added to printers, to give darker blacks than the pigments themselves can produce. This is called the CMYK colour model.
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