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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2014
  • pp: 58–66

Between additive and subtractive color mixings: intermediate mixing models

Lionel Simonot and Mathieu Hébert  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 58-66 (2014)

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The color rendering of superposed coloring components is often an issue either to predict or to simulate the appearance of colored surfaces. In graphical software, for example, transparence options are available to display different layouts on top of each other. With two colored layers, tuning the transparency of the top layer enables transitioning continuously from the color of this top layer to the color of the bottom layer. However, these options based very often only on additive color mixing offer limited transitions between two base colors. It would be advantageous to introduce more advanced options, providing, for example, realistic renderings of superposed paint layers. This is the aim of the present study, where simple models are proposed to create intermediate configurations between additive and subtractive color mixings. These models rely on the spectral power distribution of a finite set of primaries with given proportions. They may be extended to RGB color reflective or transmissive systems if the red, green, and blue wavebands do not overlap each other. An additional parameter is introduced to tune the proportions of additive and subtractive mixings, each type of mixing being based on its set of primaries. Various simulations of color mixings are presented, illustrating the possibilities offered by this model in addition to those permitted by the purely additive and subtractive mixings.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(300.6550) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, visible
(330.1690) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color
(330.1730) Vision, color, and visual optics : Colorimetry

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: July 18, 2013
Revised Manuscript: October 16, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: November 11, 2013
Published: December 5, 2013

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Vol. 9, Iss. 3 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Lionel Simonot and Mathieu Hébert, "Between additive and subtractive color mixings: intermediate mixing models," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 31, 58-66 (2014)

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