CMYK color model

Missing image
Cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black)

CMYK (or sometimes YMCK) is a subtractive color model used in color printing. This color model is based on mixing pigments of the following colors in order to make other colors:

The mixture of ideal CMY colors is subtractive (Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow printed together on white result to black). CMYK works through light absorption. The colors that are seen are from the part of light that is not absorbed. In CMYK magenta plus yellow produces red, magenta plus cyan makes blue, cyan plus yellow generates green and the combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow form black.

Because the 'black' generated by mixing the subtractive primaries is not as dense as that of a genuine black ink (one that absorbs throughout the visible spectrum), four-color printing uses black ink in addition to the subtractive primaries yellow, magenta, and cyan. (The black is referred to as key as a shorthand for the printing term key plate. This plate impressed the artistic detail of an image, usually in black ink.)

Use of four-color printing generates a superior final printed result with greater contrast. However the color a person sees on a computer screen is often slightly different from the color of the same object on a printout since CMYK and the RGB color model used in computer monitors have different gamuts. RGB color is made by the emission of light (additive color) whereas CMYK works by the absorption of it (subtractive color).



Note that the conversions here are best described as "nominal". They will produce a reversible conversion from RGB to CMYK and back again (though not vice versa). However, the CMYK colors may print wildly differently from how the RGB colors display on a monitor. There is no single "good" conversion rule between RGB and CMYK, because neither RGB nor CMYK is an absolute color space.

Converting between RGB and CMYK

To convert between RGB and CMYK, an intermediate CMY value is used. Color values are represented as a vector, with each color component varying from 0.0 (no color) to 1.0 (fully saturated color):

<math>t_{CMYK}<math><math>= \{C, M, Y, K\}<math> is the CMYK quadruple on <math>\left[0, 1\right]^4<math>,
<math>t_{CMY}<math><math>= \{C, M, Y\}<math> is the CMY triple on <math>\left[0, 1\right]^3<math>,
<math>t_{RGB}<math><math>= \{R, G, B\}<math> is the RGB triple on <math>\left[0, 1\right]^3<math>.

Converting CMYK to RGB

To convert, we first convert CMYK to CMY, then convert the CMY value to RGB

Converting now

<math>t_{CMYK} = \{C, M, Y, K \}<math>


<math>t_{CMY} = \{C', M', Y' \} = \{C(1-K)+K, M(1-K)+K, Y(1-K)+K \}<math>


<math>t_{RGB} = \{R, G, B \} = \{1-C', 1-M', 1-Y'\}<math>

or substituting in

<math>t_{RGB} = \{1 - (C(1-K)+K), 1 - (M(1-K)+K), 1 - (Y(1-K)+K)\} = \{1 - C(1-K)-K, 1 - M(1-K)-K, 1 - Y(1-K)-K\}<math>

Converting RGB to CMYK

Converting RGB → CMY, with the same color vectors as before:

Converting now

<math>t_{RGB} = \{R, G, B\}<math>

converting to CMY

<math>t_{CMY} = \{C', M', Y'\} = \{1-R, 1-G, 1-B\}<math>

and then to CMYK:

if <math>\min\{C', M', Y'\} = 1<math>
<math>t_{CMYK} = \{0, 0, 0, 1\}<math>
<math>K = \min\{C', M', Y'\}<math>
<math>t_{CMYK} = \left\{ \frac{C' - K}{1 - K}, \frac{M' - K}{1 - K}, \frac{Y' - K}{1 - K}, K \right\}<math>

See also

External links

et:CMYK es:CMYK fr:Cyan magenta jaune noir nl:CMYK pl:CMYK ru:CMYK sv:CMYK vi:CMYK


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