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Digital Paper Terminology

Digital Paper Terminology


The list below, provided by Legion Paper, is a comprehensive index of terminology used in making and referring to Digital Art Paper. You will find this glossary very valuable when shopping for or choosing the right digital art paper for your next project.

Additive Colors Red, Green, and Blue are referred to as additive colors. Red + Green + Blue = White.

Aliasing An effect caused by sampling an image (or signal) at too low a rate. It makes rapid change (high texture) areas of an image appear as a slow change in the sample image. Once aliasing occurs, there is no way to accurately reproduce the original image from the sampled image.

Anti-Aliasing The process of reducing stair-stepping by smoothing edges where individual pixels are visible.

Aspect Ratio The ratio of horizontal to vertical dimensions of an image. (35mm slide frame is 3:2, TV 4:3, HDTV 16:9, 4×5 film 5:4)

Banding An artifact of color gradation in computer imaging, when graduated colors break into larger blocks of a single color, reducing the “smooth” look of a proper gradation.

Brightness The value of a pixel in an electronic image, representing its lightness value from black to white. Usually defined as brightness levels ranging in value from 0 (black) to 255 (white).

Calibration The act of adjusting the color of one device relative to another, such as a monitor to a printer, or a scanner to a film recorder. Or, it may be the process of adjusting the color of one device to some established standard.

Chroma The color of an image element (pixel). Chroma is made up of saturation + hue values, but separate from the luminance value.

Chromatic Adaption Adjustment to overall color shifts, like those produced by filters.

CMS (Color Matching System) (Color Management System) A software program (or a software and hardware combination) designed to ensure color matching and calibration between video or computer monitors and any form of hard copy output.

CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) The three subtractive color primaries.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) One of several color encoding systems used by printers for combining primary colors to produce a full-color image. In CMYK, colors are expressed by the “subtractive primaries” (cyan, magenta, yellow) and black. Black is called “K” or keyline since black, keylined text appears on this layer.

Color Correction The process of correcting or enhancing the color of an image.

Continuous Tone An image where brightness appears consistent and uninterrupted. Each pixel in a continuous tone image file uses at least one byte each for red, green, and blue values. This permits 256 density levels per color or more than 16 million mixture colors.

Contrast A measure of rate of change of brightness in an image. High contrast implies dark black and bright white content; Medium contrast implies a good spread from black to white; Low contrast implies a small spread of values from black to white.

Densitometer A tool used to measure the amount of light that is reflected or transmitted by an object.

Diffusion Dithering A method of dithering that randomly distributes pixels instead of using a set pattern.

Dithering A method of simulating many colors or shades of gray with only a few. A limited number of same-colored pixels located close together is seen as a new color.

DPI (Dots Per Inch) The measurement of resolution of a printer or video monitor based on dot density. For example, most laser printers have a resolution of 300 dpi, most monitors 72 dpi, most PostScript imagesetters 1200 to 2450 dpi. The measurement can also relate to pixels in an input file, or line screen dots (halftone screen) in a prepress output film.

Gray Level The brightness of a pixel. The value associated with a pixel representing it’s lightness from black to white. Usually defined as a value from 0 to 255, with 0 being black and 255 being white.

Gray Scale A term used to describe an image containing shades of gray as well as black and white.

Giclée A digitally produced fine art print.

Histogram A bar graph analysis tool that can be used to identify contrast and dynamic range image problems. Histograms are found in most software programs that are used to manipulate digital images.

Hue A term used to describe the entire range of colors of the spectrum; hue is the component that determines just what color you are using. In gradients, when you use a color model in which hue is a component, you can create rainbow effects.

Image Processing Capturing and manipulating images in order to enhance or extract information.

Image Resolution The number of pixels per unit length of image. For example, pixels per inch, pixels per millimeter, or pixels wide.

Media Any digitally printable substrate.

Moiré A visible pattern that occurs when one or more halftone screens are misregistered in a color image.

Palette A thumbnail of all available colors to a computer or devices. The palette allows the user to chose which colors are available for the computer to display. The more colors the larger the data and the more processing time required to display your images. If the system uses 24-bit color, then over 16.7 million colors are included in the palette.

Pixel A single unit of color on a RGB monitor.

Print on Demand The ability to print small lots of an edition at different times.

Raster Raster images are made up of individual dots; each of which have a defined value that precisely identifies its specific color, size and place within the image. (Also known as bitmapped images.)

RGB Short for Red, Green, and Blue; the primary colors used to simulate natural color on computer monitors and television sets.

RIP (Raster Image Processing) A piece of hardware or software that converts objectoriented graphics and fonts into the bitmaps required for output on a printer.

Saturation The degree to which a color is undiluted by white light. If a color is 100 percent saturated, it contains no white light. If a color has no saturation, it is a shade of gray.

Smoothing Averaging pixels with their neighbors. It reduces contrast and simulates an out-of-focus image.

Scanning Digitizing an analog image.

True Color Color that has a depth of 24-bits and 16.7 million colors.

Paper Terminology Glossary

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