Re: Freight car colors...

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Jack Burgess wrote:
I've given a lot of thought to how that might be done "electronically" . . . I have played with the Gradient Tool in Photoshop (also available in Photoshop Elements). If one scans painted samples of two paint colors, such as Floquil Boxcar Red and Floquil Tuscan, and open the scans in Photoshop, the Eyedropper Tool can be used to load those colors as the Foreground and Background color. The Gradient Tool can then be used to "mix" the two colors and produce a 50/50 or 25/75 mix or any other proportion electronically. The resulting mixes can be saved as color swatches and so labeled. By scanning all of the available "reds" from one manufacturer, one could produce swatches of all possible variations. Samples of the prototype colors could also be sampled and compared to the mixes.
This is the classic problem, Jack: the physics of the situation is against you. What you see on your screen (and what Photoshop constructs) is RGB light colors, an ADDITIVE color production method. But paint (and printing onto paper) are a SUBTRACTIVE color production. Pantone is supposed to be one way around that--but only in the sense that you IGNORE what you see on the screen, and trust the Pantone chip for how it will look when printed.
Even with frequently calibrated monitors and high-end ink jet printing, you are not going to produce what the paint will render.
Your last sentence, making up physical paint batches and somehow learning how those relate to the on-screen product, would be the only way to go, but IMO you're awfully close to square one at that point.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
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