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The emission spectra of the three phosphors that define the additive primary colors of a CRT color video display. Unlike subtractive systems that use magenta, yellow, and cyan inks, additive systems such as computer displays mix red, green, and blue light to make all colors.

Primary colors are sets of colors that can be combined to make a useful range of colors. For human applications, three primary colors are typically used, since human color vision is usually trichromatic.

For additive combination of colors, as in overlapping projected lights or in electronic visual displays, the primary colors normally used are red, green, and blue. For a subtractive combination of colors, as in mixing of pigments or dyes for printing, the colors magenta, yellow, and cyan are normally used.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> However, red, yellow, and blue is commonly used as primaries when painting or drawing.<ref> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> See RGB color model, CMYK color model, and RYB color model for more on these popular sets of primary colors.

Any particular choice for a given set of primary colors is derived from the spectral sensitivity of each of the human cone photoreceptors; three colors that fall within each of the sensitivity ranges of each of the human cone cells are red, green , and blue.<ref>The Science of Color - Steven K. Shevell, Optical Society of America - Google Books</ref> Other sets of colors can be used, though not all will well-approximate the full range of color perception. For example, an early color photographic process, autochrome, typically used orange, green, and violet primaries.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> However, unless negative amounts of a color are allowed the gamut will be restricted by the choice of primaries.

The combination of any two primary colors creates a secondary color.

The most commonly used additive color primaries are the secondary colors of the most commonly used subtractive color primaries, and vice versa.


Primary color sections
Intro   Biological basis    Subtractive primaries    History    Psychological primaries    See also    Notes and references    External links   

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}}

The emission spectra of the three phosphors that define the additive primary colors of a CRT color video display. Unlike subtractive systems that use magenta, yellow, and cyan inks, additive systems such as computer displays mix red, green, and blue light to make all colors.

Primary colors are sets of colors that can be combined to make a useful range of colors. For human applications, three primary colors are typically used, since human color vision is usually trichromatic.

For additive combination of colors, as in overlapping projected lights or in electronic visual displays, the primary colors normally used are red, green, and blue. For a subtractive combination of colors, as in mixing of pigments or dyes for printing, the colors magenta, yellow, and cyan are normally used.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> However, red, yellow, and blue is commonly used as primaries when painting or drawing.<ref> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> See RGB color model, CMYK color model, and RYB color model for more on these popular sets of primary colors.

Any particular choice for a given set of primary colors is derived from the spectral sensitivity of each of the human cone photoreceptors; three colors that fall within each of the sensitivity ranges of each of the human cone cells are red, green , and blue.<ref>The Science of Color - Steven K. Shevell, Optical Society of America - Google Books</ref> Other sets of colors can be used, though not all will well-approximate the full range of color perception. For example, an early color photographic process, autochrome, typically used orange, green, and violet primaries.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> However, unless negative amounts of a color are allowed the gamut will be restricted by the choice of primaries.

The combination of any two primary colors creates a secondary color.

The most commonly used additive color primaries are the secondary colors of the most commonly used subtractive color primaries, and vice versa.


Primary color sections
Intro   Biological basis    Subtractive primaries    History    Psychological primaries    See also    Notes and references    External links   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Biological basis
<<>>