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Color Basics

If you took anything away from your childhood art class, it was probably learning the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. A color wheel, shown in Figure 1.1, puts these three colors in the corners of a triangle, and the results of mixing these colors appear between those three points: the secondary colors orange, green, and violet. Colors from green to violet are called cool and those from red to yellow are warm. Colors that are opposite each other on the wheel, such as blue and orange, are considered complementary colors. They tend to clash when combined; for example, an orange ball in a blue room might look harsh. The general palette of colors used in a composition is called a color scheme, and a composition's overall color scheme can be said to be warm or cool, depending on the predominant color. In general, a color scheme appears more harmonious if you avoid large overlapping areas of complementary colors. However, used judiciously, complementary colors can be useful if you want to make objects seem to “pop” from the background. Because of the importance of color in many areas of 3D, a new color graphics folder has been added to this book's DVD. You can now find many figures from the chapters there.

Figure 1.1. The color wheel.



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