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Chapter 21. Output > Going from Continuous Tones to Halftones

Going from Continuous Tones to Halftones

Contrary to what the name might suggest, a halftone is not 50% of a tone! Halftones are the lifeblood of commercial printers, and the only way you can get a continuous tone representation on paper. Continuous tones versus halftones merit a brief explanation, and then this section will get into the types of halftones that are at the designer's disposal.

What's the Difference Between Continuous Tones and Halftones?

When you look at the world, and there's a sunset with a rock in the vicinity, you'll see a subtle, continuous falloff of light on the rock. There's no sudden, abrupt area of tone missing, as the light gradually changes on the rock's surface. This is a continuous tone image because nature has every color with which to display images as the sun emits a spectrum, and your eyes are equipped to receive the parts of the spectrum that depict the rock's tones.


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