Continuous tone

Continuous tone

A continuous tone image is one where each color at any point in the image is reproduced as a single tone, and not as discrete halftones, such as one single color for monochromatic prints, or a combination of halftones for color prints.

The most common continuous tone images are digital photographs. Film is a halftone medium.[citation needed]

An example of a continuous-tone device is a CRT computer screen. Here, any pixel can represent any color, because the color components of the pixel are analog and can vary in infinite steps, and hence do not need halftones to make the colors. Of course, because the computer is a digital device, it cannot provide the CRT with infinite tone variations. In 24-bit color mode, it provides the monitor with 256 discrete steps for each color, for a total of 16,777,216 discrete colors. A purely analog video signal (one that has not been manipulated by a computer of any kind) can provide infinite tone variations inside its own gamut.

A halftone device, in contrast, uses discrete dots of color, which at a certain distance look closely like the intended color. Examples of this are inkjet printers. Magazines and most printed material also use this technique to create the colors.

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • continuous tone —    An image that has all the values (0 to 100 percent) of gray (black    & white) or color in it. A photograph is a continuous tone image.    Contrast with halftone …   IT glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations

  • continuous tone — image in which the tones have smooth transitions …   English contemporary dictionary

  • continuous-tone — adjective : of or relating to artwork (as a photograph) that consists of varying shades of gray see halftone in the Dict …   Useful english dictionary

  • Continuous-Tone Image —   [engl.], Volltonbild …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System — In telecommunications, Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System or CTCSS is a circuit that is used to reduce the annoyance of listening to other users on a shared two way radio communications channel. It is sometimes called tone squelch. Where more… …   Wikipedia

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  • tone decay test — (for hearing) with an audiometer, the patient is asked to raise one hand as long as they hear a continuous tone at threshold level and to lower it when the tone becomes inaudible; whenever the patient lowers their hand before 60 seconds, the… …   Medical dictionary

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