Update on Stacked Transparencies

What we know about stacking transparencies…

Cyan + Magenta = Blue

Cyan + Yellow = Green

Magenta + Yellow = Red

One Theory to Explain this pattern is the following

Cyan filters block out all RED (leaving primarily blue and green) — blue/green looking cyan jives with their intuition

Magenta filters block out all Green (leaving blue and red) — blue/red looking magenta jives with their intuition

Yellow filters block out all Blue (leaving Green and Red) … leaving question why does green/red look yellow? Not-intuitive

This theory is somewhat uncommitted about what happens with oranges, yellows, and violet;

The theory goes:

Cyan (blocks red) + Magenta (blocks Green) = Blue Left Over

Yellow (blocks blue) + Magenta (blocks green) =  Red Left Over

Cyan (blocks red) + Yellow (blocks blue) = Green Left Over

Another Theory Goes like this

Cyan enhances blue and green maybe even yellow and dims other

Magenta enhances blue, red, and violet (and may even yellow/orange) and dims others

Yellow enhances yellow and dims others

The theory goes like this

Cyan + Yellow gives Blue, Green,Yellow enhancements , making an overall Green Appearance … this jives with their intuition

Magenta + Yellow gives Blue, Red, Violet, and Yellow, Orange enhancements … Not sure why this come off just Red?

Cyan + Magenta = Blue (enhanced twice), Green, Red, Violet, Yellow, Orange … why does this come off as just blue?


Both theories have gaps and puzzles. However, Caroline invented a theory, which seems to fill in a lot of gaps for both theories.

Caroline’s Extended Theory of Opposition

Blue / Orange are Opposites (…we do find that stacking orange and blue gives a dark appearance)

Violet / Yellow are Opposites (…we didn’t have violet transparencies… but yellow and purple gave a dark red)

Red and Green are Opposites (…we do find that stacking red and green gives dark appearance)

The Theory Goes like this

Since Magenta contains both Blue and Red, it probably blocks out both oranges and greens!

Since Cyan contains both Blue and Green, it probably block out both red and oranges!

Yellow blocks out Violets. Since it must also oppose blue, does this mean that yellow contains orange? 

How Caroline’s Opposing Theory Fills in Theoretical Gaps

Caroline’s Theory fills in a lot of holes in theory #1, by detailing what happens to Orange, Yellow, and Violet…

It says that Cyan (blocks Red and Orange), leaving not just Blue and Green, but Yellow and Violet

It says that Magenta (blocks oranges and greens), leaving not just Red and Blue, but also Yellow and Violet

It says that Yellow (blocks violet and blue), leaving Red, Orange, Green, and Yellow

Caroline’s Theory also fills in holes of theory #2, because it can explain complicated mess of why Blue and Red end up

Blue + Red + Violet + Yellow + Orange = Red . This is because Blue/Orange and Yellow/Violet are opposing, leaving only red unopposed

Blue (x2) + Green + Red + Violet + Yellow + Orange = Blue. This is because Red/Green Oppose, Yellow/Violet oppose, and One Blue is opposed by an orange, leaving only one blue unopposed.

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