[Groop] how did tom luth do his job?

grinningdemon at comcast.net grinningdemon at comcast.net
Thu Jun 14 05:11:51 PDT 2007

Would this mean that it wasn't Tom's fault when there was an obvious scene where Groo or Rufferto were not colored but everything else was? I used to think to myself "How could Tom forget to color that!?!"

= = = Original message = = =

> In the "old days" Tom made Color Guides.  Tom colored the pages
> (photocopies called "stats") using what looked like watercolors to me.
> Very cool to see.  Then he would code them to show what proportions of
> each different color should be cyan, magenta, and/or yellow.  So a color
> guide, in addition to being colored, has all sorts of little codes like
> 2y1m or something like that.  (I don't have one in front of me.)  That
> is what would be sent to the printer for use in the color separation
> process. (Which I think is done by magic Elves.) 

Until a few years ago, my father was one of those magic elves (or, as the IRS knew him, "color separation photographer").  It was an intriguing process to watch, at least before it got all computerized.  Now, a lot of the prepress work, up to etching the plates, is done on computer, without film, and as far as I am concerned, is not quite as fun to watch.  When my dad did the color separations, there was a machine stuck in a wall between the darkroom and the main work area, and as he did a separation, four films for each page--the magenta, cyan, yellow and black layers were done individually--would come very slowly out the work-area side of the machine.  I was five, and I thought that was just the neatest thing in the world, next to the four-roll tape dispenser with red, silver, transparent and masking tape.

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