RGB Color Model

What Does RGB Color Model Mean?

The RGB color model is a color model used largely in display technologies that use light. In this model, the colors red (R), green (G) and blue (B) are added together at different intensities to produce millions of different colors on modern video display screens.

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Techopedia Explains RGB Color Model

The RGB color model is based on a the science of the human eye perceives light and translates it into brain waves. This model is extremely common for TV and video displays, video game console displays, digital cameras and other types of light-based display devices.The RGB model is as an “additive” model: as colors are added, in the form of light, the result becomes lighter. For instance, the full combination of red, green and blue produces white.

An alternative model to the RGB model is the CMYK model, which is used for color printing. This model uses the colors cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K), which is called the “key.” Whereas RGB is additive, CMYK is subtractive. This is because the CMYK system uses colored inks to mask colors on a white background and “subtracts” brightness from that white background.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.