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Production for Print by Mark Gatter

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Why are there 256 Shades in a Grayscale Image?

In the previous chapter, the number 256 was mentioned in relation to the maximum number of shades that (most! see note below) grayscale images in Photoshop can display. So why is it 256 and not 100? Surely we measure tint density as a percentage? While that is generally true, the ways in which digital graphic images are produced has opened things up somewhat.

For instance, we now use an entirely different approach in the actual construction of images. Previously, the use of a screen, positioned between film and the image projected onto it, led to the production of a conventional halftone: a grid of round dots of different sizes, but all of the same color. Seen from a distance, we do not see the dots. ...

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