r/mildlyinteresting Jan 21 '22 Silver 1

Inside paint mixing machine. 16 colours that make more than 20,000 different colour shades

Post image
762 Upvotes

40

u/Gastkram Jan 21 '22

Ugg. My favourite colour.

129

u/carlyruth1 Jan 21 '22

I read a lot of the names as exclamations, UGG! URR! UWW! UMM!

47

u/PanicRev Jan 21 '22 Helpful

I also started imagining a "Who's on first" situation.

"The paint mixer is out of umm"
"Which color?"
"Umm"
"Well are you going to tell me already or not!?"

10

u/Dawidko1200 Jan 21 '22

"I'm telling you, it's out of UMM!"

"URR!"

"No, that's one's full, we're not talking about that"

2

u/Electr0freak Jan 22 '22 edited Jan 22 '22

"We're out UGG."

"Yeah that sucks, what are we out of?"

"UGG."

"Yeah, totally, I feel you, I hate replacing them too, but what are we out of?!"

Or,

"Oh, we're out of some paint."

"No problem, what do you need?"

"U-B-B"

"Excuse me?! That's harassment!"

5

u/Disastrous_Ad626 Jan 22 '22

I did a small like co-op at a body shop and they had a machine like this, all the colors were named ridiculous names and the old ass owner hated it.

It was cool as fuck though he said it could emulate any stock color for most makes and models after 2000.

25

u/Tookah45 Jan 21 '22

I thought UWW was UWU and I'm upset that it was not.

1

u/KarmicFedex Jan 21 '22

wot's dis?

1

u/binglebongled Jan 21 '22

God I wish that was me

4

u/javaargusavetti Jan 21 '22

I will be very disappointed if these are not the sounds the different colors make as they’re mixing

7

u/KingOfTheP4s Jan 21 '22

I identify as URT, I think that vocalization really vibes with my life these days

14

u/alexlarrylawrence Jan 21 '22

This is either fairly new, or the operator of this machine is a meticulous neat freak. I’ve never seen a colorant machine this clean!

8

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Had this since 2016, and it wasn't brand new when we got it either

6

u/alexlarrylawrence Jan 21 '22

Damn. I worked at Menards for just about 3 years, and for a little over a year and half was the paint manager. Our machines were never this clean. I even opened a brand new store and had all new equipment, not this clean. Good on ya.

5

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Cheers, we try and keep it clean. I've seen some machines where you can't even tell what colourant is where, it's like after an explosion

2

u/JerryConn Jan 22 '22

By afternoon I would normally be scraping chips out of ours lol You ever just shop vac the whole thing?

18

u/hardonchairs Jan 21 '22

I wonder why it's not just cmyk

61

u/MyNameIsRay Jan 21 '22

CMYK isn't for mixing.

It's intended for printing, you create colors by varying the size of the dots for each color.

The process of applying it to white paper is part of what produces the final color, so if you just mixed those same colors in the same proportion, it wouldn't be the same color.

Plus, CMYK actually has a pretty small color gamut, so a lot of colors (everything outside that blue triangle) aren't even possible.

17

u/turtley_different Jan 21 '22

Plus, CMYK actually has a pretty small color gamut, so a lot of colors (everything outside that blue triangle) aren't even possible.

I assume my monitor is lying to me about the colours outside the RGB triangle? It's trying but can't display them correctly?

20

u/MyNameIsRay Jan 21 '22

Yes, it's not correctly displaying those colors for you, just the closest equivalent.

Sunsets are a great example. Everyone knows that the picture on your phone doesn't capture what we see in the sky.

See how the RGB gamut is missing the most vivid yellow/orange/purple colors? It can't accurately capture or reproduce those colors, which is why photos of sunsets look "washed out" in comparison to the real thing.

6

u/S_A_N_D_ Jan 22 '22

Yes, but there are more factors at play. The main reason your sunset doesn't look the same on a photo is because it's likely overexposed. Your eyes have much better dynamic range and your camera is setting the exposure higher to capture the whole scene including the foreground which would be underexposed due to it's more limited dynamic range. The sensor isn't looking at color vibrancy, only light intensity. As you increase the exposure, the vibrancy gets washed out.

Underexpose the photo by a few stops and all of a sudden the sunset gets a lot closer to what you're seeing. At that point the colour space matters and might become the limiting factor.

The same goes for TVs. HDR means you don't end up with the same washing out of some colours to see others. The colour space has improved, especially with recent screens, but HDR has also played a major roll in that.

2

u/BoardGameObsession Jan 21 '22

HDR images on my 4K TV look stunning. These screens are more than capable of displaying the color gamut. Washed out photos are more because of the camera, not the display.

3

u/MyNameIsRay Jan 21 '22

They look stunning, but, it's nowhere near the full color gamut.

Even top of the line screens barely cover 80% of the Rec2020 color gamut, and that's only 75.8% of the full color gamut our eyes can see.

If you want to share your model number, I'm sure I can pull up the gamut results and show how far off your screen is.

0

u/_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ Jan 21 '22

They are not more than capable, they are in fact entirely incapable of reproducing every colour that you can see.

6

u/MyNameIsRay Jan 21 '22

There's not a single screen, anywhere in the world, that gets anywhere close to reproducing every color we can see.

There's not even a way to transmit that signal to a screen in the first place, no standard exists with 100% color gamut.

Feel free to provide a model number, and I'm happy to point out exactly how much of the gamut it can actually reproduce.

4

u/phryan Jan 22 '22

People don't give enough credit to our eyes, being able to see in both daylight and at night when light levels are something like 10 billion times different is simply incredible. More interesting is that our eyes aren't particularly special; for example cats have even better night vision, birds of prey can see mice at distance, and mantis shrimp can see the differences of polarized light.

1

u/_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ Jan 21 '22

Is the CIE standard not sufficient?

Unless you’re counting people with the mutation for an extra set of cones?

8

u/hardonchairs Jan 21 '22

very cool, thanks

3

u/Rubcionnnnn Jan 21 '22

Yep, we have some wide format inkjet printers at work for color accurate proofs. Each one has 11 different inks, with names like white, photo black, matte black, light gray, light light gray, etc.

8

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Because CMYK is used for printing?

9

u/Rubberfootman Jan 21 '22

And there’s a whole load of orange and green tints which you can’t get with CMYK.

1

u/Fifiiiiish Jan 21 '22

I'm guessing paint cost maybe also?

Paints come from specific chemicals. Could be easier / cheaper to mix different colors for the same result, cause pigments are cheaper or chemicals mix better together.

20

u/spf57 Jan 21 '22

20,000 actually seems low given the number of different colors.

19

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Don't know the exact numbers hence why 'more than 20,000', machine can also create custom colours so it could be innumerable

3

u/thesmokingtheologian Jan 21 '22

red, green, blue, black, and white can be mixed to make any color so it's likely that this machine is capable of creating way more colors than the store could even stock

18

u/SmokinSoldier Jan 21 '22

That's how color works, but pigment is different.

0

u/thesmokingtheologian Jan 21 '22

that's right, my bad. just do it with CYMK like a printer then

10

u/SmokinSoldier Jan 21 '22

Still only gets you so far, any combination of say yellow and red wool only get you so orange. A pure orange pigment is going to be far stronger and cleaner than mixed pigments.

3

u/thesmokingtheologian Jan 21 '22

TIL

I'm no expert on this stuff, I just thought I remembered more from physics class than I actually remembered

5

u/SmokinSoldier Jan 21 '22

Ya even commercial customers have a hard time with it, they want to use the cheaper mixed color to print but can't understand why we can't hit their color profile without the more expensive pigment. Like your from a fortune 5 company, hire someone who gets it.

2

u/Zenarchist Jan 22 '22

I've worked in graphics for a fortune 500 company. They do hire people who get it, but drawing peon is always outranked by budgeting manager.

1

u/SmokinSoldier Jan 22 '22

I was talking about the guys that come on-site and sign off on the final design.

9

u/Nerrickk Jan 21 '22

To use a related example, there's 16.6 million colors you can make with RGB, but in practice there's not a massive difference between RGB(255,255,255) and RGB(254,255,255). If you work in steps of 5 (just as an example of a step that is appreciably noticeable) that 16.6 million gets cut down to 132,651.

I'm guessing there's something similar. They could have one color that's 50% UMM and 50% UYY, but would it be appreciably different to have a color that is 50.00001% UMM and 49.99999% UYY?

3

u/Jimi-K-101 Jan 21 '22

Was going to say. The Velspar mixing machines in B&Q stores in the UK can do 2.2 million colours.

5

u/mwm424 Jan 22 '22

a bunch of similarly colored, similarly shaped, similarly named cartridges, what could go wrong??

1

u/indiansummer5 Jan 22 '22

If you're not paying attention it can all go tits up

3

u/SmokeyMcPoticus Jan 21 '22

Breathing heavy in Pantone.

3

u/guiltyofnothing Jan 21 '22

What will UMM + UGG get me?

6

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Umm... Some uggly colour perhaps

7

u/sirdodger Jan 21 '22

If you run out of cyan, does the entire machine petulantly refuse to print until you buy a replacement pack of every color from the manufacturer at 5000% markup?

6

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

We don't print paint mate

2

u/frollard Jan 21 '22

...and STILL always out of cyan.

2

u/INVERT_RFP Jan 22 '22

If you like this, you would love the mixing room at an auto body shop.

2

u/JerryConn Jan 22 '22

Heard a story once of a paint associate at a dif store had to pump out all of the tint from a machine because of a mixup. Each of those containers likely holds 5 quarts of tint, and that stuff runs about $26 a quart, if its decent stuff.

Former paint associate at big chain with blue logo

2

u/indiansummer5 Jan 22 '22

Heard this happen too. The staff member put red colourant into white canister and failed to tell anyone thinking he'll get away with it. It cost the store not just replacement of the colourant but also hundreds of paint cans that have been tinted incorrectly.

1

u/JerryConn Jan 22 '22

All ultra deep base orrders too I bet lol

4

u/mathandkitties Jan 21 '22

Why bother prefixing their codes with U?

14

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Indicates the type of colourant

-3

u/mathandkitties Jan 21 '22

But they are all U**.

So the U is redundant.

33

u/indiansummer5 Jan 21 '22

Other side of the machine holds same colours with A prefix, indicating it's alkyd based colourants

11

u/Pfheonix Jan 21 '22

knows nothing about the coding system or the encoded information

"Yeah, I think I found a pretty obvious flaw!"

3

u/KingOfTheP4s Jan 21 '22

Probably signifies the base material that holds the pigment, you may need different types for different chemistries of paint (acrylics, latex, etc)

2

u/Tendas Jan 21 '22

It’s a control heavy meta, everyone is playing blue.

3

u/thesmokingtheologian Jan 21 '22

you could technically pull it off with 5 colors. I'm positive there's a reason it's not done that way, but you could

6

u/2ByteTheDecker Jan 21 '22

Probably an efficiency of scale thing.

Maybe you can get to the same colour with two dark shades and some white or you can do with just two light pigments.

Not worth doing at anything but these scales but when you're at this scale any little % matters.

This is 100% fresh ass pull but that's my take.

3

u/thesmokingtheologian Jan 21 '22

that's ok, on another comment below I learned that while I'm kind of right, that method produces inferior colors. I too pulled a comment right out of my rectum

1

u/2ByteTheDecker Jan 21 '22

I mean this is Reddit isn't it

5

u/thesmokingtheologian Jan 21 '22

no, this is patrick

2

u/TurnkeyLurker Jan 22 '22

*This is 100% fresh ass-pull but that's my take.

1

u/xog77 Jan 21 '22

At first I read UWU

0

u/BoardGameObsession Jan 21 '22

You can make over 16 million colors with just red, green, and blue

1

u/Eheyeil Jan 21 '22

Looks like a machine from Intergamma.

1

u/Onion01 Jan 21 '22

Colors named by cavemen, it seems

1

u/heatseekerdj Jan 21 '22

I identity with UMM, URR, and UGG on a spiritual level

1

u/baboonlovechild Jan 21 '22

UMMURRUZZUyyUrYuVV

1

u/TwoUglyFeet Jan 21 '22

Can someone explain to me what I'm looking at? I understand it is for mixing paint, but how do they work exactly?

2

u/_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ Jan 21 '22

You fill all the containers with different pigments. It mixes them together to make the colour you want.

4

u/QuarterSwede Jan 22 '22

The machine doesn’t mix them. It dispenses them together in a base paint can (varying levels of white depending on if it’s a light or dark color). Put a quart, gallon, or 5 gallon in a mixer and you have your interior or exterior paint color.

1

u/Muff3ntop Jan 21 '22

Wonder how you make UWU

1

u/heichwozhwbxorb Jan 22 '22

UWW what’s this?

1

u/JesusIsMyZoloft Jan 22 '22

Interesting naming convention. Anyone know what it means?

2

u/whereyouwannago Jan 22 '22

Im thinking the middle letter equals the base color. Red yellow blue green violet magenta (part of red) white and black. The last letter may be a manufacturers designation for the shade of that color. (light-dark, warm-cool, etc.) The first just may be the company designation.

2

u/indiansummer5 Jan 22 '22

Spot on! The likes of UGG = green, UYY = yellow, UMM = magenta etc. Colourants like UYG = greenish yellow, UBC = cobalt blue, UYX = yellow oxide etc

1

u/JesusIsMyZoloft Jan 22 '22

Ok, I just have three questions: What's V (I'm guessing Violet), what's T and what's Z? The other 10 letters I think I've figured out.

1

u/indiansummer5 Jan 22 '22

V is violet, T - transparent and Z is black

1

u/JesusIsMyZoloft Jan 22 '22

So, UZL is light black?

1

u/indiansummer5 Jan 23 '22

Yes, looks like charcoal grey/light black

-2

u/Jli0n Jan 22 '22

Wait till they find out you only need 3 colors...

-1

u/handcuffjumpingjacks Jan 21 '22

Lady through the speaker at the drive through: "Welcome to Five Guys, what can we get for you today?"

Me: