Color—the stuff, the red-green-blue of the world—is a lot of things all at once. It’s the rain of uncountable photons of energy, bouncing off of and through everything around you. It’s electromagnetic waves. It’s the chemistry of paints and dyes. And it’s those things interwoven and pinging into sensors in your eyeballs and transducing into the mysterious electrical signals in your brain that make a world in your mind. Oh, and color is also the way that Pixar manipulates your feelings with each new billion-dollar, Oscar-winning movie, turning virtual light inside a computer into very real, very bright, laser-guided light on a screen. For my new book Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern—excerpted this week on Backchannel—I went inside Pixar’s prismatic digital workshop to learn how the animators there teach infinitesimal flecks of light to evoke every color of the emotional rainbow.
Adam Rogers | Senior Correspondent, WIRED