This may be something simple or stupid on my behalf, but i'm still a student :)

I am creating an image as shown in the screenshot, with various opacities. The right side has no opacities (100%), and always decreasing to the left. The low opacity shapes seem to have a yellowish tint, especially when saved to pdf or as such.

Is there a way to lessen this? Or is it just how the opacities work?

Thank you!


  • 1
    First question: do you work in CMYK or RGB? Have you checked colour with droplet? Maybe the colour nee manual corrections (decrease amount of Yellow increase Magenta)? Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 8:42
  • I am working in RGB. The colours used are the same as the ones used in full opacity, therefore a bright pink range.
    – Julia
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 10:44
  • What color profile are you using? Is there a overriding style present?
    – joojaa
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:01
  • Color profile right now is U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. Not sure what you mean by the overriding style.
    – Julia
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 12:15
  • 1
    Also FYI, the right side has opacity, what it doesn't have is transparency. Saying that it has no opacity means it's completely transparent.
    – Luciano
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 8:36

3 Answers 3


I really do not see any yellow at all.

Actually some yellowish tint would be a good thing. Take a look at this: How can I make the color white look as white as possible?

But one thing that you are probably seeing is a visual effect with the adjacent gray.

When the red is dark, the gray is very light compared to the surrounding.

But when you make the colors more transparent, the gray is more predominant, because the light color and the smaller shapes.

But again, I do not see any yellowish tint at all.


You might have some yellow in the color (as someone mentioned in the comments). Switching color modes is only helping your eyes, really. You should keep in mind that everything you're looking at on your screen is going to be completely different than what it would look like when printed.

If your goal is ultimately to print this, then I would suggest printing it out to see how it looks. Even as a test on an ink jet printer. Again, keep in mind your final printer (presumably commercial printer) and paper stock are going to yet again change the colors - but you can at least get a better sense for things.

You can change color modes all you want and the colors will be the "same" as far as the values in the computer are concerned. 100% magenta will be 100% magenta. The difference you are seeing is the computer's interpretation of how those colors look when printed. RGB is a monitor's color space while CMYK is for print (which you probably have gathered by now). The "coated" is coated paper (there's also uncoated paper which generally has more texture and certainly absorbs ink more than something that's coated). Keep in mind that "coated" doesn't necessarily mean glossy either. Remember, different papers handle and absorb ink in different ways and that's going to change the colors. Viewing the print in different lighting conditions will also change things. So what your color profiles are doing is they are trying to match as close as possible the final print (most likely in neutral daylight). ...But this isn't even close to accurate in many cases =)

If you really want a more accurate representation of color, then you're gonna need a monitor calibration tool. Fortunately Spyders these days are cheaper than they used to be. Though to be honest, unless you're doing the printing yourself - you probably don't need one of those. Often times your commercial printer will be able to give you color profiles to load that closely match their printers. Again keep in mind it's not 100% perfect. If you're very concerned about color reproduction, getting a proof is a good idea.

If the only place this work will exist is online...Then stick with the RGB profiles. Ensure red is red in that color space. Then most people viewing your work online should also see it as red. When you export JPGs for the web (or PDFs -- especially PDFs) they too can be exported with color profiles. Adobe RGB is a popular profile for example. Play around with those and see what you like best - but keep in mind different monitors will render the colors in a different ways. This means that yellow tint you see is either stronger or weaker than what I'm looking at right now (it doesn't look like that much yellow to me to be honest). That's why the best you can do is stick with an RGB profile and keep it red. Again, IF you're just looking to share this work on screen only.

Color is so super tricky and you can invest a LOT of time in it. I didn't even get into the gamma settings on monitors and how Windows vs. OS X differ.


The yellowish triangles are yellowish.

I placed a black to white gradient strip to the layer mask at the right edge to see how much the opacity changes cause the yellowness. The result: No yellowness caused. Your left side triangles have got something else than only the reduced opacity. The color picker (the CMYK code display) ensures it.

enter image description here

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