Each production has a set of colors used throughout the run of the show. For each of these hundreds of colors, a number is assigned. The colorists have the job of assigning these colors to the drawings. They take the keys from the designers and fill in the corresponding numbers on the backgrounds from the BG artists. Then what gets sent overseas is a collection of paint-by-number cells.

This isn't as easy as it sounds. If the scene is in a living room, it will probably follow the key pretty closely. But what happens if the power suddenly goes out and the living room is thrown into darkness? The only light is coming from the moon shining in the window. There won't be another key created for "moonlit living room," so the colorists have to figure out what those key colors would look like in the dark, then put those numbers where the colors are supposed to go.

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