What is the thing called (no matter what it is made from) that makes it so that there is an image on the screen and that is not related to any one specific media or method?



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The general thing that causes an image to appear on a screen in anticipation of making a screen print is essentially light. Without exposure to light, specifically ultra-violet light, then the photographic plate cannot transfer the negative image to the screen. Another element that is critical is the resin that hardens where the image does not belong and remains soft, so it can be washed out with a water jet spray, where the image does belong.

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