# colormap

## Purpose

Color lookup map.

## Synopsis

````colormap(map)`
`colormap('default')`
`colormap(hsv)`
`map = colormap`
```

## Description

A colormap is an `m`-by-3 matrix of real numbers between 0.0 and 1.0. The `k`-th row of the colormap defines the `k`-th color by specifying the intensity of red, green and blue, i.e., `map(k,:) = [r(k) g(k) b(k)]`. For example, [0 0 0] is black, [1 1 1] is white, [1 0 0] is pure red, and [.5 1 .83] is aquamarine.

`colormap(map)` sets the colormap to the matrix `map`. If any values are outside the interval [0 1], an error message results.

`colormap('default')` and `colormap(hsv)` both set the current colormap to the default colormap, which varies the hue component in the hue-saturation-value color model.

`map = colormap` retrieves the current colormap. The values returned are in the interval [0 1].

A number of other colormaps, including `gray`, `hot`, `cool`, `copper`, and `pink`, are generated by M-files in the `color` directory. The figure below shows some of the colormaps that MATLAB provides:

You can specify the size of the colormap created by these functions as an argument. The default is 64. For example, the statement

````colormap(hot(128))`
```
creates a length 128 colormap that ranges from black to white, passing through shades of red, orange, and yellow.

## Algorithm

Graphics functions that use pseudocolor - `mesh`, `surf`, `pcolor`, and others - map a color matrix, `c`, whose values are in the range `[cmin, cmax]`, to an array of indices, `k`, in the range [1, `m`]. The values of `cmin` and `cmax` are either `min(min(c))` and `max(max(c))`, or are specified by `caxis`. The mapping is linear, with `cmin` mapping to index 1 and `cmax` mapping to index `m`. The indices are then used with the colormap to determine the color associated with each matrix element. See `caxis` for details.

Each figure window has its own `ColorMap` property. `colormap` is a simple M-file that sets and gets this property.

## Examples

An introduction to colormaps is provided by the Images and colormaps demo, `imagedemo`. Select Color Spiral from the menu (starts automatically on the Macintosh). This uses the `pcolor` function to display a 16-by-16 matrix whose elements vary from 0 to 255 in a rectilinear spiral. The default colormap, `hsv`, starts with red in the center, then passes through yellow, green, cyan, blue and magenta before returning to red at the outside end of the spiral. Selecting Colormap Menu gives access to a number of other colormaps (this is not true for the Macintosh).

The `rgbplot` function provides further information about colormaps. Try `rgbplot(hsv)`, `rgbplot(gray)`, `rgbplot(hot)`, etc.

````bone`, `cool`, `copper`, `flag`, `gray`, `hot`, `hsv`, `jet`, `pink`, `prism`, `white`
`brighten`, `caxis`, `ColorSpec`, `image`, `mesh`, `pcolor`, `rgbplot`, `surf`
The` ColorMap` property of figure objects.