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glColor — set the current color

C Specification

void glColor3b(GLbyte  red,
 GLbyte  green,
 GLbyte  blue);
void glColor3s(GLshort  red,
 GLshort  green,
 GLshort  blue);
void glColor3i(GLint  red,
 GLint  green,
 GLint  blue);
void glColor3f(GLfloat  red,
 GLfloat  green,
 GLfloat  blue);
void glColor3d(GLdouble  red,
 GLdouble  green,
 GLdouble  blue);
void glColor3ub(GLubyte  red,
 GLubyte  green,
 GLubyte  blue);
void glColor3us(GLushort  red,
 GLushort  green,
 GLushort  blue);
void glColor3ui(GLuint  red,
 GLuint  green,
 GLuint  blue);
void glColor4b(GLbyte  red,
 GLbyte  green,
 GLbyte  blue,
 GLbyte  alpha);
void glColor4s(GLshort  red,
 GLshort  green,
 GLshort  blue,
 GLshort  alpha);
void glColor4i(GLint  red,
 GLint  green,
 GLint  blue,
 GLint  alpha);
void glColor4f(GLfloat  red,
 GLfloat  green,
 GLfloat  blue,
 GLfloat  alpha);
void glColor4d(GLdouble  red,
 GLdouble  green,
 GLdouble  blue,
 GLdouble  alpha);
void glColor4ub(GLubyte  red,
 GLubyte  green,
 GLubyte  blue,
 GLubyte  alpha);
void glColor4us(GLushort  red,
 GLushort  green,
 GLushort  blue,
 GLushort  alpha);
void glColor4ui(GLuint  red,
 GLuint  green,
 GLuint  blue,
 GLuint  alpha);


red, green, blue

Specify new red, green, and blue values for the current color.


Specifies a new alpha value for the current color. Included only in the four-argument glColor4 commands.

C Specification

void glColor3bv(const GLbyte *  v);
void glColor3sv(const GLshort *  v);
void glColor3iv(const GLint *  v);
void glColor3fv(const GLfloat *  v);
void glColor3dv(const GLdouble *  v);
void glColor3ubv(const GLubyte *  v);
void glColor3usv(const GLushort *  v);
void glColor3uiv(const GLuint *  v);
void glColor4bv(const GLbyte *  v);
void glColor4sv(const GLshort *  v);
void glColor4iv(const GLint *  v);
void glColor4fv(const GLfloat *  v);
void glColor4dv(const GLdouble *  v);
void glColor4ubv(const GLubyte *  v);
void glColor4usv(const GLushort *  v);
void glColor4uiv(const GLuint *  v);



Specifies a pointer to an array that contains red, green, blue, and (sometimes) alpha values.


The GL stores both a current single-valued color index and a current four-valued RGBA color. glColor sets a new four-valued RGBA color. glColor has two major variants: glColor3 and glColor4. glColor3 variants specify new red, green, and blue values explicitly and set the current alpha value to 1.0 (full intensity) implicitly. glColor4 variants specify all four color components explicitly.

glColor3b, glColor4b, glColor3s, glColor4s, glColor3i, and glColor4i take three or four signed byte, short, or long integers as arguments. When v is appended to the name, the color commands can take a pointer to an array of such values.

Current color values are stored in floating-point format, with unspecified mantissa and exponent sizes. Unsigned integer color components, when specified, are linearly mapped to floating-point values such that the largest representable value maps to 1.0 (full intensity), and 0 maps to 0.0 (zero intensity). Signed integer color components, when specified, are linearly mapped to floating-point values such that the most positive representable value maps to 1.0, and the most negative representable value maps to -1.0 . (Note that this mapping does not convert 0 precisely to 0.0.) Floating-point values are mapped directly.

Neither floating-point nor signed integer values are clamped to the range 0 1 before the current color is updated. However, color components are clamped to this range before they are interpolated or written into a color buffer.


The initial value for the current color is (1, 1, 1, 1).

The current color can be updated at any time. In particular, glColor can be called between a call to glBegin and the corresponding call to glEnd.

Associated Gets

glGet with argument GL_CURRENT_COLOR

glGet with argument GL_RGBA_MODE

See Also

glColorPointer, glIndex, glSecondaryColor


Copyright © 1991-2006 Silicon Graphics, Inc. This document is licensed under the SGI Free Software B License. For details, see