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OpenGL 1.1 for AIX: Reference Manual

glColorPointer Subroutine


Defines an array of colors.


OpenGL C bindings library: libGL.a

C Syntax

void glColorPointer(GLint size, GLenum type, GLsizei stride, const GLvoid *pointer)


size Specifies the number of components per color. It must be 3 or 4. The initial value is 4.
type Specifies the data type of each color component in the array. Symbolic constants GL_BYTE, GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, GL_SHORT, GL_UNSIGNED_SHORT, GL_INT, GL_UNSIGNED_INT, GL_FLOAT, or GL_DOUBLE are accepted.
stride Specifies the byte offset between consecutive colors. If stride is zero (the initial value), the colors are understood to be tightly packed in the array.
pointer Specifies a pointer to the first component of the first color element in the array.


The glColorPointer subroutine specifies the location and data format of an array of color components to use when rendering. The size parameter specifies the number of components per color, and must be 3 or 4. The type parameter specifies the data type of each color component and stride gives the byte stride from one color to the next allowing vertexes and attributes to be packed into a single array or stored in separate arrays. (Single-array storage may be more efficient on some implementations; see glInterleavedArrays).

When a color array is specified, size, type, stride, and pointer are saved as client side state.

To enable and disable the color array, call glEnableClientState and glDisableClientState with the argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY. If enabled, the color array is used when glDrawArrays, glDrawElements or glArrayElement is called.

Use glDrawArrays to draw a sequence of elements (all of the same type) from prespecified vertex and vertex attribute arrays. Use glDrawElements to draw nonsequential elements from prespecified arrays. Use glArrayElement to draw individual elements.


The glColorPointer subroutine is available only if the GL version is 1.1 or greater.

The color array is initially disabled and it won't be accessed when glArrayElement, glDrawElements, or glDrawArrays is called.

Execution of glColorPointer is not allowed between glBegin and the corresponding glEnd, but an error may or may not be generated. If an error is not generated, the operation is undefined.

The glColorPointer subroutine is typically implemented on the client side with no protocol.

Since the color array parameters are client side state, they are not saved or restored by glPushAttrib and glPopAttrib. Use glPushClientAttrib and glPopClientAttrib instead.

The glColorPointer commands are not included in display lists.


GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if size is not 3 or 4.

GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if type is not an accepted value.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if stride is negative.

Associated Gets

glIsEnabled with argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY

glGet with argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY_SIZE

glGet with argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY_TYPE

glGet with argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY_STRIDE

glGetPointerv with argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY_POINTER

Related Information

The glArrayElement subroutine, glDrawArrays subroutine, glDrawElements subroutine, glEdgeFlagPointer subroutine, glEnable subroutine, glGetPointerv subroutine, glIndexPointer subroutine, glInterleavedArrays subroutine, glNormalPointer subroutine, glPopClientAttrib subroutine, glPushClientAttrib subroutine, glTexCoordPointer subroutine, glVertexPointer subroutine.

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