Pigment
Reference

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The color or pattern of colors for an object is defined by a pigment statement. All plain textures must have a pigment. If you do not specify one the default pigment is used. The color you define is the way you want the object to look if fully illuminated. You pick the basic color inherent in the object and POV-Ray brightens or darkens it depending on the lighting in the scene. The parameter is called pigment because we are defining the basic color the object actually is rather than how it looks.

The syntax for pigment is:

PIGMENT:
  pigment {
    [PIGMENT_IDENTIFIER]
    [PIGMENT_TYPE]
    [PIGMENT_MODIFIER...]
    }
PIGMENT_TYPE:
  PATTERN_TYPE | COLOR |
  image_map { 
    BITMAP_TYPE "bitmap.ext" [IMAGE_MAP_MODS...]
    }
PIGMENT_MODIFIER:
  PATTERN_MODIFIER | COLOR_LIST | PIGMENT_LIST | 
  color_map { COLOR_MAP_BODY } | colour_map { COLOR_MAP_BODY } | 
  pigment_map { PIGMENT_MAP_BODY } | quick_color COLOR |
  quick_colour COLOR

Each of the items in a pigment are optional but if they are present, they must be in the order shown. Any items after the PIGMENT_IDENTIFIER modify or override settings given in the identifier. If no identifier is specified then the items modify the pigment values in the current default texture. The PIGMENT_TYPE fall into roughly four categories. Each category is discussed the sub-sections which follow. The four categories are solid color and image_map patterns which are specific to pigment statements or color list patterns, color mapped patterns which use POV-Ray's wide selection of general patterns. See Patterns for details about specific patterns.

The pattern type is optionally followed by one or more pigment modifiers. In addition to general pattern modifiers such as transformations, turbulence, and warp modifiers, pigments may also have a COLOR_LIST, PIGMENT_LIST, color_map, pigment_map, and quick_color which are specific to pigments. See Pattern Modifiers for information on general modifiers. The pigment-specific modifiers are described in sub-sections which follow. Pigment modifiers of any kind apply only to the pigment and not to other parts of the texture. Modifiers must be specified last.

A pigment statement is part of a texture specification. However it can be tedious to use a texture statement just to add a color to an object. Therefore you may attach a pigment directly to an object without explicitly specifying that it as part of a texture. For example instead of this:

object { My_Object texture {pigment { color Red } } }

you may shorten it to:

object { My_Object pigment {color Red } }

Doing so creates an entire texture structure with default normal and finish statements just as if you had explicitly typed the full texture {...} around it.

Note: an explicit texture statement is required, if you want to layer pigments.

Pigment identifiers may be declared to make scene files more readable and to parameterize scenes so that changing a single declaration changes many values. An identifier is declared as follows.

PIGMENT_DECLARATION:
  #declare IDENTIFIER = PIGMENT |
  #local IDENTIFIER = PIGMENT

Where IDENTIFIER is the name of the identifier up to 40 characters long and PIGMENT is any valid pigment statement. See #declare vs. #local for information on identifier scope.

Solid Color Pigments

The simplest type of pigment is a solid color. To specify a solid color you simply put a color specification inside a pigment statement. For example:

pigment { color Orange }

A color specification consists of the optional keyword color followed by a color identifier or by a specification of the amount of red, green, blue, filtered and unfiltered transparency in the surface. See section Specifying Colors for more details about colors. Any pattern modifiers used with a solid color are ignored because there is no pattern to modify.

Color List Pigments

There are four color list patterns: checker, hexagon, brick and object. The result is a pattern of solid colors with distinct edges rather than a blending of colors as with color mapped patterns. Each of these patterns is covered in more detail in a later section. The syntax is:

COLOR_LIST_PIGMENT:
  pigment {brick [COLOR_1, [COLOR_2]] [PIGMENT_MODIFIERS...] }|
  pigment {checker [COLOR_1, [COLOR_2]] [PIGMENT_MODIFIERS...]}|
  pigment { 
    hexagon [COLOR_1, [COLOR_2, [COLOR_3]]] [PIGMENT_MODIFIERS...] 
    }|
  pigment {object OBJECT_IDENTIFIER | OBJECT {} [COLOR_1, COLOR_2]}

Each COLOR_n is any valid color specification. There should be a comma between each color or the color keyword should be used as a separator so that POV-Ray can determine where each color specification starts and ends. The brick and checker pattern expects two colors and hexagon expects three. If an insufficient number of colors is specified then default colors are used.

Quick Color

When developing POV-Ray scenes it is often useful to do low quality test runs that render faster. The +Q command line switch or Quality INI option can be used to turn off some time consuming color pattern and lighting calculations to speed things up. See Quality Settings for details. However all settings of +Q5 or Quality=5 or lower turns off pigment calculations and creates gray objects.

By adding a quick_color to a pigment you tell POV-Ray what solid color to use for quick renders instead of a patterned pigment. For example:

pigment {
  gradient x
  color_map {
    [0.0 color Yellow]
    [0.3 color Cyan]
    [0.6 color Magenta]
    [1.0 color Cyan]
    }
  turbulence 0.5
  lambda 1.5
  omega 0.75
  octaves 8
  quick_color Neon_Pink
  }

This tells POV-Ray to use solid Neon_Pink for test runs at quality +Q5 or lower but to use the turbulent gradient pattern for rendering at +Q6 and higher. Solid color pigments such as

pigment {color Magenta}

automatically set the quick_color to that value. You may override this if you want. Suppose you have 10 spheres on the screen and all are yellow. If you want to identify them individually you could give each a different quick_color. Foe example:

sphere {
  <1,2,3>,4
  pigment { color Yellow  quick_color Red }
  }

sphere {
  <-1,-2,-3>,4
  pigment { color Yellow  quick_color Blue }
  }

and so on. At +Q6 or higher they will all be yellow but at +Q5 or lower each would be different colors so you could identify them.

The alternate spelling quick_colour is also supported.

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