glColorPointer.3G man page

glColorPointer — define an array of colors

C Specification

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



Specifies the number of components per color. Must be 3 or 4. The initial value is 4.


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, and GL_DOUBLE are accepted. The initial value is GL_FLOAT.


Specifies the byte offset between consecutive colors. If stride is 0, the colors are understood to be tightly packed in the array. The initial value is 0.


Specifies a pointer to the first component of the first color element in the array. The initial value is 0.


glColorPointer specifies the location and data format of an array of color components to use when rendering. size specifies the number of components per color, and must be 3 or 4. type specifies the data type of each color component, and stride specifies the byte stride from one color to the next, allowing vertices 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().)

If a non-zero named buffer object is bound to the GL_ARRAY_BUFFER target (see glBindBuffer()) while a color array is specified, pointer is treated as a byte offset into the buffer object's data store. Also, the buffer object binding (GL_ARRAY_BUFFER_BINDING) is saved as color vertex array client-side state (GL_COLOR_ARRAY_BUFFER_BINDING).

When a color array is specified, size, type, stride, and pointer are saved as client-side state, in addition to the current vertex array buffer object binding.

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(), glMultiDrawArrays(), glDrawElements(), glMultiDrawElements(), glDrawRangeElements(), or glArrayElement() is called.


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

The color array is initially disabled and isn't accessed when glArrayElement(), glDrawElements(), glDrawRangeElements(), glDrawArrays(), glMultiDrawArrays(), or glMultiDrawElements() is called.

Execution of glColorPointer is not allowed between the execution of glBegin() and the corresponding execution of glEnd(), but an error may or may not be generated. If no error is generated, the operation is undefined.

glColorPointer is typically implemented on the client side.

Color array parameters are client-side state and are therefore not saved or restored by glPushAttrib() and glPopAttrib(). Use glPushClientAttrib() and glPopClientAttrib() instead.


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


glGet() with argument GL_ARRAY_BUFFER_BINDING

glGetPointerv() with argument GL_COLOR_ARRAY_POINTER

See Also

glArrayElement(), glBindBuffer(), glColor(), glDisableClientState(), glDrawArrays(), glDrawElements(), glDrawRangeElements(), glEdgeFlagPointer(), glEnableClientState(), glFogCoordPointer(), glIndexPointer(), glInterleavedArrays(), glMultiDrawArrays(), glMultiDrawElements(), glNormalPointer(), glPopClientAttrib(), glPushClientAttrib(), glSecondaryColorPointer(), glTexCoordPointer(), glVertexAttribPointer(), glVertexPointer()




opengl.org OpenGL Manual 02/04/2016