Color coding

This modifier colors particles, bonds, or vector arrows based on one of their properties. It can be used to visualize per-particle or per-bond scalar quantities.

The input property values are first mapped and clamped to the unit interval [0,1] according to the Start value and End value parameters of the modifier. The normalized values are then mapped to a corresponding color using the selected color gradient map and assigned to the particles or bonds.

The Adjust range button resets the Start value and End value parameters to the minimum and maximum values of the selected input property. This ensures that no clamping occurs when values are mapped to a color. The Reverse range button swaps the Start value and End value parameters to effectively reverse the color scale.

Custom color maps

The modifier provides a set of predefined color maps that you can choose from. If you want to define your own color scale, select Load custom color map... from the gradient list box. The program will then ask you to pick an image file which contains the colors of you custom color map. With this feature you can import arbitrary color maps into OVITO by preparing a corresponding image with an external image editor. OVITO uses the colors along one row of pixels of the image to generate a user-defined color map. Here are two example color map images:

Color legend

You can insert a color legend into rendered images and videos by adding a Color legend overlay to the active viewport.


Operate on

Controls whether the modifier assigns colors to particles, bonds or vector arrows.


The input particle or bond property to be used for color mapping.

Color gradient

The type of color map to use.

Start & end value

Controls the source range for the linear mapping of property values to the [0,1] unit interval.

Color only selected particles/bonds

This option restricts the assignment of colors to selected particles or bonds. The existing colors of unselected particles or bonds will be preserved.

Keep selection

OVITO uses a red color by default to highlight selected particles in the interactive viewports. Since this highlighting would mask the actual color assigned by this modifier, the modifier clears the current selection by default. If you need to preserve the current selection for further use down the pipeline, activate this option.