Parula: a new Matlab colormap

Steve Eddins of the Matwork just published a post announcing a new Matlab colormap to replace Jet. It is called Parula (more to come on his blog about this intriguing name).


First impression: Parula looks good.

And while I haven’t had time to take it into Python to run a full perceptual test and into ImageJ for a colour blindness test, as a preliminary test I did convert it to grayscale with an online picture converting tool that uses the lightness information to perform the conversion (instad of just desaturating the colors) and the result shows monotonic changes in gray.


Looks promising… Full test to come.

9 thoughts on “Parula: a new Matlab colormap

    • Hi Steve

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post. I’ve read your blog posts in the past about working in Lab space in both cartesian (Lightness, a, and b) coordinates and polar (Lightness, chroma, and hue), and in fact I’ve learned a lot from them, and used and modified some of your ideas and examples. So I felt positive that Parula would be perceptual in the way you describe it. I look forward to showing it with my tests, and I also look forward to reading the rest of your blog series on Parula. Nice work, it looks good.

  1. The lightness is a little scrunched up over on the left, though, isn’t it? The blue seems to take up a disproportionately large space. Compare with the YlGnBu ColorBrewer map.

    I’m glad they finally canned jet, though. Hopefully the open source projects will follow suit quickly and we’ll be rid of it.

    • Amen!
      As for the blue in Parula, keep in mind as I don’t have the newer version of Matlab I’ve had to use a screen capture from Steve Eddin’s post, so I may have lost some fidelity…

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    • It does look similar. Funny, I used colorGray it before, and even gave it a 5 star, but did not notice. But the fact that the colors are similar does not mean they are generated in the same way.

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