Multicolored lines#

This example shows how to make a multicolored line. In this example, the line is colored based on its derivative.

multicolored line
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

from matplotlib.collections import LineCollection
from matplotlib.colors import BoundaryNorm, ListedColormap

x = np.linspace(0, 3 * np.pi, 500)
y = np.sin(x)
dydx = np.cos(0.5 * (x[:-1] + x[1:]))  # first derivative

# Create a set of line segments so that we can color them individually
# This creates the points as an N x 1 x 2 array so that we can stack points
# together easily to get the segments. The segments array for line collection
# needs to be (numlines) x (points per line) x 2 (for x and y)
points = np.array([x, y]).T.reshape(-1, 1, 2)
segments = np.concatenate([points[:-1], points[1:]], axis=1)

fig, axs = plt.subplots(2, 1, sharex=True, sharey=True)

# Create a continuous norm to map from data points to colors
norm = plt.Normalize(dydx.min(), dydx.max())
lc = LineCollection(segments, cmap='viridis', norm=norm)
# Set the values used for colormapping
line = axs[0].add_collection(lc)
fig.colorbar(line, ax=axs[0])

# Use a boundary norm instead
cmap = ListedColormap(['r', 'g', 'b'])
norm = BoundaryNorm([-1, -0.5, 0.5, 1], cmap.N)
lc = LineCollection(segments, cmap=cmap, norm=norm)
line = axs[1].add_collection(lc)
fig.colorbar(line, ax=axs[1])

axs[0].set_xlim(x.min(), x.max())
axs[0].set_ylim(-1.1, 1.1)

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