5 Direct Graphics

The Direct Graphics system is the basic environment in which graphical displays are created in IDL. One of the main advantages of IDL over other languages used for data analysis (e.g., C, Fortran) is that analysis and graphical display are closely linked. As soon as a new data set is read or created in IDL, it can be visualized in a variety of different ways. It is important to obtain a good understanding of IDL graphics fundamentals in order to make full use of the capabilities of IDL.

This chapter begins with an overview of the functioning of the Direct Graphics system and explains its device-oriented nature. An outline of the differences between 8-bit and 24-bit display modes follows, along with detailed instructions on ...

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