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I have an assembly of cones plotted with Graphics3D with positions and orientations according to data read from a file. Now I am using Hue to color the cones and I use the following code to plot them:

data = Import["Example.nba", "Table"];
h2 = 0.7; h1 = 0.0;
conespec = {(h2 - h1)*#6 + h1, {Cos[#2]*Sin[#1], Sin[#2]*Sin[#1],
  Cos[#1]}, {#3, #4, #5}} & @@@ data[[All, 6 ;; 11]];
Graphics3D[{Hue[#1], Cone[{#3 - 0.9 #2, #3 + 0.9 #2}, 0.3]} & @@@conespec, Boxed -> False, ImageSize -> 600]

The file can be dowloaded from this link: Example.nba

What I would like to do is to control the color of cones with ColorFunction and ColorData so that I can have better control of the gradient of colors used. Any suggestion? Here is the drawing I get: enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Something like: Graphics3D[{EdgeForm[ColorData["TemperatureMap"][#1]], ColorData["TemperatureMap"][#1], Cone[{#3 - 0.9 #2, #3 + 0.9 #2}, 0.3]} & @@@conespec, Boxed -> False, ImageSize -> 600] ? $\endgroup$ – N.J.Evans Mar 16 '16 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ "control the color of cones" - what parameter(s) should the color depend on, then? $\endgroup$ – J. M. is away Mar 16 '16 at 16:34
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You want to color the cones depending upon their orientation, which is a three-dimensional property. One way to do this would be to supply scaled versions of the Cartesian components of the orientation to some of the color space functions available.

First step is to import the data, and create a list containing the cone vectors and the rescaled orientation vectors,

data = Import["~/Downloads/Example.nba", "Table"];
h2 = 0.7; h1 = 0.0;
conespec = {(h2 - h1)*#6 + h1, {Cos[#2]*Sin[#1], Sin[#2]*Sin[#1], 
      Cos[#1]}, {#3, #4, #5}} & @@@ data[[All, 6 ;; 11]];
conespec2 = {(#3 - 0.9 #2), (#3 + 0.9 #2)} & @@@ conespec;
rescaledorientations = 
  Transpose[Rescale /@ Transpose[First@*Differences /@ conespec2]];
conespec2 = 
  Transpose[Catenate[Transpose /@ {conespec2, rescaledorientations}]];

Now you can use one of the built-in color spaces like this,

Function[colorspace, 
  Graphics3D[{colorspace[#3, #4, #5], Cone[{#1, #2}, 0.3]} & @@@ 
    conespec2, Boxed -> False, ImageSize -> 300, 
   ViewPoint -> {2.3, 2.3, .3}, 
   ViewVertical -> {0, 2, .4}]] /@
 {RGBColor,
  XYZColor,
  LABColor[#1, Rescale[#2, {0, 1}, {-1, 1}], 
    Rescale[#3, {0, 1}, {-1, 1}]] &,
  LUVColor[#1, Rescale[#2, {0, 1}, {-1, 2}], 
    Rescale[#3, {0, 1}, {-1.5, 1}]] &,
  Hue
  }

enter image description here

Here is a closer version of the first image,using RGBColor,

enter image description here

What's that you say? You want more control over the color distribution? Well you can make a 3-argument version of Blend quite easily,

Graphics3D[{Blend[{Purple, Yellow, Orange}, {#3, #4, .5 #5}], 
    Cone[{#1, #2}, 0.3]} & @@@ conespec2, Boxed -> False, 
 ImageSize -> 600, ViewPoint -> {2.3, 2.3, .3}, 
 ViewVertical -> {0, 2, .4}]

enter image description here

You may notice that most of the colors are pretty similar, and don't match the pure colors supplied to Blend, that is because of the way your orientations are distributed,

Histogram /@ Transpose[rescaledorientations]

enter image description here

You could apply some sort of RotationTransform to the vectors before applying Rescale as above if you wish.

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