Drawing a multiband raster dataset as an RGB composite

The RGB Composite renderer uses the same methods as the Stretched renderer but allows you to combine bands as red-green-blue composites.


Having current statistics improves the renderer's ability to display the raster accurately.

Learn about calculating statistics

  1. In the table of contents, right-click the multiband raster layer you want to draw as an RGB composite and click Properties.
  2. Click the Symbology tab.
  3. Click RGB Composite.
  4. Click the Band drop-down arrow next to each color channel and click the band you want to display for that color.
  5. Optionally, click the Stretch Type drop-down arrow and click the stretch you want to apply.
  6. Optionally, click Histogram to modify the stretch settings.
  7. Optionally, check Apply Gamma Stretch and type gamma values in each text box for the red, green, and blue values.
  8. If the raster contains a background or border around the data that you want to hide, check Display Background Value and set to No Color.

    The cells appear transparent.

  9. Click OK.

If the raster draws too dark, you can alter its overall brightness, contrast, and gamma from the Image Analysis window. Alternatively, some raster drawing methods allow you to stretch the data values to take advantage of the available colors.


You can quickly change the band combination through the table of contents by clicking the color square beside the band and choosing another band.


You can quickly turn a red, green, or blue band off, through the table of contents, by clicking the color square beside the band you want to turn off and unchecking Visible.


To see the RGB value for a given cell, turn on MapTips for the layer. To do this, right-click the layer in the table of contents and click Properties. Check the Show MapTips check box on the Display tab.