The authors describe efficient ways of computing digital multicolor polygonal masks in general-purpose pipeline processors and then present their applications in typical digital visual inspection tasks. Polygonal color mask computation is based on efficient computation of coordinate-reference gray-level images (ramps) and other simple general-purpose architectural features such as pixel-by-pixel logical operations and lookup tables. These procedures are highly parallel and can be efficiently implemented in pipeline processors. In addition, some parallel hardware can dramatically increase the efficiency of implementation. Applications of these color masks are discussed, namely, position-dependent segmentation and computation of accurate pixel or object position with respect to user-defined zones. The proposed algorithms offer accuracy, efficiency in pipeline processors, and flexibility. They are also attractive for software-based implementation.