Adaptive pigmentation was a coating system that allowed painted surfaces to alter their colors based on electrical impulses run through them. The idea was functionally similar to the Hull Polarization Generator used on the Yavin made XJ9D X-Wing starfighter used by the elite Dragon Squadron.
The more widely available systems, such as that used in the hull of the Lana Chyornova-class executive yacht were limited in use, not allowing much more than changes in the overall color scheme of a painted surface. This was accomplished by programming a particular color scheme into a computer connected to the coating, which would then run energy fields through the surface, modulating the current to determine what sections of the surface would show as what colors.
The more calculating power the attached computer had, the more detailed it could make the appearance of the pigmented surface. An advanced enough computer could change the appearance of the surface with enough rapidity and detail to project a moving image on the surface; this, combined with optical sensors, could even be used to blend a ship in almost perfectly with a moving background, as done with ships such as the Seventh Circle and Charon's Ferry.
This use was hardly perfect, however; Even the most advanced computers could not truly keep up with a rapidly moving environment, and while the color and shape of a ship thus camouflaged could not be seen, the motion of the ship would appear to an observer as a moving ripple against the background.