Matlab Graphics Changes in 2014b onwards
In 2014b MathWorks made major changes to the way that graphics works in MATLAB. In general, these changes can be summarized as graphic objects working like other types of objects. For example, a "graphics object" (a figure) will now correspond to the object handle rather than to a double.
Eg. fig1 = contour(peaks, 100) Now returns an object handle 'fig1' which can be used along with "dot notation" to access properties (eg. fig1.Color='red';). Before this same command would return a double, thus any code which took advantage of this and performed arithmetic operations on the handles will not work in the new system.
Previously to change graphics properties you would have to use the "get" and "set" functions (set(fig1,'Color','red')), this method will still work.
By default MATLAB will use OpenGL as the graphics engine. This can still be set manually to be different.
For more specifics about the changes that were made, please visit: http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/graphics-changes-in-r2014b.html