We present the framework for volumetric laser-based flow visualization instrumentation using a spectrally coded volume to achieve three-component three-dimensional particle velocimetry. By delivering light from a frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser with an optical fiber, we exploit stimulated Raman scattering within the fiber to generate a continuum spanning the visible spectrum from 500 to 850 nm. We shape and disperse the continuum light to illuminate a measurement volume of 20×10×4 mm3, in which light sheets of differing spectral properties overlap to form an unambiguous color variation along the depth direction. Using a digital color camera we obtain images of particle fields in this volume. We extract the full spatial distribution of particles with depth inferred from particle color. This paper provides a proof of principle of this instrument, examining the spatial distribution of a static field and a spray field of water droplets ejected by the nozzle of an airbrush.