3D Graphs in Origin
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3D Graphs

The introduction of OpenGL graphics technology in Origin 9.0 brought ultrafast performance and more flexibility to customize your 3D graphs.

At present, you can create more than than 20 3D graph types, with controls for such things as color, transparency, lighting and axis scale, and transformations such as rotation, resizing and stretching. To learn more about Origin's OpenGL supported 3D graphing capabilities, see the following:

3D Surface Plot

3D Surface plots can be created from XYZ worksheet, matrix or XYY...YY virtual matrix data. The surface could be color filled (with the option of color mapping), or a wireframe (i.e. mesh lines). You can also stack multiple surfaces or project a flattened surface onto a plane.

Go to the Graph Gallery to view the collection of 3D Surface Plots.

Color Map and Color Fill Surface

In Origin, a 3D surface can display a color map fill using a built-in or external palette, or it can be filled with single color.

The color map/color fill surface is highly customizable, and includes the the following options:

  • Switch between color map and color fill:
  • Customize the color map and use an external palette:
  • Apply a color map from another matrix:
  • Add lighting effects or transparency:

Wire Frame and Mesh Lines

A 3D wire frame or wire surface can be created directly from matrix data. It is also possible to display mesh lines for 3D surface plots, in general. For matrix data, mesh grids are rectangular in shape, while for XYZ worksheet (virtual matrix) data, they are triangular in shape:

Mesh lines can be customized in the Mesh tab of the Plot Details dialog:

Stacked Surface and Projection

You can stack multiple surfaces in a single graph layer. The source data can be either a replot of the same dataset or it can be from a different dataset.

There are several approaches you can use to stack surfaces. In general, each surface can be customized individually.

  • Flatten a surface plot to use it as projection and/or position it on the Z axis:
  • Create multiple surface plots directly from multiple matrix objects and stack them:
  • Add additional surfaces to an existing plot and position them on the Z axis:
  • Directly plot a surface with projection:

3D Bar Plot

3D bar plots can be created from worksheet data (either XYY...YY or XYZ) or matrix data, using the Plot:3D XYY:XYY 3D Bars (for XYY...YY worksheet data) or Plot:3D Symbol/Bar/Vector:3D Bars (for XYZ worksheet data) or Plot:3D Symbol/Bar:3D Bars (for matrix data) menu commands.

Go to the Graph Gallery to view the collection of 3D Bar Plots.

Origin's 3D bar plots are highly customizable with controls for color, bar width, etc. Furthermore, you can add error bars or data labels with just a few mouse clicks. Some of the options are listed here:

  • Add error bars to 3D bars:
  • Customize bar color. Optionally, use a color map or color increment:
  • Control bar width and spacing:
  • Add data labels to the bar plot:

3D Symbol/Trajectory/Vector Plot

A 3D scatter plot can be be constructed from matrix data or XYZ worksheet data. By connecting the scatter points, you can create a 3D trajectory plot. You can also create a 3D vector plot from XYZXYZ or XYZdXdYdZ worksheet data.

Go to the Graph Gallery to view the collection of 3D Scatter Plot and 3D Vector Plots.

There are many options for customizing 3D symbol, trajectory and vector plots:

  • Add error bars to 3D scatter points in any of the three axis directions:
  • Apply size and/or color mapping to the scatter points:
  • Draw projections onto an axis plane:
  • Add data labels, and droplines from data points to a plane:
  • Enable 3D vector for 3D scatter plots:

3D Function Plot

In Origin, you can plot a 3D function in the form of z = f(x, y), or parametric functions in the form of x = f1(u,v); y = f2(u,v); z = f3(u,v);.

Go to the 3D Function Gallery to view a collection of 3D Parametric Function Plots and download the functions to recreate the plots.

With the 3D function plots feature, you can:

  • Plot a 3D function in the form of z = f(x, y):
  • Generate 3D parametric functions:
  • Enable parametric surfaces for the X/Y of 3D Surface plots:

3D Ribbons/Walls Plot

3D ribbons or walls (aka. fence plots) can be created directly from XYY...YY worksheet data (Plot:3D XYY:3D Walls/3D Ribbons), with options for customization:

  • Change the Z value source:
  • Change the base plane of the Z value for a 3D Wall plot, or change the Ribbon/Wall width:

Go to the Graph Gallery to view a collection of 3D Fence Plots and 3D Ribbons Plot.

3D Waterfall

The 3D waterfall is a variation of the 3D walls (fence plot). The 3D waterfall displays the "3D wall" as a plane (i.e. width = 0). It is often used to display a series of XY data plots:

In addition to customizations shared with 3D wall plots, 3D waterfall plots support color mapping using Y or Z values.

Go to the Graph Gallery to view a collection of 3D Fence Plots and 3D Ribbon Plots.

3D Ternary

A 3D ternary color map surface can be directly created from XYZZ worksheet data by clicking Plot:3D Surface:3D Ternary Colormap Surface. A 3D ternary scatter plot can be produced from a 3D ternary color map surface by changing the Plot Type in the Plot Details dialog. Plots in the 3D ternary coordinate system have four axes to be customized:

3D Transform

Origin supports free transforms of 3D plots. Some transforms can be done in real time, e.g. rotation, stretching or skewing, while other options can be quickly applied in the Plot Details dialog box, with a few mouse clicks.

The following options can be applied to almost all 3D OpenGL based graphs:

  • Rotate or stretch in real time:
  • Enable shearing and skew the plot dynamically:
  • Move an axis plane along the perpendicular axis:
  • Switch between perspective and orthographic projections:

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