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6.12.12 Stacked 3D Surface Plots


This tutorial shows how to create stacked 3D colormap surfaces from different matrix objects. The surfaces in the plot display the topology before and after volcanic eruption:

Stacked 3D Surface.png

Minimum Origin Version Required: Origin 2015 SR0

What you will learn

This tutorial will show you how to:

  • Create stacked 3D colormap surfaces.
  • Customize axes display and layer properties.
  • Resize and rotate a 3D plot.


Create Multiple Colormap Surfaces

This tutorial is associated with <Origin EXE Folder>\Samples\Tutorial Data.opj.
Also, you can refer to this graph in Learning Center. (Select Help: Learning Center menu or press F11 key , and then open Graph Sample: 3D Surface)

  1. Open Tutorial Data.opj and browse to the Stacked 3D Surface Plots folder in Project Explorer (PE).
  2. Activate the matrix book Mbook1 which contains two matrix objects, then click Plot: 3D Surface: Multiple Colormap Surfaces to create two 3D surfaces from these two matrix objects as shown below:
    Stacked 3D Surface Plots 01.png
  3. Double click on the plot to open the Plot Details dialog. If the left panel is not open the use the arrow button on the bottom left of the dialogue. There are two surfaces under the Layer1 node on the left panel. To shift the "After eruption" surface in Z axis, activate the second plot under Layer1 on the left panel, and in the right panel, select the Surface tab. Check the Shift in Z by percent of scale range box, and enter 70 in the text box.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog1.png
  4. In the Fill tab Front Surface section, deselect the Self box to fill contour by the same matrix object (Mat "Before") as the other surface used.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog2.png
  5. Select the Colormap / Contours tab. Click Level.. to bring up the Set Levels dialog. Set the parameters as shown in the following graph and click OK.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog3.png
    Then uncheck the Enable Contours checkbox to hide the contour lines. Click OK.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog4.png
  6. In the Mesh tab deselect the Enable box to disable the mesh line.
  7. Repeat steps 5 to 6 for the first plot under the Layer1 node.
  8. In this project the two surfaces use the same matrix as contour fill, so they can share one color scale.
To set the numeric format of the color scale, activate the first plot on the left panel of the Plot Details dialog. Select the Numeric Formats tab on the right panel. Select Scientific: 10^3 from the drop down list next to the Format, and set Significant Digits as 2. Click OK.
Stacked 3D Surface Dialog5.png
To customize the color scale, double click on the color scale to open the Color Scale Control dialog. Check the Reverse Order box and set Color bar thickness as 100. Click OK.
Stacked 3D Surface Dialog6.png

Customize Axes Display

The next step is to change the the axes scale and tick labels' format in the Axes dialog. To open this dialog, select Format: Axes: X Axis...

  1. Change the settings on the Scale tab:
    • Set scale from 558000 to 566500 for the X Axis (click X icon), from 5108200 to 5121800 for the Y Axis (click Y icon), and from 0 to 10000 for the Z axis (click Z icon).
    • For the X axis, set Type of Major Ticks as By Counts and set Count as 5. For the Y and Z axis, set Type of Major Ticks as By Increment and set Value as 2000. To hide all the minor ticks, set Count of Minor Ticks as 0 for all axes.
  2. Customize the Tick labels:
    • First, ensure that the Use Only One Axis for For Each Direction is enabled in the top of the Axis dialog.
    • Go to the Tick Labels tab, hold Ctrl key to select X, Y and Z icons together so they will be customized together. Select Custom for Display and select P*3 from the drop down list of Custom Format to show the tick label as base-10 scientific notation with 3 significant digits. Click OK. For more information about the options in this drop down list, please refer to Custom Display Format.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog8.png

Customize Layer Properties

  1. Double click on the blank space outside the plots or click Format: Layer Properties... from the menu to open the Plot Details - Layer Properties dialog.
  2. Activate the Miscellaneous tab on the right panel. Check the box before Enable in the Clipping section, which will clip the image outside the axes area according to the settings in the Clipping section.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog10.png
  3. In the Planes tab set Color as LT Gray for all planes. Select Front Corner from the drop-down list in the Cube section to show the cube's border.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog11.png
  4. Select the Lighting tab. In the Mode section, choose Directional to enable lighting mode. Set Light Color as shown in the following graph. Click OK.
    Stacked 3D Surface Dialog12.png

Resize and rotate the plot

  1. Click on the cube (not the data plot) to activate the 3D toolbar. Click the Resize button Button 3D Toolbar Resize 90.png, a 3D Cartesian coordinate will show up. Place the cursor on Y axis, which will then be highlighted, at this moment drag-and drop the Y axis to stretch the plot in Y axis direction. Do the same to X direction and Z direction.
  2. Click the rotate button Button 3D Toolbar Rotate 90.png to activate rotation mode. A sphere will be displayed at the center of the plot. Rotate the plot to get a better view.
The 3D toolbar allows you to resize and rotate the plot freely. However, you can also achieve the same view as Graph1 in this sample project by setting the value in the Axis tab of the Layer Properties dialog as shown in the following graph.
Stacked 3D Surface Dialog13.png

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