OriginLab Corporation - Data Analysis and Graphing Software - 2D graphs, 3D graphs, Contour Plots, Statistical Charts, Data Exploration, Statistics, Curve Fitting, Signal Processing, and Peak Analysis                     

6.12.5 Surface with Missing Values


In this tutorial, a 3D color map surface graph as shown below will be created from a matrix with missing values. It will also demonstrate how gridlines can be skipped by customization.

Tutoria 3D MissingValue 1.png

Minimum Origin Version Required: Origin 2015 SR0

What you will learn

This tutorial will show you how to:

  • Create a 3D surface plot from a matrix by ignoring missing values
  • Skip gridlines on a 3D surface plot
  • Set contour lines
  • Set contour levels and fill colors


  1. Start with a new worksheet and import the file \Samples\Graphing\Surface With Missing Values.dat. Hover the cursor over the cell in the top left corner of the worksheet till it appears as a slanting black arrow and click to highlight. Select Plot: 3D Surface: Color Map Surface from the Origin main menu to create a graph. This is a virtual matrix so the plotvm dialog (plot virtual matrix dialog) will appear. Use the system default settings as below:
    Tutorial 3D MissingValue 2a.png
  2. The graph should appear as shown below:
    Tutoria 3D MissingValue 2.png
  3. Double click on the graph to pull up the Plot Details dialog. If the left panel is not expanded use the Plot Details Expansion.png button on the bottom left of the dialog to open it. Expand the tree node on the left panel to make sure that the box under Layer1 is selected. The next few steps will customize the graph using the settings in the Plot Details dialog. Activate the Colormap / Contours tab on the right panel. Click the Level heading to open the Set Levels dialog and set the dialog as shown in the following image.:
    Tutoria 3D MissingValue 3.png
  4. Click on the Fill heading to open the Fill dialog. In this dialog, choose the Load Palette radio button and then click the Select Palette button to choose the Reef palette. Ensure the Link to Palette check box has been enabled. Click the OK button to return to the Plot Details dialog.
    Tutoria 3D MissingValue 6.png
  5. Click on the Line heading to open the Contour Lines dialog. Check Color check box under Apply to All, and set Color to LT Gray. Click the OK button to return to the Plot Details dialog.
    Tutoria 3D MissingValue 10.png
  6. Activate the Mesh tab on the right panel. Deselect the box before Enable as the following screenshot shows. Click Apply. This will remove the mesh lines on the graph:
    Tutoria 3D MissingValue 4.png
  7. Click on the Layer1 on the left panel, and select Lighting tab on the right panel. Select Direction in Mode. Click OK to save the setting and close the dialog.
    Tutoria 3D MissingValue 11.png
  8. Double click on the axis title object(s) to modify them to X and Y for X and Y axis respectively.
  9. Click the layer spacer to active the 3D transform control toolbar, then select the Rotate button to rotate the 3D graph to a desired orientation:
    Tutorial 3D MissingValue 12.png
  10. The final graph should appear as shown below:
Tutoria 3D MissingValue 1.png

© OriginLab Corporation. All rights reserved.