[Matplotlib-users] True 3D plotting with matplotlib

Benjamin Root ben.v.root at gmail.com
Sun Jun 3 12:26:40 EDT 2018

Matplotlib has a layering rendering engine at the moment as its core
design. This causes significant hurdles for a true 3D rendering engine
within matplotlib. mplot3d is an attempt to work around that, but it is
highly limited. The vispy project and glumpy are projects that we have
encouraged development of in the past with the intent of integrating their
technologies into matplotlib in the future in some future collaboration.
While they have made significant strides, a roadmap for this integration
has yet to materialize.

On Sun, Jun 3, 2018 at 11:54 AM, <clemens.loschnauer at cantab.net> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I have got a question with regards to the 3D plotting capabilites of
> matplotlib: Are there any plans/ongoing projects to make matplotlib (or
> its mplot3d submodule) suitable for complex 3D plotting?
> In particular, I am interested in plotting of geometric objects and
> surfaces and exporting these to vector graphics formats. I have done some
> research online and while there are some packages out there for 3D
> visualisation of data, all of them only export to raster graphics.
> The only program that I have come across that supports this is
> Mathematica, which is commercial. I believe that the option of producing
> publication-quality vector graphics for complex 3D scenes as might be
> desired in a scientific application is a feature that is currently missing
> in matplotlib.
> When I say high quality I have something like the 3D plots of the
> tikz/pgfplots packages in latex in mind, although again these do not
> support complex 3D scenes. I know there is mayavi, but I feel this does
> not offer the same quality for a scientific visualisation. Besides, it is
> a separate package and not part of matplotlib.
> An example of a visualisation that I want to achieve is the following:
> Plot a function of two variables as a 3D surface and then add a sphere
> that is tangent to the surface at some point. Then allow different camera
> angles with correct occlusion of hidden parts and varying levels of
> transparency. Add lighting and shading and export this as a vector graphic
> to a pdf file.
> Are there any plans to make something like this possible in matplotlib? If
> not, does anyone have hints as to what would be required to program this?
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