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MathGroup Archive 1992

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superscripts in FrameLabel

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: superscripts in FrameLabel
  • From: "Arthur Ogawa" <ogawa at orion.arc.nasa.gov>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Feb 92 16:40:44 -0800

howard at cco.caltech.edu (Howard S. Lee) writes:
>  3. Is there a document out there  with ideas on what to do to make 
>     publication quality plots.  If yes, I would like to get a copy.
>     I didn't find anything in the yoda archive.

I wanted to address your third query from the standpoint of the
Mathematica Journal. Up through V2 Issue 1, all plots published 
in the Journal that were generated by Mathematica were exported 
to Adobe Illustrator and modified there to bring them into 
compliance with the Journal's standards. (There were minor exceptions
to this process.) 

Mathematica-generated plots were substandard in numerous ways that we
found impossible to fix using Mathematica alone. Most mathematical
type, we regenerated more correctly with TeX, and then pasted them in,
replacing those generated by Mathematica.  Rules for various elements
were altered, notably the axes and axis ticks.  Generally, axis ticks
were removed, (because Mathematica put too many on). Weights of rules
were altered to conform to standards.

It was not uncommon to re-render curves generated by Mathematica
(as many short line segments) into Bezier splines (taking up 
considerably fewer resources). Whenever this was done, the two curves 
were verified to not differ visibly (at 2400 dpi).

There is a bug in Mathematica's renderer such that, in a 3D polygon,
the edges are rendered identically no matter the distance from the
viewpoint, or the inclination of the plane of the polygon to the
viewpoint.  Thus an Edge may obscure a polygon's Face if viewing very
obliquely.  And portions of a 3D polygonal surface near the vanishing
point are rendered as "all edges".

The most recent issue of the Journal shows how we chose to deal with
such problems. The cover image and the minimal surface on page 58 were
rendered by ray-tracing software instead of by Mathematica's renderer.

In general I have found that to obtain high quality graphics from 
Mathematica, one must start with a standard, and then use Mathematica's
facilities to exchange data with more flexible downstream processes,
such as Adobe Illustrator or Ray Dream Designer. Then enforce the
standard using these more accessible tools.

In sum, I'm sure that we are fortunate to have Mathematica's export
capabilities, without which it would simply be useless as a vehicle
for creating publication graphics. It could be used as a direct tool
for some graphics, given improvements in type handling and finer
control over rule weights. But this by no means addresses all of its
shortcomings.

Arthur Ogawa        Internet: ogawa at orion.arc.nasa.gov  Ph: 1/415/691-1126
TeX consultant      AppleLink: ogawa                    FAX:1/415/962-1969
STEPS Project      1101 San Antonio Rd. #413, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA 94043-1002





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