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Re: how to spin a ScatterPlot3D

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg22380] Re: [mg22357] how to spin a ScatterPlot3D
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 22:05:08 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I don't believe that Mathematica is too unwieldly, but then I don't have experience
with the other programs.


Here is a cloud of points.

lpts = Table[{Random[Real, {-5, 5}], Random[Real, {-5, 5}],
        Random[Real, {-5, 5}]}, {100}];

This plots them and also adds three axis lines to help give some structure to the
resulting picture. Also the 50th point is "lassoed" with a larger Red point.

p1 = Show[Graphics3D[{
   AbsolutePointSize[4], Point /@ lpts,
   Red, AbsolutePointSize[6], Point[lpts[[50]]],
      Line[{{-5, 0, 0}, {5, 0, 0}}],
      Line[{{0, -5, 0}, {0, 5, 0}}],
      Line[{{0, 0, -5}, {0, 0, 5}}]}],
      Boxed -> False, SphericalRegion -> True];

In Mathematica 4, on Windows at least, you can display the plot in real time 3D. You
can twist it around with the mouse. Unfortunately, this feature does not preserve
directives such as PointSize or colors, so we lose the lassoed point.

<< RealTime3D`
<< Default3D`

Or you can use the SpinShow statement in the Animation package. This retains the
colors and pointsizes.

SpinShow[p1, SpinOrigin -> {0, 0, 1}]

The controls for the animation are on the lower left task bar of the notebook. You
can slow it down or speed it up, stop it, step one frame at a time, or reverse

David Park
djmp at

>In Mathematica, does anyone have a way to "spin" a point cloud made visible with
>The current animation tools in Mathematica are just too unweildy.
>Many statistical packages (e.g., Systat, S-Plus) let a user spin a 3D point
>cloud (and the axes) to look at them from different points of view. These
>software packages let the point cloud spin smoothly or in steps, as the
>user desires. The user can also "lasso" points to identify them for more
>detailed study.
>Any thoughts??
>many thanks
>David E. Burmaster, Ph.D.
>Alceon Corporation
>POBox 382669
>Harvard Square Station
>Cambridge, MA 02238-2669
>Voice 617-864-4300
>Fax 617-864-9954
>Email deb at

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