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Re: Mouse controlled 3D rotations

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg57875] Re: [mg57848] Mouse controlled 3D rotations
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 03:35:29 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


It doesn't seem to be well documented but on Windows at least (I'm not
certain about Mac) you can use

3D Plot statements

and the 3D graphics produced can be rotated with the mouse. By holding down
Ctrl you can also zoom with the mouse. This command, however, drops all
graphics directives, such as Thickness or SurfaceColor.

For a more extensive capability you can use Jens-Peer Kuska's MathGL at

I think there are also other packages that I am not familiar with.

Also, don't forget the SpinShow statement in the Animation package. Although
it only rotates around one axis, it is convenient, works with all regular
Mathematica 3D graphics, and does not drop any directives. Also by using the
up/down arrow keys you can advance one frame at a time.

David Park
djmp at

From: Jim Hafner [mailto:hafner at]
To: mathgroup at

Is there a way to build a 3D graphics object (e.g., a simple
Tetrahedron) and manipulate it (e.g., rotate it in 3D) with the mouse?

There is an example on webMathematica of just this, but I haven't
figured out how to do it at all in plain ol' Mathematica.

Does it matter what system I'm on (AIX 5.1 or WinXP)?

I noticed that on AIX5.1, starting math kernel (no notebooks) that I can
use Animate[] to make a movie of a rotating Tetrahedron.  In XP, the
same doesn't produce anything.  On either system, in a notebook, I just
get multiple graphics objects, one for each rotational position --
there's no live animation.

Any guidance is appreciated.

Jim Hafner
hafner at

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