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Graphics3D exported to pdf

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg77411] Graphics3D exported to pdf
  • From: Gianluca Gorni <gorni at>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 05:27:34 -0400 (EDT)


I am meeting some problems when exporting 3D graphics
to pdf format, problems that are new to Mathematica 6.

$Version is "6.0 for Mac OS X PowerPC (32-bit) (April 20, 2007)"

Take for example two simple 3D squares, one black and one
partially transparent:

myGraph =
  Graphics3D[{{Black, Polygon[{{0, 0, 0}, {1, 0, 0}, {1, 1, 0}, {0,  
1, 0}}],
     Opacity[.5], Polygon[{{1, 0, 0}, {2, 0, 0}, {2, 1, 0}, {1, 1,  
   Boxed -> False, BoxRatios -> {8, 4, 1}]

The display in the FrontEnd is fine. Let us export to pdf:

Export["~/Desktop/myGraph.pdf", myGraph]

Looking at the plot with AdobeViewer, or with Apple's Preview,
I clearly see thin white lines crossing both the squares.
If I change the preview settings to "not antialiasing of text and  
line art", strangely enough, the white lines on the black square disappear,
but the white lines on the transparent square turn black and more  

When exporting Plot3D output to pdf, the white lines are so many
and so dense that the whole picture looks "dirty".

I wish that the pdf output did not show those junctions.

I have found a workaround: select the picture by clicking on it,
go to File>PrintSelection menu, and print to pdf. The result is
a high resolution *bitmap* pdf that closely matches what the FrontEnd
displays. One annoyance is that the picture is on a full-page pdf,
that I have to crop manually.

Do we have to give up on vector pdf's for 3D graphics?
Any thoughts?

Happy computing,

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