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Re: Re: Fast interactive graphics

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg77900] Re: [mg77832] Re: Fast interactive graphics
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 06:42:16 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 06:50:42 -0400 (EDT), Helen Read wrote:
> Steve Luttrell wrote:
>> I had not yet discovered tutorial/AdvancedManipulateFunctionality, and
>> having worked through that tutorial I see now how to use Manipulate much
>> more effectively.
>> I have also worked through your [John Fultz's] examples, but I find the
>> interactive
>> graphics performance on my PC is very poor for those examples that you
>> say
>> you can run acceptably fast. I have a 2.1GHz PC with 2.5GB RM, so I
>> assume
>> it is my graphics card that is the limiting factor for me; it is an ATI
>> Radeon 9600 which is fairly low in the graphics card pecking order these
>> days.
> I could not observe much difference between John Fultz's various
> examples on my PC; they were all quite slow.

I chose examples which showed time differences on my PC, which I confess is
quite new and zippy.  Perhaps a better example would have used Pause[] or 
something (I was attempting to go for "real world", but apparently missed the 
mark).  But since the documentation was available, I didn't obsess too much over 
the examples.

You could probably lower the PlotPoints number to see something closer to what 
I'm seeing on my machine, though.

> On a somewhat related note,
> I find that rotating 3D graphics with the mouse in some situations
> completely freezes up my 5-year-old PC (2.26 GHz, 1 GB RAM). It's quick
> for a Plot3D or ParametricPlot3D of a simple surface, but if I combine
> multiple graphics, the response is incredibly slow to the point of
> freezing up. I ran into this when making up illustrations of
> approximating the volume of a surface of revolution with 8 or so disks /
> washers / cylindrical shells, which I put together with Table and Show.
> The graphic renders pretty quickly (a lot faster than 5.2, on the same
> PC), but it's pretty much impossible to rotate with the mouse. Hopefully
> it will be more responsive in the classrooms where I teach, which have
> newer computers.

Feel free to send me some of the examples you're seeing problems with, and 
perhaps I can help you out.  Since you weren't very specific in this email, I 
can't say too much.  You did, though, mention that you were plotting cylinders, 
and so I should mention Cylinder[] and the Method->{"CylinderPoints"} option.  
"CylinderPoints" is documented right at the end of this tutorial...


and is very useful for graphics which contain cylinders which don't need to be 
of very high rendering quality.  Sphere[] can be similarly controlled with the 
"SpherePoints" Method option.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

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