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Re: Why are my 3D plots blue?

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  • Subject: [mg114414] Re: Why are my 3D plots blue?
  • From: Joseph Gwinn <joegwinn at>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 05:23:34 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <id7t2l$l4l$>

In article <id7t2l$l4l$1 at>, John Fultz <jfultz at> 

> On Wed, 1 Dec 2010 02:10:11 -0500 (EST), Joseph Gwinn wrote:
> > In article <id2eko$d5t$1 at>, John Fultz <jfultz at>
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> >>>> The basic problem here is that the Graphics3D is being recreated over
> >>>> and over again and Mathematica is getting confused about what exactly
> >>>> should be selected.  In typical examples, this kind of thing works
> >>>> fine, but your code, for reasons I haven't investigated, stresses this
> >>>> enough to expose the problem.  By preventing the Graphics3D wrapper
> >>>> from being recreated, you can avoid the problem entirely.
> >>>>
> >>> OK.  Sounds like it will be faster too.
> >>>
> >> Yes, but probably only marginally so.
> >>
> > One thing I have been doing is to generate 3D plots in two pieces, with
> > the unchanging background done once (with no Dynamic calls), the
> > changing stuff generated in another Graphics3D, then using Show to merge
> > things.  The pattern is something like:
> >
> > staticplot==Graphics3d[<background scenery>];  (* No Dynamic stuff *)
> >
> > DynamicModule[{local vars},
> > dynamicplot==Graphics3D[Dynamic[<stuff that moves>]];
> > Show[staticplot,dynamicplot]  ]
> >
> > Comments?  It this complication worthwhile?
> Yes, this is good.  Alternatively, you could have also done...
> Graphics3D[{<static stuff>, Dynamic[<dynamic stuff>]}]

And simpler too.  This is also consistent with the advice for avoiding 
blue-plot disease.

> >>> Another perhaps related effect discovered by accident is that moving
> >>> the 3D mouse while Mathematica is doing the initial evaluation of the
> >>> notebook can cause Mathematica to crash with a SEGFAULT error.  This
> >>> happened a few days ago, and I allowed MacOS to send the crash report
> >>> to Apple.
> >>>
> >> This might require further investigation of the specific notebook you're
> >> working with.   I suggest starting a dialog with technical support
> >> about this.
> >>
> > OK.  If I can reproduce the problem.  I assume that Tech Support can
> > access Mathematica crash logs sent to Apple.
> Not a safe assumption.  I don't know as much about Apple's mechanism, but I know
> that Microsoft prevents developers from being able to correlate crash reports
> with specific users as a means of protecting privacy.  I'll bet Apple does
> something similar.

I didn't think of this.  Probably correct.  

I don't recall if I was given the option of also sending the log 
directly to the app developer.

So, a local solution is likely needed.

> > I bet the logs are under a rock somewhere on my machine somewhere as well.

I knew there must be a way.  A google yielded "crashreporterd" (for 
MacOS 10.4.x <intel>):


I have not read the MacOS crashdump documentation, but I bet this 
captures the full memory image in a form suited to using a debugger to 
perform an autopsy.

There may also be a crash logger, which captures less information.  What 
is reported to Apple looks like the registers and stack of all the 
related threads, plus a bunch of environment data, at the moment of 


Joe Gwinn

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