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The mplot3d Toolkit

Generating 3D plots using the mplot3d toolkit.

Getting started

An Axes3D object is created just like any other axes using the projection=‘3d’ keyword. Create a new matplotlib.figure.Figure and add a new axes to it of type Axes3D:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from mpl_toolkits.mplot3d import Axes3D
fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(111, projection='3d')

New in version 1.0.0: This approach is the preferred method of creating a 3D axes.

Note

Prior to version 1.0.0, the method of creating a 3D axes was different. For those using older versions of matplotlib, change ax = fig.add_subplot(111, projection='3d') to ax = Axes3D(fig).

See the mplot3d FAQ for more information about the mplot3d toolkit.

Line plots

Axes3D.plot(xs, ys, *args, **kwargs)

Plot 2D or 3D data.

Argument Description
xs, ys x, y coordinates of vertices
zs z value(s), either one for all points or one for each point.
zdir Which direction to use as z (‘x’, ‘y’ or ‘z’) when plotting a 2D set.

Other arguments are passed on to plot()

../../_images/sphx_glr_lines3d_0011.png

Lines3d

Scatter plots

Axes3D.scatter(xs, ys, zs=0, zdir='z', s=20, c=None, depthshade=True, *args, **kwargs)

Create a scatter plot.

Argument Description
xs, ys Positions of data points.
zs Either an array of the same length as xs and ys or a single value to place all points in the same plane. Default is 0.
zdir Which direction to use as z (‘x’, ‘y’ or ‘z’) when plotting a 2D set.
s Size in points^2. It is a scalar or an array of the same length as x and y.
c A color. c can be a single color format string, or a sequence of color specifications of length N, or a sequence of N numbers to be mapped to colors using the cmap and norm specified via kwargs (see below). Note that c should not be a single numeric RGB or RGBA sequence because that is indistinguishable from an array of values to be colormapped. c can be a 2-D array in which the rows are RGB or RGBA, however, including the case of a single row to specify the same color for all points.
depthshade Whether or not to shade the scatter markers to give the appearance of depth. Default is True.

Keyword arguments are passed on to scatter().

Returns a Patch3DCollection

../../_images/sphx_glr_scatter3d_0011.png

Scatter3d

Wireframe plots

Axes3D.plot_wireframe(X, Y, Z, *args, **kwargs)

Plot a 3D wireframe.

The rstride and cstride kwargs set the stride used to sample the input data to generate the graph. If either is 0 the input data in not sampled along this direction producing a 3D line plot rather than a wireframe plot. The stride arguments are only used by default if in the ‘classic’ mode. They are now superseded by rcount and ccount. Will raise ValueError if both stride and count are used.

` The rcount and ccount kwargs supersedes rstride and

cstride for default sampling method for wireframe plotting. These arguments will determine at most how many evenly spaced samples will be taken from the input data to generate the graph. This is the default sampling method unless using the ‘classic’ style. Will raise ValueError if both stride and count are specified. If either is zero, then the input data is not sampled along this direction, producing a 3D line plot rather than a wireframe plot. Added in v2.0.0.

Argument Description
X, Y, Data values as 2D arrays
Z  
rstride Array row stride (step size), defaults to 1
cstride Array column stride (step size), defaults to 1
rcount Use at most this many rows, defaults to 50
ccount Use at most this many columns, defaults to 50

Keyword arguments are passed on to LineCollection.

Returns a Line3DCollection

../../_images/sphx_glr_wire3d_0011.png

Wire3d

Surface plots

Axes3D.plot_surface(X, Y, Z, *args, **kwargs)

Create a surface plot.

By default it will be colored in shades of a solid color, but it also supports color mapping by supplying the cmap argument.

The rstride and cstride kwargs set the stride used to sample the input data to generate the graph. If 1k by 1k arrays are passed in, the default values for the strides will result in a 100x100 grid being plotted. Defaults to 10. Raises a ValueError if both stride and count kwargs (see next section) are provided.

The rcount and ccount kwargs supersedes rstride and cstride for default sampling method for surface plotting. These arguments will determine at most how many evenly spaced samples will be taken from the input data to generate the graph. This is the default sampling method unless using the ‘classic’ style. Will raise ValueError if both stride and count are specified. Added in v2.0.0.

Argument Description
X, Y, Z Data values as 2D arrays
rstride Array row stride (step size)
cstride Array column stride (step size)
rcount Use at most this many rows, defaults to 50
ccount Use at most this many columns, defaults to 50
color Color of the surface patches
cmap A colormap for the surface patches.
facecolors Face colors for the individual patches
norm An instance of Normalize to map values to colors
vmin Minimum value to map
vmax Maximum value to map
shade Whether to shade the facecolors

Other arguments are passed on to Poly3DCollection

../../_images/sphx_glr_surface3d_0012.png

Surface3d

Surface3d 2

Surface3d 3

Tri-Surface plots

Axes3D.plot_trisurf(*args, **kwargs)
Argument Description
X, Y, Z Data values as 1D arrays
color Color of the surface patches
cmap A colormap for the surface patches.
norm An instance of Normalize to map values to colors
vmin Minimum value to map
vmax Maximum value to map
shade Whether to shade the facecolors

The (optional) triangulation can be specified in one of two ways; either:

plot_trisurf(triangulation, ...)

where triangulation is a Triangulation object, or:

plot_trisurf(X, Y, ...)
plot_trisurf(X, Y, triangles, ...)
plot_trisurf(X, Y, triangles=triangles, ...)

in which case a Triangulation object will be created. See Triangulation for a explanation of these possibilities.

The remaining arguments are:

plot_trisurf(..., Z)

where Z is the array of values to contour, one per point in the triangulation.

Other arguments are passed on to Poly3DCollection

Examples:

(Source code, png, pdf)

../../_images/trisurf3d1.png

(Source code, png, pdf)

../../_images/trisurf3d_21.png

New in version 1.2.0: This plotting function was added for the v1.2.0 release.

../../_images/sphx_glr_trisurf3d_0011.png

Trisurf3d

Contour plots

Axes3D.contour(X, Y, Z, *args, **kwargs)

Create a 3D contour plot.

Argument Description
X, Y, Data values as numpy.arrays
Z  
extend3d Whether to extend contour in 3D (default: False)
stride Stride (step size) for extending contour
zdir The direction to use: x, y or z (default)
offset If specified plot a projection of the contour lines on this position in plane normal to zdir

The positional and other keyword arguments are passed on to contour()

Returns a contour

../../_images/sphx_glr_contour3d_0011.png

Contour3d

Contour3d 2

Contour3d 3

Filled contour plots

Axes3D.contourf(X, Y, Z, *args, **kwargs)

Create a 3D contourf plot.

Argument Description
X, Y, Data values as numpy.arrays
Z  
zdir The direction to use: x, y or z (default)
offset If specified plot a projection of the filled contour on this position in plane normal to zdir

The positional and keyword arguments are passed on to contourf()

Returns a contourf

Changed in version 1.1.0: The zdir and offset kwargs were added.

../../_images/sphx_glr_contourf3d_0011.png

Contourf3d

Contourf3d 2

New in version 1.1.0: The feature demoed in the second contourf3d example was enabled as a result of a bugfix for version 1.1.0.

Polygon plots

Axes3D.add_collection3d(col, zs=0, zdir='z')

Add a 3D collection object to the plot.

2D collection types are converted to a 3D version by modifying the object and adding z coordinate information.

Supported are:
  • PolyCollection
  • LineCollection
  • PatchCollection
../../_images/sphx_glr_polys3d_0011.png

Polys3d

Bar plots

Axes3D.bar(left, height, zs=0, zdir='z', *args, **kwargs)

Add 2D bar(s).

Argument Description
left The x coordinates of the left sides of the bars.
height The height of the bars.
zs Z coordinate of bars, if one value is specified they will all be placed at the same z.
zdir Which direction to use as z (‘x’, ‘y’ or ‘z’) when plotting a 2D set.

Keyword arguments are passed onto bar().

Returns a Patch3DCollection

../../_images/sphx_glr_bars3d_0011.png

Bars3d

Quiver

Axes3D.quiver(*args, **kwargs)

Plot a 3D field of arrows.

call signatures:

quiver(X, Y, Z, U, V, W, **kwargs)

Arguments:

X, Y, Z:
The x, y and z coordinates of the arrow locations (default is tail of arrow; see pivot kwarg)
U, V, W:
The x, y and z components of the arrow vectors

The arguments could be array-like or scalars, so long as they they can be broadcast together. The arguments can also be masked arrays. If an element in any of argument is masked, then that corresponding quiver element will not be plotted.

Keyword arguments:

length: [1.0 | float]
The length of each quiver, default to 1.0, the unit is the same with the axes
arrow_length_ratio: [0.3 | float]
The ratio of the arrow head with respect to the quiver, default to 0.3
pivot: [ ‘tail’ | ‘middle’ | ‘tip’ ]
The part of the arrow that is at the grid point; the arrow rotates about this point, hence the name pivot. Default is ‘tail’
normalize: [False | True]
When True, all of the arrows will be the same length. This defaults to False, where the arrows will be different lengths depending on the values of u,v,w.

Any additional keyword arguments are delegated to LineCollection

../../_images/sphx_glr_quiver3d_0011.png

Quiver3d

2D plots in 3D

../../_images/sphx_glr_2dcollections3d_0011.png

2dcollections3d

Text

Axes3D.text(x, y, z, s, zdir=None, **kwargs)

Add text to the plot. kwargs will be passed on to Axes.text, except for the zdir keyword, which sets the direction to be used as the z direction.

../../_images/sphx_glr_text3d_0011.png

Text3d

Subplotting

Having multiple 3D plots in a single figure is the same as it is for 2D plots. Also, you can have both 2D and 3D plots in the same figure.

New in version 1.0.0: Subplotting 3D plots was added in v1.0.0. Earlier version can not do this.

../../_images/sphx_glr_subplot3d_0011.png

Subplot3d

Mixed Subplots

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