Animate a 3D wireframe plot#

A very simple "animation" of a 3D plot. See also Rotating a 3D plot.

(This example is skipped when building the documentation gallery because it intentionally takes a long time to run)

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
import time

fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(projection='3d')

# Make the X, Y meshgrid.
xs = np.linspace(-1, 1, 50)
ys = np.linspace(-1, 1, 50)
X, Y = np.meshgrid(xs, ys)

# Set the z axis limits so they aren't recalculated each frame.
ax.set_zlim(-1, 1)

# Begin plotting.
wframe = None
tstart = time.time()
for phi in np.linspace(0, 180. / np.pi, 100):
    # If a line collection is already remove it before drawing.
    if wframe:
    # Generate data.
    Z = np.cos(2 * np.pi * X + phi) * (1 - np.hypot(X, Y))
    # Plot the new wireframe and pause briefly before continuing.
    wframe = ax.plot_wireframe(X, Y, Z, rstride=2, cstride=2)

print('Average FPS: %f' % (100 / (time.time() - tstart)))

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