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3D Plots in MATLAB

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  • Last Updated : 09 May, 2021
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In MATLAB, we can plot different types of modules like 2d plotting and 3d plotting. In this article, we will see what are the various types of 3D plotting.

  • Mesh Plot: A mesh plot is a 3d surface that creates different types of meshes for different types of expression. To create mesh we have to give the values x and y for z, (z= f(x, y)). For plotting the mesh plot it has mesh() which will generate the 3d surface. It has solid edge color but no face color.

Syntax:

mesh(Z)

Example:

Matlab




% give the input of x and y.
[x,y]= meshgrid(0:0.1:5);
  
% give the expression for x 
% and y for the output in z
z= sin(x).*cos(y);
  
% mesh() is used for 3D plotting
mesh(z);

Output:

  • Surface plot: A surface plot is a 3d surface that creates different types of surfaces for different expressions. To create a surface we have to give the values x and y for z, (z= f(x, y)). For plotting the surface plot it has surf() which will generate the 3d surface. It has solid edge color and solid face color

Syntax:

surf(Z)

Example:

Matlab




% give the input for x and y
[x,y]= meshgrid(0:0.1:5);
  
% give the expression for 
% x and y for the value of z.
z= sin(x).*cos(y);
  
% use surf() for the plotting 
surf(z)

Output:

  • Surface plot(with shading): A surface plot that creates a three-dimensional surface plot that has solid edge colors and solid face colors and also has shading. In surface with shading, we have to give the values x and y for z, (z= f(x, y)).  For plotting the surface plot it has surf(z) is used for 3d plotting.

Syntax:

surfl(z)

There are three types of shading available:

  1. shading flat
  2. shading faceted
  3. shading interp

Example:

Matlab




% give the input for x and y
[x,y]= meshgrid(0:0.1:5);
  
% give the expression for x and y 
% for the value of z
z= sin(x).*cos(y);
  
% use surfl() for the plotting 
% shading faceted is by default
surfl(z)
shading faceted
title('Faceted Shading')
  
% use shading flat for each mesh
% line segment and face has a 
% constant color 
surfl(z)
shading flat
title('Flat Shading')
  
% use shading flat for varies the 
% color in each line segment and 
% face by interpolating
surfl(z)
shading interp
title('Interpolated Shading')

Output:

  • Contour plot: A contour plot is also called a line plot. To plot contour it has x, y variables which are used to give the values for z, (z=f(x, y)). The x and y variables are usually in a grid called meshgrid.

Syntax:

contour(Z)

Example:

Matlab




% enter the inputs of x and y
[x,y]= meshgrid(0:0.1:5);
  
% enter the expression using
% x and y 
z= sin(x).*cos(y);
  
% use contour() for plotting 
contour3(z,50)

Output:

  • Quiver plot: A quiver plot or vector plot is a type of plotting that gives directional components of u, v, w using the cartesian components x, y, and z. For plotting of quiver plot use quiver3().

Syntax:

quiver3(X, Y, Z, U, V, W)

Example:

Matlab




% give the input value for x,
% y and z
[x,y,z]= meshgrid(0:0.1:5);
  
% using x, y and z give the 
% values for u,v and w 
u= sin(x).*cos(y);
v= sin(x).*cos(y);
w= sin(x).*cos(y);
  
%use quiver3() for 3d plotting
quiver3(x,y,z,u,v,w);

Output:


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