Visual settings (3D)
This page lists all settings applicable to 3D visual objects. To adjust a particular object’s settings, use the AdjustVisual
function and specify a reference to the object.
See Visual settings (2D) for the settings applicable to 2D visual objects.
Table of contents
Common

Geometric objects
Scenes

Axes

Grids

Coordinate systems

Views

Scenes
Objects

Scatter plots

Surfaces

Curves

Vector fields

Ellipsoids (and spheres)

Cylinders

Cones

Planes

Disks

Pixmaps

Texts

Cubes

Solid cylinders

Solid cones

Other solid objects

OBJ models

Arrows
Common

Metadata

Window size
Geometric objects
Most object types share a set of common properties that describe the position, size, and orientation of a 3D object. Such objects are called “geometric objects”. The following settings are available in all geometric objects:

position
: threedimensional real vector 
direction
: threedimensional real vector 
scale
: threedimensional real vector 
rotation
: real number 
color
: colour 
line width
: real number 
animation speed
: real number (automatic rotation) 
visible
: boolean
position
specifies the position of the object’s anchor point, direction
specifies the orientation of the object in space, scale
contains peraxis scale factors, and rotation
specifies the rotation of the object about its axis, determined by its anchor point and direction
.
The default position is ❨0, 0, 0❩
, direction ❨0, 0, 1❩
, scale ❨1, 1, 1❩
, and rotation 0°
.
In addition, all geometric objects have a color
property which, if applicable to the object at hand, determines its colour; the default colour is red. Similarly, the line width
property is only applicable for some objects; the default value is 1.5
.
For example:
T ≔ solid("teapot")
AdjustVisual(T, "position": ❨5, 0, 0❩)
AdjustVisual(T, "direction": ❨0, .4, 1❩)
AdjustVisual(T, "scale": ❨1, 1, 1.5❩)
AdjustVisual(T, "rotation": 45°)
AdjustVisual(T, "color": "coral")
The graphical user interface offered by a geometric object typically contains a section in which these properties can be set. Here’s the teapot’s dialog:
Axes
Each axis has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

labels
: boolean (text labels present or not) 
label format
: string (numerical format of labels) 
label distance
: real number 
length
: real number (length of positive semi axis) 
negative length
: real number (length of negative semi axis) 
radius
: real number (radius of axis cylinder) 
label font name
: string 
label font size
: integer (in points) 
label bold
: boolean 
label italic
: boolean 
label underline
: boolean 
label strikethrough
: boolean 
label text color
: colour
If s
is a reference to a scene, then s.axes.x
is a reference to its default x
axis, s.axes.y
a reference to its default y
axis, and s.axes.z
a reference to its default z
axis.
If a
is a reference to an axis, then a.cylinder
is a reference to its cylinder.
Graphical user interface:
Grids
Each grid has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

umin
: real number 
umax
: real number 
ustep
: positive real number 
vmin
: real number 
vmax
: real number 
vstep
: positive real number
Before the grid is positioned and oriented according to its geometric object properties, the grid extends from umin
to umax
in the x
direction, with an interline distance of ustep
, and from vmin
to vmax
in the y
direction, with an interline distance of vstep
.
If s
is a reference to a scene, then s.axes.grid1
is a reference to its default coordinate system’s first grid, s.axes.grid2
a reference to its default coordinate system’s second grid, etc.
Graphical user interface:
Coordinate systems
A coordinate system is a collection of three axes and an arbitrary number of grids.
Each coordinate system has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

grid count
: integer (number of grids)
If s
is a reference to a coordinate system, then s.x
is a reference to its first axis, s.y
a reference to its second axis, s.z
a reference to its third axis, s.grid1
a reference to its first grid, s.grid2
a reference to its second grid, and so on.
After having changed the grid count
, you need to rebind the reference variable before any new grids can be set via it.
Graphical user interface:
Please note the “Grids” page, which contains a GUI grid editor:
Views
Each scene has an associated view that determines the camera position and type of projection. The following settings are available for a view:

r
: positive real number 
θ
: real number in [0, π] 
φ
: real number 
xyz
: threedimensional real vector 
rθφ
: threedimensional real vector 
xyzt
: threedimensional real vector 
rθφt
: threedimensional real vector 
projection
: text, either “perspective” or “orthographic” 
fov
: positive number
r
, θ
, and φ
are the individual spherical coordinates of the camera, with angles specified in radians. xyz
are the Cartesian coordinates as a threedimensional vector and rθφ
are the spherical coordinates as such a vector.
For example:
AdjustVisual(s.view, "θ": 45°)
Please note that 45°
evaluates to π/4
by means of the ° postfix operator.
xyzt
and rθφt
are equivalent to xyz
and rθφ
, respectively, but setting the suffixed properties makes the control animate the change of camera position, whereas setting the unsuffixed properties immediately sets the new camera position.
projection
specifies the kind of projection: either “perspective” or “orthographic”.
Fig 1. Perspective
Fig 2. Orthographic projection
For perspective projection, fov
is the field of view; its default value is 45°.
If s
is a scene, then s.view
is its view.
Graphical user interface:
Scenes
The visual settings for a scene encompasses the view, coordinate system, and all objects.
If s
is a scene, then s.view
is its view, s.axes
its default coordinate system, and s.objects
its object manager.
Graphical user interface:
In addition, the scene has the following advanced properties:

anti aliasing
: 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 
light pos
: threedimensional real vector 
effects
: set of strings
anti aliasing
specifies the MSAA value of the scene, light pos
the coordinates of the main light source, and effects
the postprocessing effects added to the scene.
At least the following effects are available:

“Binarize”

“Blur”

“Edge detection”

“Greyscale”

“Horizontal flip”

“Identity”

“Invert”

“Sharpen”

“Spectra”

“Underwater”

“Vertical flip”
Scatter plots
A scatter plot has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

size
: positive real number
size
specifies the size of the data points in the scene. If each point has its own size, then this property serves to uniformly scale all points by the same factor (default 0.1
); otherwise, it specifies the fixed, absolute size used for all points (default 0.1
).
Graphical user interface:
Surfaces
A surface has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

show surface
: boolean 
show parameter curves
: boolean 
parameter curve counts
: twodimensional real vector 
line color
: colour 
unisided
: boolean
s ≔ surface(z = sin(√(x^2 + y^2))⋅cos(y))
AdjustVisual(s, "show parameter curves": true)
AdjustVisual(s, "parameter curve counts": ❨32, 32❩)
AdjustVisual(s, "show surface": false)
The unisided
property affects only the lighting computation on the surface. By default, the back side of a surface is rendered darker than the front side, but by setting unisided
to true
, the back side will be rendered the same way as the front side.
This makes the back side brighter and is also necessary if you want to hide the cut in the Möbius strip, where the front side joins the back side.
Graphical user interface:
The unisided
property maps to the Bidirectional lighting check box.
Curves
A curve has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)
Vector fields
A vector field has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

size
: positive real number 
pervertex colors
: boolean 
anchor point
: real number
size
scales the arrows; the default value is 1.0
. pervertex colors
specifies if all arrows have the same colour (false
) or if each arrow have its individual colour (true
).
The common colour is the one specified by the geometric object’s color
property.
anchor point
specifies the precise position along the vector arrow that corresponds to the field point. The default value, 0.5
, is the middle of the arrow. 1.0
anchors the arrow at its tail, and 0.0
anchors the arrow at its vertex. Effectively, this parameter acts like a displacement of the vector arrow along its direction, and the value may lie outside of [0.0, 1.0]. For instance, a value of 2.0
will place the tail of the arrow a full arrow’s length from the field point.
Ellipsoids (and spheres)
The ellipsoid is a special kind of surface, and so it inherits all properties applicable to surfaces. The ellipsoid has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

(common surface properties)

axis lengths
: threedimensional real vector 
radius
: positive real number
axis lengths
sets the ellipsoid’s semiaxis lengths to specific values. radius
sets them all to the same value, turning the ellipsoid into a sphere.
Cylinders
The cylinder is a special kind of surface, and so it inherits all properties applicable to surfaces. The cylinder has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

(common surface properties)

axis lengths
: twodimensional real vector 
radius
: positive real number 
height
: positive real number
Cones
The cone is a special kind of surface, and so it inherits all properties applicable to surfaces. The cone has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

(common surface properties)

axis lengths
: twodimensional real vector 
radius
: positive real number 
height
: positive real number
Planes
The plane is a special kind of surface, and so it inherits all properties applicable to surfaces. The plane has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

(common surface properties)
Disks
The disk is a special kind of surface, and so it inherits all properties applicable to surfaces. The disk has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

(common surface properties)

radius
: positive real number
Pixmaps
An embedded pixmap has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

bitmap
: pixmap 
transparent color
: the pixmap’s transparent colour 
opaque color
: the pixmap’s opaque colour 
transparency mode
: string, one of “opaque”, “equal”, “distance”, and “bipolar”
Graphical user interface:
Texts
A text object has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

text
: string 
font name
: string 
font size
: integer 
bold
: boolean 
italic
: boolean 
underline
: boolean 
strikethrough
: boolean 
text anchor point
: one of "topleft", "top", "topright", "left", "center", "right", "bottomleft", "bottom", "bottomright" 
opacity
: positive real number 
text res factor
: positive real number 
high quality
: boolean 
face screen
: boolean 
displacement
: twodimensional real vector
text
is the actual string displayed in the text object. font name
and font size
are the font and size of the characters, respectively. bold
, italic
, underline
, and strikethrough
specify the attributes of the font and text.
text anchor point
specifies the anchor point of the text object: this is the precise position within the text object that corresponds to the object’s position in the 3D scene.
opacity
specifies the opacity of the text object as a real number between 0%
(fully transparent) and 100%
(fully opaque).
text res factor
is a factor that determines the resolution of the rasterised text. The default value is 1.0
which corresponds to a very highresolution texture. This may be altered to a smaller value (such as 0.5
or 0.25
to save memory) or to a slightly larger value if you need extra resolution and have a highend system.
high quality
is by default true
. Setting it to false
is a hint to trade quality for performance.
If face screen
is false
(the default), the text object will behave like a static physical object in the scene. If face screen
is true
, the object will always face the camera, no matter where the camera is. Hence, considered as a physical object, the text object will continuously rotate to always face the camera.
If face screen
is true
, then displacement
may be set to offset the rectangle on the screen. Hence, this accounts to a translation in screen space, not world space. The units are fractions of the display window dimensions, with the entire width or height being about 20 units.
Graphical user interface:
Cubes
A cube has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)
Solid cylinders
A solid cylinder has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

axis lengths
: twodimensional real vector 
radius
: positive real number 
height
: positive real number 
inner radius
: real number in [0, 1) 
angle
: real number in (0, 2π]
The components of axis lengths
specify the lengths of the cylinder’s semi axes. If set, the radius
will make the cylinder into a circular cylinder with the specified radius. height
is the height of the cylinder.
It is possible to create a “hollow” cylinder by specifying a positive inner radius
. Similarly, a sector of a cylinder can be obtained by specifying an angle less than 2π.
Graphical user interface:
For example,
s ≔ solid("cylinder"); AdjustVisual(s, "radius": 5, "inner radius": 75%, "angle": 270°)
Solid cones
A solid cone has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

axis lengths
: twodimensional real vector 
radius
: positive real number 
height
: positive real number
The components of axis lengths
specify the lengths of the cone’s semi axes. If set, the radius
will make the cone into a circular cone with the specified radius. height
is the height of the cone.
Other solid objects
Other solid objects, like tetrahedra, pyramids, octahedra, icosahedra, dodecahedra, and teapots have the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)
OBJ models
OBJ models have the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

source
: string
source
is the OBJ source of the model.
Graphical user interface:
Arrows
An arrow has the following properties:

(common geometric object properties)

vector
: the vector displayed by the arrow 
head size
: the height of the arrow head cone 
head aspect
: the aspect ratio of the arrow head cone
The common position
property specifies the base of the arrow and the common color
and line width
properties specify the colour and line width of the arrow, respectively.
Graphical user interface:
Metadata
Every visual object has a title and a description. These may be set using the following properties:

title
: string 
description
: string
Window size
Every visual object has two special properties, window width
and window height
, that, when set, alter the size of the window currently containing the object, assuming the scene containing the object is not docked in the main IDE.
If the scene is docked in the main IDE, it is first detached and then its new, floating, window is resized.

window width
: integer 
window height
: integer
You can also specify the size of a floating diagram window using the Window size dialog.
Every visual object also has the detache
d boolean property which determines if the scene containing the object is detached (has its own window) or docked in the IDE; this only applies to named scenes, however.

detached
: boolean