[R] Exporting an rgl graph

luke at stat.uiowa.edu luke at stat.uiowa.edu
Tue Apr 20 16:43:04 CEST 2010

On Fri, 16 Apr 2010, Michael Friendly wrote:

> luke at stat.uiowa.edu wrote:
>> The current issue of JCGS (Vol 18 No 1,
>> http://pubs.amstat.org/toc/jcgs/19/1) has an editorial on including
>> animations, 3D visualizations, and movies in on-line PDF files
>> supporting JCGS articles. The online supplements to the editorial
>> include examples.  The 3D examples related to the misc3d packages are
>> also available in
>> http://www.stat.uiowa.edu/~luke/R/misc3d/misc3d-pdf/.  At some point
>> the code there will be added to misc3d.  It should be possible to
>> adapt these ideas to other objects rendered with rgl.
>> luke
> Luke,
> Your misc3d-pdf example is very instructive and the .tex file shows how
> to embed in LaTeX.  Thanks! (JCGS 19(1) is actually one of the nicest
> issues in a long time.)
> Of the two approaches you
> describe, the Asymptote route seems easier and more capable than the
> MeshLab one.

The Asymptote/PRC route was the only one I could find (with a limited
amoutn of time and effort I could put in) that would support both
color and transparency.  The downside is that PRC suport requires very
new Adobe readers and seems to result in huge files. I know the U3D
format support color but MeshLab doesn't seem to put color into its
U3D exports.  I forget whether U3D supports transparency. Someone with
the energy and motivation to do so can read the binary file format
specs and write these file formats directly usign alltheir
cababilities, but I wasn't up to doing that at the time.

> It would be particularly useful to have this capability available for rgl. 
> Any plans for this?

Not on my part.  misc3d scenes are very simple -- just triangular mesh
objects with optional color or transparency. rgl handles much richer
scenes so figuring out how to translate such scenes to one of the
binary formats would be a lot more work. On the other hand it may
already have been done in the OpenGL community.

> One note:  With Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.3.1, the U3D and PRC images display
> on screen, but do not print (replaced by the filename).  Is this your
> experience too?

I believe so.  There may well be a way of including a static image in
the LaTeX that would be used by printing and readers that don't
understand the embedded formats, but I haven't had the chance to check
the movie15 documentation for that.


> -Michael

Luke Tierney
Chair, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Ralph E. Wareham Professor of Mathematical Sciences
University of Iowa                  Phone:             319-335-3386
Department of Statistics and        Fax:               319-335-3017
    Actuarial Science
241 Schaeffer Hall                  email:      luke at stat.uiowa.edu
Iowa City, IA 52242                 WWW:  http://www.stat.uiowa.edu

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