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Surface filling types

Value Summary

InheritedDichromatic, Flat, Functional, Monochrome, or Rainbow


FillColorType selects the type of surface fill color used.

With the exception of Flat and Functional, the coloring schemes depend on the height, i.e., the z value of points on the surface, in relation to the height of the whole coordinate system. (Everything on this page relating to surfaces holds for objects of type plot::Density, too, with the values plotted replacing height information.)

By default, surfaces are drawn with a linear blend from FillColor to FillColor2. This behavior may be changed with FillColorType, using one of the following options:

  • Dichromatic

    The default just described.

  • Flat

    The surface is filled with FillColor. No blend is used.

  • Monochrome

    The surface is filled with a blend from FillColor to a dimmed version of FillColor.

  • Rainbow

    This setting is technically similar to Dichromatic, but the effect is vastly different, since interpolation takes place in HSV color space. This creates a rainbow effect, similar to a physical rainbow for suitable choices of colors.

  • Functional

    Both FillColor and FillColor2 are ignored; the color scheme is derived from FillColorFunction. See FillColorFunction for details (which depend on the object type). If no color function is given, the object will be rendered with FillColorType = Flat.

In this context, "a blend from A to B" means that color A is used at the top of the coordinate system (the part with the lowest z coordinate), color B is used at the bottom and in between each or the red, green, blues, and alpha channel are interpolated linearly.


Example 1

By default, function plots use FillColorType = Dichromatic with a color range from blue to red (as in a temperature scale):


Using FillColorType, we color the graph completely in red:

plotfunc3d(sin(x)*sin(y), FillColorType = Flat)

Note, however, that the coloring is a visual aid, e.g., when looking from above:

           CameraDirection = [0, 0, 1])

plotfunc3d(sin(x)*sin(y), FillColorType = Flat,
           CameraDirection = [0, 0, 1])

Example 2

In MuPAD®, rainbow coloring does react to FillColor and FillColor2. The following plot uses different color settings to show this effect:

plot(plot::Function3d(sin(y), x = 0..10, y = -PI..PI,
                      FillColor = RGB::BlueLight,
                      FillColor2 = RGB::Blue),
     plot::Function3d(sin(y), x = 0..10, y = PI..3*PI,
                      FillColor = RGB::Green,
                      FillColor2 = RGB::Red),
     FillColorType = Rainbow,
     XLinesVisible = FALSE, YLinesVisible = FALSE)

What is happening here technically is that MuPAD performs a linear interpolation in HSV color space, i.e., the longest path round the following color circle is followed, with saturation and value (roughly speaking, whiteness and blackness) interpolated linearly:

The opacity of colors is treated the same way in both the Rainbow and Dichromatic settings of FillColorType, by linear interpolation:

plot((f:=plot::Function3d(sin(y), x = 0..10, y = -PI..PI,
     FillColorType = Rainbow, FillColor2 = RGB::VioletDark.[0.2],
     XLinesVisible = FALSE, YLinesVisible = FALSE)))

Example 3

Setting a FillColorFunction for an object automatically sets FillColorType to Functional:

colorfunc := (x, y) -> [abs(x)/PI, 0, abs(y)/PI]:
f := plot::Function3d(sin(x)*cos(y), x = -PI..PI, y = -PI..PI,
                      FillColorFunction = colorfunc):


delete colorfunc, f:

See Also

MuPAD Functions

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