Surfaces in 3D parameterized in spherical coordinates
MuPAD® notebooks are not recommended. Use MATLAB® live scripts instead.
MATLAB live scripts support most MuPAD functionality, though there are some differences. For more information, see Convert MuPAD Notebooks to MATLAB Live Scripts.
plot::Spherical([r, ϕ, θ]
, u = u_{min} .. u_{max}
, v = v_{min} .. v_{max}
, <a = a_{min} .. a_{max}
>, options
)
plot::Spherical
creates surfaces parametrized
in spherical coordinates.
The surface given by a mapping ("parametrization") is the set of all image points
$$\left\{\text{\hspace{0.17em}}\left(\begin{array}{c}r\left(u,v\right)\\ \varphi \left(u,v\right)\\ \theta \left(u,v\right)\end{array}\right)\text{\hspace{0.17em}}\text{\hspace{0.17em}}u\in \left[{u}_{\mathrm{min}},{u}_{\mathrm{max}}\right],\text{\hspace{0.17em}}v\in \left[{v}_{\mathrm{min}},{v}_{\mathrm{max}}\right]\text{\hspace{0.17em}}\right\}$$
in spherical coordinates, which translate to the usual "Cartesian" coordinates as
$$\begin{array}{l}x=r\mathrm{cos}\left(\varphi \right)\mathrm{sin}\left(\theta \right)\\ y=r\mathrm{sin}\left(\varphi \right)\mathrm{sin}\left(\theta \right)\\ x=r\mathrm{cos}\left(\theta \right)\end{array}$$
r is referred to as "radius", ϕ as "azimuthal angle", and θ is known as "polar angle."
The functions r, ϕ, θ are
evaluated on a regular equidistant mesh of sample points in the uv plane.
This mesh is determined by the attributes UMesh
, VMesh
. By default, the
attribute AdaptiveMesh = 0
is set, i.e., no adaptive
refinement of the equidistant mesh is used.
If the standard mesh does not suffice to produce a sufficiently
detailed plot, one may either increase the value of UMesh
, VMesh
or USubmesh
, VSubmesh
,
or set AdaptiveMesh = n
with some (small) positive
integer n
. If necessary, up to 2^{n} 
1 additional points are placed in each direction
of the uv plane
between adjacent points of the initial equidistant mesh. Cf. Example 3.
"Coordinate lines" ("parameter lines") are curves on the surface.
The phrase "ULines
" refers
to the curves (r(u, v_{0}), ϕ(u, v_{0}), θ(u, v_{0})) with
the parameter u running
from u_{min}
to u_{max}
,
while v_{0} is
some fixed value from the interval [v_{min},
v_{max}]
.
The phrase "VLines
" refers
to the curves (r(u_{0}, v), ϕ(u_{0}, v), θ(u_{0}, v)) with
the parameter v running
from v_{min}
to v_{max}
,
while u_{0} is
some fixed value from the interval [u_{min},
u_{max}]
.
By default, the parameter curves are visible. They may be switched
off by specifying ULinesVisible = FALSE
and VLinesVisible
= FALSE
, respectively.
The coordinate lines controlled by ULinesVisible =
TRUE/FALSE
and VLinesVisible = TRUE/FALSE
indicate
the equidistant mesh in the uv plane
set via the UMesh
, VMesh
attributes.
If the mesh is refined by the USubmesh
, VSubmesh
attributes,
or by the adaptive mechanism controlled by AdaptiveMesh =
n
, no additional parameter lines are drawn.
As far as the numerical approximation of the surface is concerned, the settings
UMesh = n_{u}
, VMesh
= n_{v}
, USubmesh = m_{u}
, VSubmesh
= m_{v}
and
UMesh = (n_{u}  1) (m_{u} +
1) + 1
, VMesh = (n_{v}  1) (m_{v} +
1) + 1
,
USubmesh = 0
, VSubmesh = 0
are equivalent. However, in the first setting, nu
parameter
lines are visible in the u direction,
while in the latter setting (nu  1)*(mu + 1) + 1
parameter
lines are visible. Cf. Example 3.
Use Filled
= FALSE
to
obtain a wireframe representation of the surface.
If the expression/function r contains
singularities, it is recommended (but not strictly necessary) to use
the attribute ViewingBox
to set a suitable viewing
box. No such precautions are necessary for ϕ and θ,
although singularities in these functions may result in poorly rendered
surfaces – in many cases setting the attributes Mesh
and/or AdaptiveMesh
to
higher values will help. Cf. Example 6.
Attribute  Purpose  Default Value 

AdaptiveMesh  adaptive sampling  0 
AffectViewingBox  influence of objects on the ViewingBox of
a scene  TRUE 
Color  the main color  RGB::Red 
Filled  filled or transparent areas and surfaces  TRUE 
FillColor  color of areas and surfaces  RGB::Red 
FillColor2  second color of areas and surfaces for color blends  RGB::CornflowerBlue 
FillColorType  surface filling types  Dichromatic 
FillColorFunction  functional area/surface coloring  
FillColorDirection  the direction of color transitions on surfaces  [0 , 0 , 1 ] 
FillColorDirectionX  xcomponent of the direction of color transitions on surfaces  0 
FillColorDirectionY  ycomponent of the direction of color transitions on surfaces  0 
FillColorDirectionZ  zcomponent of the direction of color transitions on surfaces  1 
Frames  the number of frames in an animation  50 
Legend  makes a legend entry  
LegendText  short explanatory text for legend  
LegendEntry  add this object to the legend?  TRUE 
LineColor  color of lines  RGB::Black.[0.25] 
LineWidth  width of lines  0.35 
LineColor2  color of lines  RGB::DeepPink 
LineStyle  solid, dashed or dotted lines?  Solid 
LineColorType  line coloring types  Flat 
LineColorFunction  functional line coloring  
LineColorDirection  the direction of color transitions on lines  [0 , 0 , 1 ] 
LineColorDirectionX  xcomponent of the direction of color transitions on lines  0 
LineColorDirectionY  ycomponent of the direction of color transitions on lines  0 
LineColorDirectionZ  zcomponent of the direction of color transitions on lines  1 
Mesh  number of sample points  [25 , 25 ] 
MeshVisible  visibility of irregular mesh lines in 3D  FALSE 
Name  the name of a plot object (for browser and legend)  
ParameterEnd  end value of the animation parameter  
ParameterName  name of the animation parameter  
ParameterBegin  initial value of the animation parameter  
ParameterRange  range of the animation parameter  
PointSize  the size of points  1.5 
PointStyle  the presentation style of points  FilledCircles 
PointsVisible  visibility of mesh points  FALSE 
Submesh  density of submesh (additional sample points)  [0 , 0 ] 
TimeEnd  end time of the animation  10.0 
TimeBegin  start time of the animation  0.0 
TimeRange  the real time span of an animation  0.0 .. 10.0 
Title  object title  
TitleFont  font of object titles  [" sansserif " , 11 ] 
TitlePosition  position of object titles  
TitleAlignment  horizontal alignment of titles w.r.t. their coordinates  Center 
TitlePositionX  position of object titles, x component  
TitlePositionY  position of object titles, y component  
TitlePositionZ  position of object titles, z component  
ULinesVisible  visibility of parameter lines (u lines)  TRUE 
UMax  final value of parameter "u"  
UMesh  number of sample points for parameter "u"  25 
UMin  initial value of parameter "u"  
UName  name of parameter "u"  
URange  range of parameter "u"  
USubmesh  density of additional sample points for parameter "u"  0 
VLinesVisible  visibility of parameter lines (v lines)  TRUE 
VMax  final value of parameter "v"  
VMesh  number of sample points for parameter "v"  25 
VMin  initial value of parameter "v"  
VName  name of parameter "v"  
VRange  range of parameter "v"  
VSubmesh  density of additional sample points for parameter "v"  0 
Visible  visibility  TRUE 
VisibleAfter  object visible after this time value  
VisibleBefore  object visible until this time value  
VisibleFromTo  object visible during this time range  
VisibleAfterEnd  object visible after its animation time ended?  TRUE 
VisibleBeforeBegin  object visible before its animation time starts?  TRUE 
XContours  contour lines at constant x values  [] 
XFunction  function for x values  
YContours  contour lines at constant y values  [] 
YFunction  function for y values  
ZContours  contour lines at constant z values  [] 
ZFunction  function for z values 
Spherical coordinates get their name from the fact that, with a constant radius, the parameterize a sphere:
plot(plot::Spherical([1, u, v], u = 0..2*PI, v = 0..PI))
plot(plot::Spherical([1, u, v], u = 0..PI, v = 0..2*PI))
The following plot demonstrates that spherical plots can exhibit singular surface features even with differentiable parameterizations; in this case, the rim in the middle is actually a border of both the left and the righthand part:
plot(plot::Spherical( [(phi^2*thet), phi, thet^2], phi = PI..PI, thet=0..0.25*PI, Mesh = [40,40], Submesh=[3,0], Color = [0.9$3], FillColorType=Flat, LineColor=[0.8$3]), Axes = None, CameraDirection = [1, 0, 0])
For oscillating parameterizations or other surfaces with fine
details, the default mesh may be too coarse. As stated above, the
three attributes Mesh
, Submesh
, and AdaptiveMesh
can be
used for improving plots of these objects.
First, note that the following plot is not rendered with a sufficient resolution:
surf := plot::Spherical([4+sin(5*(u+v)), u, v], u = 0..PI, v = 0..2*PI): plot(surf, Axes = None)
Setting Mesh
to twice its default, we get
a smoother surface with additional parameter lines:
surf::Mesh := [50, 50]: plot(surf, Axes = None)
Almost the same effect, but without the additional parameter
lines, can be achieved by setting Submesh = [1, 1]
:
delete surf::Mesh: surf::Submesh := [1, 1]: plot(surf, Axes = None)
It is also possible to use adaptive mesh refinement in areas
where neighboring patches have an angle of more than 10 degrees. While
this option is mostly useful for surfaces which require refinement
only in some parts, it is certainly feasible with a plot like this,
too (but increasing Submesh
is faster):
delete surf::Submesh: surf::AdaptiveMesh := 2: plot(surf, Axes = None)
The radius function r may also take on negative values. With radius functions of changing sign, spherical surfaces often do selfintersect:
plot(plot::Spherical( [sin(phi^2*thet), phi, thet], phi = PI..PI, thet = 0..0.5*PI, Mesh = [40, 20], Submesh=[0, 3]))
The angular functions (ϕ and θ) are not limited in value:
plot(plot::Spherical([r, r, thet], r = 0..9, thet = PI..PI, Mesh = [60, 60], Filled = FALSE), Axes = None, plot::Camera([100, 100, 50], [0,0,0], 0.1))
Note that we used an explicit plot::Camera
object here because the
automatic camera is always placed such that all of an object is visible,
even when using CameraDirection
. To get a "closer"
look, use the interactive manipulation possibilities or an explicit
camera.
Singularities in the radius function are heuristically handled:
plot(plot::Spherical([1/(u + v), u, v], u = 0..PI, v = 0..PI))
However, the heuristics fails for some examples:
plot(plot::Spherical([1/(u + v)^2, u, v], u = 0..PI, v = 0..PI))
In cases like this, we recommend setting a viewing box explicitly
with the attribute ViewingBox
:
plot(plot::Spherical([1/(u + v)^2, u, v], u = 0..PI, v = 0..PI), ViewingBox = [1/10..0.7, 0..1/4, 0.2..0.3])
By setting one of the parameter ranges to a degenerate interval, it is possible to draw curves on a spherical surface:
f := (u, v) > [1 + u/10, u, v]: surface := plot::Spherical(f(u,v), u = 0..2, v = 0..2, FillColor = RGB::Grey, FillColorType = Flat): curve := plot::Spherical(f((1 + sin(u)), (1 + sin(2*u))), u = 0..2*PI, v = 0..0, Mesh = [200, 1], LineColor = RGB::Red, LineWidth = 1): plot(surface, curve)
While the transformation from spherical to Cartesian coordinates
is not invertible, there are at least two ways of expressing each
Cartesian point in spherical coordinates and any surface parameterizable
in Cartesian coordinates can also be plotted using plot::Spherical
:
trans := linalg::ogCoordTab[Spherical, InverseTransformation]: spher := trans(x, y, sin(x^2+y^2))
plot(plot::Spherical(spher, x = 2..2, y = 2..2))
Last but not least we can also produce animations with the help
of plot::Spherical
. The following shows a deformation
from a general spherical object to a sphere. We have used the animation
parameter a
inside of the argument for the sine
function to obtain a slight rotation during the deformation process:
plot( plot::Spherical( [1+a*sin(3*Phi+a)*sin(2*Theta),Phi,Theta], Theta=0..PI, Phi=0..2*PI, a=5..0 ) )

The coordinate functions: arithmetical expressions or


The first surface parameter: an identifier or an indexed identifier.


The plot range for the parameter u:


The second surface parameter: an identifier or an indexed identifier.


The plot range for the parameter v:


Animation parameter, specified as 