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Possible Strange Effects in 3D

Starting with the MuPAD® Release 3.0, the rendering engine for 3D plots uses the OpenGL® library. The OpenGL is a widely used standard graphics library and (almost) any computer has appropriate drivers installed in its system.

By default, the MuPAD Graphics Tool uses a software OpenGL driver provided by the operating system. Depending on the graphics card of your machine, you may also have further OpenGL drivers on your system, maybe using hardware support to accelerate OpenGL. (On most Apple Macintosh machines, no software OpenGL is available. MuPAD uses "accellerated" OpenGL on these machines automatically.)

The MuPAD 3D graphics was written and tested using certain standard OpenGL drivers. The numerous drivers available on the market have different rendering quality and differ slightly which may lead to some unexpected graphical effects on your machine.

After clicking on a 3D plot, a "Help" menu is visible in a MuPAD notebook. The item "OpenGL Info …" provides the information which OpenGL driver you are currently using. By default, MuPAD uses the software driver provided by the operating system, indicated as "Renderer: GDI Generic" on Microsoft® Windows®, "Apple Software Renderer" on Macintosh systems with software OpenGL, and "Renderer: Mesa GLX Indirect" on a typical Linux® system, followed by a line "Direct: No" to indicate that no hardware acceleration is used. You also get the information how many light sources and how many clipping planes this driver supports.

If you wish to switch to another driver, use the item "Configure …" of the "View" menu. ("Preferences …" of the "MuPAD" menu on the Macintosh.) Picking "User Interface" on the left, you get a dialog that allows to enable "accelerated" OpenGL using hardware drivers for your graphics card (if installed).

If you encounter strange graphical effects in 3D, we recommend to use the menu item "Help"/"OpenGL Info …" to check which OpenGL driver you are currently using. Switch to the alternative driver via "View"/"Configure …"

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