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dropshadow - Drop Shadow class for plot objects

5.0 | 2 ratings Rate this file 14 Downloads (last 30 days) File Size: 4.6 KB File ID: #39024 Version: 1.0
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dropshadow - Drop Shadow class for plot objects



Adds a dropshadow to plot objects.

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Every now and then your crude and harsh Matlab plots can benefit from some graphical enhancements. This class adds a fully customisable dropshadow to the plot objects in your axes. It takes a "snapshot" of the current axes and renders a dropshadow image using 2D convolution with a Gaussian kernel. Still, the figure can be exported to a vector graphics format, making it ideal for printed reports or PDFs.

ShadowObj = dropshadow(hAxes) creates a dropshadow object for the plot objects in the specified axes. The shadow image is rendered using 2D convolution of a Gaussian kernel based on the properties Color, Angle, Distance, Spread and Size. The original plot objects are kept, such that the figure can still be exported to a vector graphics format such as EPS or PDF.
ShadowObj = dropshadow(hAxes,'Prop1',Value1,...) creates the dropshadow and sets the specified properties.
The dropshadow object is updated whenever a change is made to one of the properties. The object is deleted upon axes deletion.
Note that the shadow is always put as a 2D image in the background of the plot axes, regardless of 3D rotations.

Known issues:
The current implementation uses the java.awt.Robot to make a snapshot. This will not work with docked figures. A workaround is to use the built-in getframe function, which is activated by setting the hidden property ShadowObj.SnapMethod = 'getframe'. Suggestions for more robust implementations are welcome!


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Required Products MATLAB
MATLAB release MATLAB 7.14 (R2012a)
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Comments and Ratings (6)
21 Jan 2016 Ashley

Ashley (view profile)

This is a great lightweight helper. I want to get a mesh to throw a shadow and I'm not winning. I see that there is a private function that does a drop shadow for a ShadowObj. Is this the right idea? how do I access it if so?

12 Feb 2015 Janneke Snijder

Yes, I'm using the 2014b version. And thanks, I'll try it on an older version.

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11 Feb 2015 Maarten van der Seijs

Hi Janneke, I guess you are using Matlab version 2014b or newer? The function appears to be incompatible with the updated graphics system (HG2). I haven't been able to fix this; to use it I would suggest to use a Matlab version not newer than 2014a.

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11 Feb 2015 Janneke Snijder

I am trying to use the dropshadow effect, using the given example in the script. When I run it, I get the following error:

Error using dropshadow (line 86)
Parent must be an axes handle.

How can I fix this?

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20 Nov 2013 Frank

Frank (view profile)

Great effect! Just make sure the 'units' of root are pixels before getting the monitor size.

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20 Nov 2013 Frank

Frank (view profile)


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