Adds a shape node to the current scene.

points3d(x, y = NULL, z = NULL,  ...)
lines3d(x, y = NULL, z = NULL,  ...)
segments3d(x, y = NULL, z = NULL, ...)
triangles3d(x, y = NULL, z = NULL, ...)
quads3d(x, y = NULL, z = NULL, ...)


x, y, z

coordinates. Any reasonable way of defining the coordinates is acceptable. See the function xyz.coords for details.


Material properties (see material3d). For normals use normals and for texture coordinates use texcoords; see rgl.primitive for details.


The functions points3d, lines3d, segments3d, triangles3d and quads3d add points, joined lines, line segments, filled triangles or quadrilaterals to the plots. They correspond to the OpenGL types GL_POINTS, GL_LINE_STRIP, GL_LINES, GL_TRIANGLES and GL_QUADS respectively.

Points are taken in pairs by segments3d, triplets as the vertices of the triangles, and quadruplets for the quadrilaterals. Colors are applied vertex by vertex; if different at each end of a line segment, or each vertex of a polygon, the colors are blended over the extent of the object. Polygons must be non-degenerate and quadrilaterals must be entirely in one plane and convex, or the results are undefined.

These functions call the lower level functions rgl.points, rgl.linestrips.

The appearance of the new objects are defined by the material properties. See rgl.material for details.

The two principal differences between the rgl.* functions and the *3d functions are that the former set all unspecified material properties to defaults, whereas the latter use current values as defaults; the former make persistent changes to material properties with each call, whereas the latter make temporary changes only for the duration of the call.


Each function returns the integer object ID of the shape that was added to the scene. These can be passed to pop3d to remove the object from the scene.


Ming Chen and Duncan Murdoch


# Show 12 random vertices in various ways. 

M <- matrix(rnorm(36), 3, 12, dimnames = list(c('x', 'y', 'z'), 
                                       rep(LETTERS[1:4], 3)))

# Force 4-tuples to be convex in planes so that quads3d works.

for (i in c(1, 5, 9)) {
    quad <-[, i + 0:3])
    coeffs <- runif(2, 0, 3)
    if (mean(coeffs) < 1) coeffs <- coeffs + 1 - mean(coeffs)
    quad$C <- with(quad, coeffs[1]*(B - A) + coeffs[2]*(D - A) + A)
    M[, i + 0:3] <- as.matrix(quad)


# Rows of M are x, y, z coords; transpose to plot

M <- t(M)
shift <- matrix(c(-3, 3, 0), 12, 3, byrow = TRUE)

lines3d(M + shift)
segments3d(M + 2*shift)
triangles3d(M + 3*shift, col = 'red')
quads3d(M + 4*shift, col = 'green')  
text3d(M + 5*shift, texts = 1:12)

# Add labels

shift <- outer(0:5, shift[1, ])
shift[, 1] <- shift[, 1] + 3
       texts = c('points3d', 'lines3d', 'segments3d',
         'triangles3d', 'quads3d', 'text3d'),
       adj = 0)