8.14.6 3D OpenGL vs GDI graphs

Compared with GDI graphs, 3D openGL graphs offer various improvements in plotting and customization. The following table lists the enhanced features of 3D openGL graphs, and tells you where to go in the Origin GUI, to find the feature.

3D Surface and 3D Bars from XYZ

Plot: 3D Surface

Plot: 3D Symbol/Bar/Vector:3D Bars

3D Parametric Function Plot New: Function Plot: 3D Parametric Function Plot
3D Colormap Surface with Projection Plot: 3D Surface: Color Map Surface with projection
Rotating, Resizing and Stretching 3D Graphs

Click the white space of the plot and four 3D floating buttons appear.

Resize and move the area button: to resize or move the graph;

Rotate button: select and drag any hotspot to rotate the graph;

Resize button: drag the coordinate to stretch the axis or plane of the plot.

Skew button(When shearing is enabled): drag the small coordinate in two directions to change the offset values.

Lighting on 3D Graphs

Plot Details: Lighting and change the setting of lights.

Style toolbar : Lighting Control Dialog Button Lighting Control Dialog.png button.

Shift in Z by Percent of Scale Range
  • For 3D surface, go to Plot Details: Surface to check the box of Shift in Z by percent of scale range and insert shift value;
  • For 3D scatter, go to Plot Details: Edit Control to check the box of Shift in Z by percent of scale range and insert shift value;
  • For 3D bars, go to Plot Details: Outline to check the box of Shift in Z by percent of scale range and insert shift value;
3D Labeling(Scatter/3D Bar/XYY Bar) Plot Details(Plot level): Label
3D scatter Special Point Selection and Customization

Click to select all the scatter points then click again to choose a special point.

Right click and select Edit Point to bring out Plot Details and customize it.

Error Bars Setting
  • Cap Setting

Plot Details: Error Bars, underZ Error , select Error Data and customize cap.

  • X/Y axis Setting

Plot Details: Error Bars select Error Data and customize cap under X Error and Y Error

  • Z-Direction Error Bars for XYY Bars and 3D Bars

Plot Details: Error Bar

Support Intersection of Multiple 3D Surface and 3d Bars
  • For 3D surface (XYZZ worksheet), highlight the z columns and click Plot: 3D Surface
  • For 3D surface( multi-object matrix), click Plot: 3D Surface: Multiple Colormap Surfaces or Multiple Color Fill Surfaces
  • For 3D bars (XYZZ worksheet), highlight the z columns and click Plot: 3D Symbol/Bar/Vector:3D Bars
  • For 3D bars (multi-object matrix), click Plot: 3D Symbol/Bar: 3D Bars
Draw Bars from Minimum (XYY Bar and 3D Bars) Plot Details (Plot Level): Outline: Base Plane at minimum
Transparency of 3D Axis Plane and Plane Border Line Customizing

Plot Details (Layer Level):Planes: XY/YZ/ZX: Transparency

Plot Details (Layer Level):Planes: Plane Boarder

Arbitrary Axes Position and Axis Plane
  • Axis Dialog: X/Y/Z Axis: Line and Ticks: Line: Axis Position
  • Plot Details (Layer Level): Planes

select Position as % From bottom or At Position at= and customize its position value.

Anti-Aliasing for OGL Version Higher than 2.1

3D Anti-aliasing: Preferences: 3D OpenGL Setting (Settings Section): Enable Anti-aliasing

Z Direction Clipping Plot Details (Layer Level): Miscellaneous: Clipping: Z
3D Ternary Colormap Surface/Scatter

Colormap Surface:

  1. Plot: 3D Surface: 3D Ternary Suface
  2. Plot Details (Layer Level): Fill: Enable: Colormap
  3. Plot Details (Layer Level): Colormap / Contours: Level


  1. Create a ternary surface;
  2. Plot Details (Plot Level): change Plot Type as 3DScatter/Trajectory/ Vector
Support Edit Range in 3D Graph (Matrix Format)
  1. Open Edit Range dialog box:Plot Setup: Range/Layer Content: Range/Right click the graph and select Edit Range.
  2. Edit the 3D graph range: Uncheck Auto and insert the range into Column and Row.
Enable Shearing of the 3D Graph
  1. Plot Details (Layer Level): Miscellaneous: Enable shearing;
  2. Click the white area of the plot and click the skew button to get the skew view.
Axis Break in 3D Plot Format: Axes: X Axes...: Break
more 2D Symbol Types in 3D OpenGL Scatter Plots

Plot Details (Plot Level): Symbol Symbol Type: 2D Click the triangle to select 2D symbol style.