6.12.7 Intersecting Color Surfaces


Origin supports multiple intersecting surfaces.

Minimum Origin Version Required: Origin 9.0 SR0

What you will learn

This tutorial will show you:

  • How to create intersecting color surfaces from different matrix objects.
  • How to customize the colormap surface plot.
  • How to construct additional color scale for multiple colormap surfaces.


This tutorial is associated with the Tutorial Data project:<Origin EXE Folder>\Samples\Tutorial Data.opj.

  1. Open the Tutorial Data project and browse to folder Intersecting Surfaces in Project Explorer.
  2. Active the MBook36 matrix. Note that the matrix displays two thumbnail images above the data, one for each matrix object in the matrix.

    To plot intersecting surfaces, each matrix object must have identical dimensions and XY Mapping. This requirement is automatically fulfilled when the two objects are contained in the same matrix.

  3. Select either thumbnail image. From the main menu, select Plot, then point to 3D Surface, and then click Multiple Colormap Surfaces. This will generate an intersecting surface plot of every matrix object in the matrix sheet.
  4. Open the Layer Properties dialog by double-clicking on the graph layer, or by selecting Format:Layer Properties... from the main menu. Go to the Lighting tab, and change the Mode to Directional to turn on the lighting effect.
    Intersecting surfaces 1b.png

    Click on Apply button, you can find the graph showing as this:
    Intersecting surfaces 1.png
  5. Expand the Layer 1 branch in the left panel, select [MBook36]MSheet1!_1(Z)[1*:400*] to open the Plot Properties dialog. In the right panel, go to the Colormap/Contour tab, uncheck the Enable Contours check box to turn off contour lines
  6. Click the Fill... column header to open the Fill dialog box. Click the default Rainbow palette to open the palette menu. On the palette menu, select Pastel. Click OK to close the Fill dialog box.
    Intersecting color surfaces4 cropped.png
  7. Select [MBook36]MSheet1!_2(Z)[1*:400*] in the left panel. Uncheck the Enable Contours check box. And click Apply to see the modifications so far. Do the same for [MBook36]MSheet1!_1(Z)[1*:400*].
  8. Keep [MBook36]MSheet1!_2(Z)[1*:400*] selected, and go to the Mesh tab and clear the check box before Enable to turn off the mesh lines. Do the same for [MBook36]MSheet1!_1(Z)[1*:400*].
    Click OK to close the Plot Details dialog box and update the graph.
  9. Now we will construct the an additional color scale for the second surface, change that plot to be active by click Data:2 [MBook36]MSheet1!_2(Z)[1*:400*], then click Graph:New Color Scale to create color scale for this plot.
  10. Double click on the newly added color scale object to open the Color Scale Control, change the settings according to the screenshots below, then drag and put the color scale object to a desired place on the layer:
    Intersecting color surfaces5a.png

    Intersecting color surfaces5b.png
  11. You can use the 3D rotation button 3D Rotation Button.png to rotate the graph and gain an overhead perspective. This button is a part of the 3D annotation toolbar which can be brought out by clicking the graph layer once 3D annotation toolbar.png

    Your final graph should look something like this:

    Intersecting surfaces 5.png