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3D Animation


Community Member


Aug 4, 2016

Before my presentation, I had the idea to add animation to the Surface Plot example that I created.  Since I was still doing last minute preparation right up to the time that I gave my talk, I didn't have time to add the 3D animation as part of my presentation.  However, I added it Friday morning and I am sharing it for those of you who might be interested.  As I had expected, it was very easy to do and only took a few minutes.  Here is what I did:

  1. I added a table variable to allow the number of time steps to be set.  Note that there is a trade off and some problems that develop.  The trade off is that the 100,000 rows are divided down into the number of time steps.  More steps means smoother animation, but fewer points in the surface for any given time step (which leads to problems in the quality of the surface representation).  If you add rows to compensate, you might run into a problem where the surface or mesh cannot be plotted.
  2. I added a new column to represent time.  I used a column formula to create discrete time steps (continuous is not desirable here).  Note that I could have made the formula based on Row() to produce a table presorted in time, but I decided to sample the time space randomly as I had sampled x and y.
  3. I then changed the formula for z to multiply by a sinusoidal function of the time step.  This produces a changing amplitude.
  4. Finally, I added a Local Data Filter on the time value.

You can speed up the animation speed by enabling hardware acceleration (right mouse click in the surface plot graph area) before pressing the play button.  You should also move the speed slider all the way to the right.

There are a few scripts that include the Local Data Filter.  Run those.  Each allows you to animate the 3D data set.