plot3

3-D point or line plot

Description

example

plot3(X,Y,Z) plots coordinates in 3-D space.

  • To plot a set of coordinates connected by line segments, specify X, Y, and Z as vectors of the same length.

  • To plot multiple sets of coordinates on the same set of axes, specify at least one of X, Y, or Z as a matrix and the others as vectors.

example

plot3(X,Y,Z,LineSpec) creates the plot using the specified line style, marker, and color.

example

plot3(X1,Y1,Z1,...,Xn,Yn,Zn) plots multiple sets of coordinates on the same set of axes. Use this syntax as an alternative to specifying multiple sets as matrices.

example

plot3(X1,Y1,Z1,LineSpec1,...,Xn,Yn,Zn,LineSpecn) assigns specific line styles, markers, and colors to each XYZ triplet. You can specify LineSpec for some triplets and omit it for others. For example, plot3(X1,Y1,Z1,'o',X2,Y2,Z2) specifies markers for the first triplet but not the for the second triplet.

example

plot3(___,Name,Value) specifies Line properties using one or more name-value pair arguments. Specify the properties after all other input arguments. For a list of properties, see Line Properties.

example

plot3(ax,___) displays the plot in the target axes. Specify the axes as the first argument in any of the previous syntaxes.

example

p = plot3(___) returns a Line object or an array of Line objects. Use p to modify properties of the plot after creating it. For a list of properties, see Line Properties.

Examples

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Define t as a vector of values between 0 and 10π. Define st and ct as vectors of sine and cosine values. Then plot st, ct, and t.

t = 0:pi/50:10*pi;
st = sin(t);
ct = cos(t);
plot3(st,ct,t)

Create two sets of x-, y-, and z-coordinates.

t = 0:pi/500:pi;
xt1 = sin(t).*cos(10*t);
yt1 = sin(t).*sin(10*t);
zt1 = cos(t);

xt2 = sin(t).*cos(12*t);
yt2 = sin(t).*sin(12*t);
zt2 = cos(t);

Call the plot3 function, and specify consecutive XYZ triplets.

plot3(xt1,yt1,zt1,xt2,yt2,zt2)

Create matrix X containing three rows of x-coordinates. Create matrix Y containing three rows of y-coordinates.

t = 0:pi/500:pi;
X(1,:) = sin(t).*cos(10*t);
X(2,:) = sin(t).*cos(12*t);
X(3,:) = sin(t).*cos(20*t);

Y(1,:) = sin(t).*sin(10*t);
Y(2,:) = sin(t).*sin(12*t);
Y(3,:) = sin(t).*sin(20*t);

Create matrix Z containing the z-coordinates for all three sets.

Z = cos(t);

Plot all three sets of coordinates on the same set of axes.

plot3(X,Y,Z)

Create vectors xt, yt, and zt.

t = 0:pi/500:40*pi;
xt = (3 + cos(sqrt(32)*t)).*cos(t);
yt = sin(sqrt(32) * t);
zt = (3 + cos(sqrt(32)*t)).*sin(t);

Plot the data, and use the axis equal command to space the tick units equally along each axis. Then specify the labels for each axis.

plot3(xt,yt,zt)
axis equal
xlabel('x(t)')
ylabel('y(t)')
zlabel('z(t)')

Create vectors t, xt, and yt, and plot the points in those vectors using circular markers.

t = 0:pi/20:10*pi;
xt = sin(t);
yt = cos(t);
plot3(xt,yt,t,'o')

Create vectors t, xt, and yt, and plot the points in those vectors as a blue line with 10-point circular markers. Use a hexadecimal color code to specify a light blue fill color for the markers.

t = 0:pi/20:10*pi;
xt = sin(t);
yt = cos(t);
plot3(xt,yt,t,'-o','Color','b','MarkerSize',10,'MarkerFaceColor','#D9FFFF')

Create vector t. Then use t to calculate two sets of x and y values.

t = 0:pi/20:10*pi;
xt1 = sin(t);
yt1 = cos(t);

xt2 = sin(2*t);
yt2 = cos(2*t);

Plot the two sets of values. Use the default line for the first set, and specify a dashed line for the second set.

plot3(xt1,yt1,t,xt2,yt2,t,'--')

Create vectors t, xt, and yt, and plot the data in those vectors. Return the chart line in the output variable p.

t = linspace(-10,10,1000);
xt = exp(-t./10).*sin(5*t);
yt = exp(-t./10).*cos(5*t);
p = plot3(xt,yt,t);

Change the line width to 3.

p.LineWidth = 3;

Starting in R2019b, you can display a tiling of plots using the tiledlayout and nexttile functions. Call the tiledlayout function to create a 1-by-2 tiled chart layout. Call the nexttile function to create the axes objects ax1 and ax2. Create separate line plots in the axes by specifying the axes object as the first argument to plot3.

tiledlayout(1,2)

% Left plot
ax1 = nexttile;
t = 0:pi/20:10*pi;
xt1 = sin(t);
yt1 = cos(t);
plot3(ax1,xt1,yt1,t)
title(ax1,'Helix With 5 Turns')

% Right plot
ax2 = nexttile;
t = 0:pi/20:10*pi;
xt2 = sin(2*t);
yt2 = cos(2*t);
plot3(ax2,xt2,yt2,t)
title(ax2,'Helix With 10 Turns')

Create x and y as vectors of random values between 0 and 1. Create z as a vector of random duration values.

x = rand(1,10);
y = rand(1,10);
z = duration(rand(10,1),randi(60,10,1),randi(60,10,1));

Plot x, y, and z, and specify the format for the z-axis as minutes and seconds. Then add axis labels, and turn on the grid to make it easier to visualize the points within the plot box.

plot3(x,y,z,'o','DurationTickFormat','mm:ss')
xlabel('X')
ylabel('Y')
zlabel('Duration')
grid on

Create vectors xt, yt, and zt. Plot the values, specifying a solid line with circular markers using the LineSpec argument. Specify the MarkerIndices property to place one marker at the 200th data point.

t = 0:pi/500:pi;
xt(1,:) = sin(t).*cos(10*t);
yt(1,:) = sin(t).*sin(10*t);
zt = cos(t);
plot3(xt,yt,zt,'-o','MarkerIndices',200)

Input Arguments

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x-coordinates, specified as a scalar, vector, or matrix. The size and shape of X depends on the shape of your data and the type of plot you want to create. This table describes the most common situations.

Type of PlotHow to Specify Coordinates
Single point

Specify X, Y, and Z as scalars and include a marker. For example:

plot3(1,2,3,'o')

One set of points

Specify X, Y, and Z as any combination of row or column vectors of the same length. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4; 5; 6],[7 8 9])

Multiple sets of points
(using vectors)

Specify consecutive sets of X, Y, and Z vectors. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4 5 6],[7 8 9],[1 2 3],[4 5 6],[10 11 12])

Multiple sets of points
(using matrices)

Specify at least one of X, Y, or Z as a matrix, and the others as vectors. Each of X, Y, and Z must have at least one dimension that is same size. For best results, specify all vectors of the same shape and all matrices of the same shape. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4 5 6],[7 8 9; 10 11 12])

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

y-coordinates, specified as a scalar, vector, or matrix. The size and shape of Y depends on the shape of your data and the type of plot you want to create. This table describes the most common situations.

Type of PlotHow to Specify Coordinates
Single point

Specify X, Y, and Z as scalars and include a marker. For example:

plot3(1,2,3,'o')

One set of points

Specify X, Y, and Z as any combination of row or column vectors of the same length. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4; 5; 6],[7 8 9])

Multiple sets of points
(using vectors)

Specify consecutive sets of X, Y, and Z vectors. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4 5 6],[7 8 9],[1 2 3],[4 5 6],[10 11 12])

Multiple sets of points
(using matrices)

Specify at least one of X, Y, or Z as a matrix, and the others as vectors. Each of X, Y, and Z must have at least one dimension that is same size. For best results, specify all vectors of the same shape and all matrices of the same shape. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4 5 6],[7 8 9; 10 11 12])

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

z-coordinates, specified as a scalar, vector, or matrix. The size and shape of Z depends on the shape of your data and the type of plot you want to create. This table describes the most common situations.

Type of PlotHow to Specify Coordinates
Single point

Specify X, Y, and Z as scalars and include a marker. For example:

plot3(1,2,3,'o')

One set of points

Specify X, Y, and Z as any combination of row or column vectors of the same length. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4; 5; 6],[7 8 9])

Multiple sets of points
(using vectors)

Specify consecutive sets of X, Y, and Z vectors. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4 5 6],[7 8 9],[1 2 3],[4 5 6],[10 11 12])

Multiple sets of points
(using matrices)

Specify at least one of X, Y, or Z as a matrix, and the others as vectors. Each of X, Y, and Z must have at least one dimension that is same size. For best results, specify all vectors of the same shape and all matrices of the same shape. For example:

plot3([1 2 3],[4 5 6],[7 8 9; 10 11 12])

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Line style, marker, and color, specified as a character vector or string containing symbols. The symbols can appear in any order. You do not need to specify all three characteristics (line style, marker, and color). For example, if you omit the line style and specify the marker, then the plot shows only the marker and no line.

Example: '--or' is a red dashed line with circle markers

Line StyleDescription
-Solid line (default)
--Dashed line
:Dotted line
-.Dash-dot line
MarkerDescription
oCircle
+Plus sign
*Asterisk
.Point
xCross
sSquare
dDiamond
^Upward-pointing triangle
vDownward-pointing triangle
>Right-pointing triangle
<Left-pointing triangle
pPentagram
hHexagram
ColorDescription

y

yellow

m

magenta

c

cyan

r

red

g

green

b

blue

w

white

k

black

Target axes, specified as an Axes object. If you do not specify the axes and if the current axes are Cartesian axes, then the plot function uses the current axes.

Name-Value Pair Arguments

Specify optional comma-separated pairs of Name,Value arguments. Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name must appear inside quotes. You can specify several name and value pair arguments in any order as Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN.

Example: plot3([1 2],[3 4],[5 6],'Color','red') specifies a red line for the plot.

Note

The properties listed here are only a subset. For a complete list, see Line Properties.

Color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The color you specify sets the line color. It also sets the marker edge color when the MarkerEdgeColor property is set to 'auto'.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB® uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Line width, specified as a positive value in points, where 1 point = 1/72 of an inch. If the line has markers, then the line width also affects the marker edges.

Marker size, specified as a positive value in points, where 1 point = 1/72 of an inch.

Marker outline color, specified as 'auto', an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The default value of 'auto' uses the same color as the Color property.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Marker fill color, specified as 'auto', an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The 'auto' option uses the same color as the Color property of the parent axes. If you specify 'auto' and the axes plot box is invisible, the marker fill color is the color of the figure.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Tips

  • Use NaN or Inf to create breaks in the lines. For example, this code plots a line with a break between z=2 and z=4.

     plot3([1 2 3 4 5],[1 2 3 4 5],[1 2 NaN 4 5])

  • plot3 uses colors and line styles based on the ColorOrder and LineStyleOrder properties of the axes. plot3 cycles through the colors with the first line style. Then, it cycles through the colors again with each additional line style.

    Starting in R2019b, you can change the colors and the line styles after plotting by setting the ColorOrder or LineStyleOrder properties on the axes. You can also call the colororder function to change the color order for all the axes in the figure.

Extended Capabilities

Introduced before R2006a