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3D Surface Lighting in Python

How to add lighting effects in 3D Python Plots

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Lighting effects on 3D Surface Plot

In this tutorial, we will generate a simple surface plot, and add various lighting effects to it.

In [1]:
import plotly.plotly as py
import plotly.graph_objs as go
import plotly.tools as tls
import numpy as np
In [2]:
x = np.linspace(-np.pi, np.pi, 100)
y = np.linspace(-np.pi, np.pi, 100)

Y, X = np.meshgrid(x, y)
In [3]:
Z1 = np.cos(X)*np.sin(Y)
Z2 = 2 + np.cos(X)*np.sin(Y)
In [4]:
trace1 = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis')
In [5]:
py.iplot([trace1])
Out[5]:

There are four lighting effects available in Plotly: ambient, diffuse, roughness, specular, and fresnel. Now, we will add some lightning effects to the above trace, one by one and see their effects:

Ambient

Ambient stands for the default light in the room. We can set it in a range from 0 to 1. If we set it to zero, the trace appears dark. The default Ambient value for plot is 0.8.

In [6]:
fig = tls.make_subplots(rows=1, cols=2,specs=[[{'is_3d': True},{'is_3d': True} ]])


trace1 = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis', lighting=dict(ambient=0.2))
trace2 = go.Surface(z=Z2, colorscale='Viridis',showscale=False, lighting=dict(ambient=0.9))

fig.append_trace(trace1, 1, 1)
fig.append_trace(trace2, 1, 2)

py.iplot(fig)
This is the format of your plot grid:
[ (1,1) scene1 ]  [ (1,2) scene2 ]

Out[6]:

Roughness

Roughness in a lighting plot refers to amount of light scattered. The value of roughness can range from 0 to 1 (by default value is 0.5).

In [7]:
fig = tls.make_subplots(rows=1, cols=2,specs=[[{'is_3d': True},{'is_3d': True} ]])
trace1 = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis', lighting=dict(roughness=0.1))
trace2 = go.Surface(z=Z2, colorscale='Viridis',showscale=False, lighting=dict(roughness=0.9))

fig.append_trace(trace1, 1, 1)
fig.append_trace(trace2, 1, 2)
py.iplot(fig)
This is the format of your plot grid:
[ (1,1) scene1 ]  [ (1,2) scene2 ]

Out[7]:

Diffuse

By using Diffuse the light is reflected at many angles rather than just one angle. The value ranges from 0 to 1 (default value is 0.8).

In [8]:
fig = tls.make_subplots(rows=1, cols=2,specs=[[{'is_3d': True},{'is_3d': True} ]])
trace1 = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis', lighting=dict(diffuse=0.1))
trace2 = go.Surface(z=Z2, colorscale='Viridis',showscale=False,lighting=dict(diffuse=0.9))

fig.append_trace(trace1, 1, 1)
fig.append_trace(trace2, 1, 2)
py.iplot(fig)
This is the format of your plot grid:
[ (1,1) scene1 ]  [ (1,2) scene2 ]

Out[8]:

Fresnel

Fresnel attribute is used to wash light over area of plot. The value can range from 0 to 5 (default value is 0.2).

In [9]:
fig = tls.make_subplots(rows=1, cols=2,specs=[[{'is_3d': True},{'is_3d': True} ]])
trace1 = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis', lighting=dict(fresnel=0.1))
trace2 = go.Surface(z=Z2, colorscale='Viridis',showscale=False, lighting=dict(fresnel=4.5))

fig.append_trace(trace1, 1, 1)
fig.append_trace(trace2, 1, 2)
This is the format of your plot grid:
[ (1,1) scene1 ]  [ (1,2) scene2 ]

In [10]:
py.iplot(fig)
Out[10]:

Specular

Specular attribute induces bright spots of lighting in your plot. It's value range from 0 to 2 (default value is 0.05).

In [11]:
fig = tls.make_subplots(rows=1, cols=2,specs=[[{'is_3d': True},{'is_3d': True} ]])
trace1 = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis', lighting=dict(specular=0.2))
trace2 = go.Surface(z=Z2, colorscale='Viridis',showscale=False ,lighting=dict(specular=2))

fig.append_trace(trace1, 1, 1)
fig.append_trace(trace2, 1, 2)
py.iplot(fig)
This is the format of your plot grid:
[ (1,1) scene1 ]  [ (1,2) scene2 ]

Out[11]:

Combined effects:

The effects can also be added in a combined manner as follows:

In [12]:
lighting_effects = dict(ambient=0.4, diffuse=0.5, roughness = 0.9, specular=0.6, fresnel=0.2)
trace = go.Surface(z=Z1, colorscale='Viridis', lighting=lighting_effects)

py.iplot([trace])
Out[12]:

Reference

See https://plot.ly/python/reference/#surface-lighting for more information!

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