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I have tried to import external 3D plots from Matlab et.al, but to no avail. To show what I managed to accomplish, I present a minimum non-working example below. Any ideas of what I'm doing wrong?

Cheers, Stefanos


all: 3dtest.pdf

3dtest.pdf: 3dtest.tex bumps.png
    latexmk -pdflatex="xelatex -shell-escape " -pdf 3dtest.tex

bumps.png: bumps.m
    matlab -nodesktop -nosplash -r "bumps;exit"
    sleep 1
    convert bumps.png -trim +repage -transparent white bumps.png

bumps.m (don't bother running this with Octave, saving the surface plot is for some reason incredibly slow, and the result isn't very good):

function bumps()
  c=[3 2 5 4];
  shading interp
  axis off
  setPapersize(6*[4 3])
  print -dpng bumps

function setPapersize(papersize)
  set (gcf,'papertype', '<custom>')
  set (gcf, 'papersize', papersize)
  set (gcf, 'paperposition', [0 0 papersize])




    \addplot3 graphics[points={
      (0,0,0) => (1212,0)
      (1,0,0) => (2791,428)
      (0,2,0) => (0,557)
      (0.8872,2,1.854) => (1398,2064)
    }] {bumps};


The resultant image:


EDIT: Original image:


FYI, I'm on Texlive 2012, using XeLaTeX (as seen in the Makefile).

share|improve this question
How did you determine the mapping of the points to the pixels of the image? Could you upload the image? – Jake Aug 7 '12 at 20:15
Just as specified in the manual, measuring from the lower left corner in Gimp. The first three 3D coordinates are trivial, and the last one was checked in Matlab. – Stefanos Carlström Aug 8 '12 at 4:15
It works fine for me. What version of PGFPlots are you using? – Jake Aug 8 '12 at 7:12
@Jake: The default one that's delivered with Texlive 2012, i.e. 1.5.1, which also seems to be the last released one, albeit released in December. You didn't have to change anything? – Stefanos Carlström Aug 8 '12 at 18:14
I have now also tried the latest Git revision, and inserted the following, as suggested by Pgfplots during compilation: \pgfplotsset{compat=1.6}. No difference. – Stefanos Carlström Aug 8 '12 at 19:46

I found that it works on my system with both TL 2011 and TL 2012 and with both pdflatex and xelatex -- provided I use the .png version of the image. xelatex failed to compile with .jpg (which is the format of the graphics in the question); pdflatex worked everytime.

My guess is that something is wrong with the installation on your system; although I could not find what according to your .log files (send by private email).

share|improve this answer
Sorry for not answering earlier, I've been on holidays. I will try this out pronto. – Stefanos Carlström Sep 2 '12 at 12:53
Well, it depends on what you mean with "manage to compile the expression". I definitely get an image included, but approximately a factor five larger than the axis object. While researching the bb file solution (which I could not get to work by the way), I found out that the bb in the dvipdfm format differed from that in the dvipdfmx format, by a factor of 2/3. By scaling the coordinates manually, I got the plot to fit, but with a factor 0.4825. I have not been able to succeed with any of {PDF,Xe,Lua}LaTeX, I did not see any difference. Cheers, – Stefanos Carlström Sep 2 '12 at 13:42
Thanks for the experiment. I have the impression that your result is different from mine (I believe mine did not even compile in xelatex). I can offer more detailed advice (hopefully a bugfix) if we continue the discussion per mail (my address is listed on top of the pgfplots manual). – Christian Feuersänger Sep 2 '12 at 17:21

the same without MatLab. Run with xelatex or latex->dvips->ps2pdf


\psset{Decran=60,viewpoint=20 70 15 rtp2xyz}
\psSurface[ngrid=0.02 0.02,linewidth=0.2pt,axesboxed,algebraic,
   tablez=0 0.1 2 { } for, zcolor=0.5 1 1 0.03 1 1 (hsb), 
        (sin(3*Pi*x/2)*sin(2*Pi*y/2)+sin(5*Pi*x/2)*sin(4*Pi*y/2))^2 )}


enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the effort, but the main reason I want to use external graphics, is the need to include high resolution data (compilation slow or nigh impossible, if done in LaTeX). – Stefanos Carlström Sep 9 '12 at 8:29
that image is not created inside LaTeX, it is done by PostScript when running dvips – Herbert Sep 9 '12 at 8:40
Sorry, should have read more carefully. Will try that. EDIT: Having trouble finding out how to specify numerical data (i.e. list of data points). – Stefanos Carlström Sep 9 '12 at 9:02

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