I'm trying to display a white 3D ball with Asymptote (3D PDF), but it always turns up gray:

enter image description here

import graph3;
import solids;





I understand it's a lighting issue, and I've tried playing with its settings (the lines commented out in my source are some of my attempts), but I never manage to have white be white. If I understand correctly, I need a whiter diffuse component in my light, but I cannot see how to achieve that. And the documentation is not very clear…

This will be part of a molecular model, and the rendering I'm going for it something like this:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Check out the material in docs. You can try, for example: material surfpen; surfpen.p=new pen[]{white,white,yellow,white}; draw(unitsphere,surfpen);
    – g.kov
    Mar 23 '14 at 1:58
  • @g.kov: (off topic) Any chance you could throw in an answer to this question? Right now there isn't a viable candidate for the bounty, and I know you're at least as good at these things as I am. Mar 27 '14 at 14:11
  • @Charles Staats (off topic): I sincerely appreciate the offer and I'd like to, as I agree that a translation to Asymptote from TikZ/PSTricks is not difficult in most cases, but I can't promise, sorry.
    – g.kov
    Mar 27 '14 at 17:35

As g.kov suggests, you may be better off playing with the material rather than the lighting. In particular, ambient light tends to be rather subtle; you're better off using emissivepen, which essentially adds exactly that color to the entire sphere regardless of the lighting.

import three;



draw(unitsphere, surfacepen=material(diffusepen=gray(0.5), emissivepen=gray(0.6), specularpen=black) );

The result:


This is probably going to be too white for you, but you can decrease emissivepen and diffusepen as needed. I enclose the code and a change in parameter emissivepen from 1.0 to 0.5 with step of 0.1.

import settings;
// interactiveView=false;
// batchView=false;

import three;
material White=material(diffusepen=gray(1.0),emissivepen=gray(1.0));


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.