Can somebody help me with creating two plots -- a Helix and an Astroidal Sphere -- in LaTeX? The attached pictures are screenshots from Mathematica and show the desired results.


Astroidal Sphere

  • Hi Reina Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}.
    – Aradnix
    Sep 4, 2014 at 20:31
  • I'm not sure about what you want to do in LaTeX. Do yo need to insert those two pictures inside a document, or are you trying to generate them inside LaTeX instead of Mathematica?
    – Aradnix
    Sep 4, 2014 at 20:33
  • I have so many packages in my document, so it's not a problem. I want to draw a picture in Latex, and all I have is this parametric equations: x(u,v)=[ 1.2+0.5*Cos(v)]*Cos(u) , y(u,v)=[1.2+0.5*Cos(v)]Sin(u) , z(u,v)=0.5*Sin(v)+ u/pi where is: 0<u<4pi and 0<v<2pi
    – Bosanka
    Sep 4, 2014 at 20:41
  • If you speak Spanish and feel more comfortable asking in Spanish, you can subscribe in the [mail list of the CervanTeX]() and ask there also. There is not much activity as here, but it can help yourself for future reference. Regarding your question, I don't know how convenient is redo your figures into LaTeX, but if you want to try, Tikz is the package you should use. One of its many libraries is suitable to draw figures like these.
    – Aradnix
    Sep 4, 2014 at 20:47
  • Please check this answer related with yours, I hope you find it useful. Since I am still a newbie in Tikz I can't help you so much.
    – Aradnix
    Sep 4, 2014 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


Run with xelatex (takes some time) or latex->dvips->ps2pdf:


\psset{viewpoint=20 70 10 rtp2xyz,Decran=20,lightsrc=viewpoint}
% Parametric Surfaces
 base=-7 6.5 0 TwoPi,hue=0 1,function=helix,ngrid=30 0.4]%

\psset{viewpoint=20 70 10 rtp2xyz,Decran=20,lightsrc=viewpoint}
% Parametric Surfaces
 base=0 Pi 0 TwoPi,fillcolor=red,function=helix,ngrid=20 40]%


enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    OMG :D thank you, thank you, thank you soooo much Herbert :D
    – Bosanka
    Sep 4, 2014 at 21:19
  • The labels are in text mode, e.g., the minus sign - are hyphens. Is this a bug?
    – Manuel
    Sep 4, 2014 at 21:46
  • seems so. I'll upload a new version to CTAN
    – user2478
    Sep 5, 2014 at 7:51

Here is my version:


\begin{tikzpicture}[yscale=2, xscale=1]
  \begin{axis}[axis line style={draw=none}, 
      trig format plots=rad,
    \addplot3 [ surf, domain=0:12.566, domain y=0:6.28,
      samples=70, samples y=70,
      variable=\u, variable y=\v,
    point meta=u*v, opacity=0.4 ]


And here the picture helicoida

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