3

I use this code

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\pgfplotsset{compat=newest}

\begin{document}

\pgfplotsset{
ytick={0,0.2,...,1},
xtick={0,0.2,...,1},
xlabel={$x$},
ylabel={$y$},
zlabel={$z$},
xmajorgrids=true,
ymajorgrids=true,
major grid style={dashed},
}

\begin{tikzpicture}
    \begin{axis}[view/h=45,xmin=0,xmax=1,ymin=0,ymax=1,colorbar horizontal, xlabel style={sloped}, ylabel style={sloped}, colorbar style={xlabel=$z$, xlabel style={at={(axis description cs:0.5,-1)}}}]
        \addplot3[surf,shader=faceted interp] table [col sep=comma] {scatter.csv};
    \end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

with this scatter.csv

0.000000,0.000000,50
0.000000,0.020110,2
0.000000,0.021307,0
0.000000,0.250000,5
0.000000,0.333333,3
0.000000,0.500000,22
0.000000,1.000000,1

0.000300,0.000000,2
0.000300,0.020110,0
0.000300,0.021307,0
0.000300,0.250000,0
0.000300,0.333333,0
0.000300,0.500000,0
0.000300,1.000000,0

0.001908,0.000000,2
0.001908,0.020110,0
0.001908,0.021307,0
0.001908,0.250000,0
0.001908,0.333333,0
0.001908,0.500000,0
0.001908,1.000000,0

0.003472,0.000000,2
0.003472,0.020110,0
0.003472,0.021307,0
0.003472,0.250000,0
0.003472,0.333333,0
0.003472,0.500000,0
0.003472,1.000000,0

0.010204,0.000000,3
0.010204,0.020110,0
0.010204,0.021307,0
0.010204,0.250000,0
0.010204,0.333333,0
0.010204,0.500000,0
0.010204,1.000000,0

0.028409,0.000000,2
0.028409,0.020110,0
0.028409,0.021307,0
0.028409,0.250000,0
0.028409,0.333333,0
0.028409,0.500000,0
0.028409,1.000000,0

0.035714,0.000000,0
0.035714,0.020110,0
0.035714,0.021307,2
0.035714,0.250000,0
0.035714,0.333333,0
0.035714,0.500000,0
0.035714,1.000000,0

0.045455,0.000000,1
0.045455,0.020110,0
0.045455,0.021307,0
0.045455,0.250000,0
0.045455,0.333333,0
0.045455,0.500000,2
0.045455,1.000000,0

0.083154,0.000000,0
0.083154,0.020110,0
0.083154,0.021307,0
0.083154,0.250000,0
0.083154,0.333333,0
0.083154,0.500000,2
0.083154,1.000000,0

0.092784,0.000000,0
0.092784,0.020110,0
0.092784,0.021307,0
0.092784,0.250000,0
0.092784,0.333333,0
0.092784,0.500000,2
0.092784,1.000000,0

0.119578,0.000000,2
0.119578,0.020110,0
0.119578,0.021307,0
0.119578,0.250000,0
0.119578,0.333333,0
0.119578,0.500000,0
0.119578,1.000000,0

1.000000,0.000000,1
1.000000,0.020110,0
1.000000,0.021307,0
1.000000,0.250000,0
1.000000,0.333333,0
1.000000,0.500000,4
1.000000,1.000000,68

I obtain the following 3D plot

enter image description here

which is correct, but ugly. I know this results from how my data points are distributed (not uniformly). How can I obtain a smooth surface?

1

The builtin capabilities of pgfplots allow to visualize a data matrix as either triangular surface patches or bilinear surface patches (the latter using patch type=bilinear).

Given a suitable data input, it also allows biquadratic and bicubic (i.e. smooth) patches. However, that data input is considerably more complicated. A brief overview of this method is shown in Creating Bezier surfaces using procedural graphics. Note, however, that this method does not work using your input table; the data format would need to be enrichment and reorganization.

In order to improve the quality of your picture, you have two choices: (a) to increase the sampling density of your plot and stick with piecewise linear/piecewise bilinear shading or (b) to keep the sampling density, but increase the order of each patch to biquadratic or bicubic by means of some advanced external tool and import that it into pgfplots.

If the question is: "how can I get a smooth surface while keeping the input data", the answer is: pgfplots offers at most patch type=bilinear (combined with \usepgfplotslibrary{patchplots}):

enter image description here

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\usepgfplotslibrary{patchplots}
\pgfplotsset{compat=1.11}

\begin{document}

\pgfplotsset{
ytick={0,0.2,...,1},
xtick={0,0.2,...,1},
xlabel={$x$},
ylabel={$y$},
zlabel={$z$},
xmajorgrids=true,
ymajorgrids=true,
major grid style={dashed},
}

\begin{tikzpicture}
    \begin{axis}[view/h=45,xmin=0,xmax=1,ymin=0,ymax=1,colorbar horizontal, xlabel style={sloped}, ylabel style={sloped}, colorbar style={xlabel=$z$, xlabel style={at={(axis description cs:0.5,-1)}}}]
        \addplot3[surf,
            patch type=bilinear,
            shader=faceted interp] table [col sep=comma] {
0.000000,0.000000,50
0.000000,0.020110,2
0.000000,0.021307,0
0.000000,0.250000,5
0.000000,0.333333,3
0.000000,0.500000,22
0.000000,1.000000,1

0.000300,0.000000,2
0.000300,0.020110,0
0.000300,0.021307,0
0.000300,0.250000,0
0.000300,0.333333,0
0.000300,0.500000,0
0.000300,1.000000,0

0.001908,0.000000,2
0.001908,0.020110,0
0.001908,0.021307,0
0.001908,0.250000,0
0.001908,0.333333,0
0.001908,0.500000,0
0.001908,1.000000,0

0.003472,0.000000,2
0.003472,0.020110,0
0.003472,0.021307,0
0.003472,0.250000,0
0.003472,0.333333,0
0.003472,0.500000,0
0.003472,1.000000,0

0.010204,0.000000,3
0.010204,0.020110,0
0.010204,0.021307,0
0.010204,0.250000,0
0.010204,0.333333,0
0.010204,0.500000,0
0.010204,1.000000,0

0.028409,0.000000,2
0.028409,0.020110,0
0.028409,0.021307,0
0.028409,0.250000,0
0.028409,0.333333,0
0.028409,0.500000,0
0.028409,1.000000,0

0.035714,0.000000,0
0.035714,0.020110,0
0.035714,0.021307,2
0.035714,0.250000,0
0.035714,0.333333,0
0.035714,0.500000,0
0.035714,1.000000,0

0.045455,0.000000,1
0.045455,0.020110,0
0.045455,0.021307,0
0.045455,0.250000,0
0.045455,0.333333,0
0.045455,0.500000,2
0.045455,1.000000,0

0.083154,0.000000,0
0.083154,0.020110,0
0.083154,0.021307,0
0.083154,0.250000,0
0.083154,0.333333,0
0.083154,0.500000,2
0.083154,1.000000,0

0.092784,0.000000,0
0.092784,0.020110,0
0.092784,0.021307,0
0.092784,0.250000,0
0.092784,0.333333,0
0.092784,0.500000,2
0.092784,1.000000,0

0.119578,0.000000,2
0.119578,0.020110,0
0.119578,0.021307,0
0.119578,0.250000,0
0.119578,0.333333,0
0.119578,0.500000,0
0.119578,1.000000,0

1.000000,0.000000,1
1.000000,0.020110,0
1.000000,0.021307,0
1.000000,0.250000,0
1.000000,0.333333,0
1.000000,0.500000,4
1.000000,1.000000,68
        };
    \end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

Note that your screenshot reveals an outdated/incorrect PDF viewer. The correct output of your minimal working example as you typed it into the question is

enter image description here

You can verify this by using Acrobat Reader. I know that some old PDF viewers had lousy support for shadings. I would guess that your viewer is xpdf or some variant of libpoppler. There are more recent versions available which have correct visualization of these shadings. I suggest to upgrade to a more recent viewer.

  • I "solved" this by doing some interpolation on the data. I'm using the latest version of the evince viewer on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, so I guess the problem is that is buggy, not outdated... – Filippo Bistaffa Nov 9 '14 at 9:48
  • OK. sometimes "buggy" and "outdated" is the same -- I am unsure if evince belongs to that category (but I know for sure that xpdf and libpoppler does - I fixed these viewer bugs on my own). – Christian Feuersänger Nov 9 '14 at 17:21
  • Since you actually followed my guidelines (incrased the data accuracy), it might actually help others if you'd accept the answer and post whatever followups you might encounter in new questions. – Christian Feuersänger Nov 9 '14 at 17:22

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