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3D Axes in R

How to format axes of 3d plots in R with Plotly.


New to Plotly?

Plotly is a free and open-source graphing library for R. We recommend you read our Getting Started guide for the latest installation or upgrade instructions, then move on to our Plotly Fundamentals tutorials or dive straight in to some Basic Charts tutorials.

Range of Axes

library(plotly)

axx <- list(
  nticks = 4,
  range = c(-25,75)
)

axy <- list(
  nticks = 4,
  range = c(-25,75)
)

axz <- list(
  nticks = 4,
  range = c(0,50)
)

x <- 70*(runif(70, 0, 1))
y <- 55*(runif(70, 0, 1))
z <- 40*(runif(70, 0, 1))

fig <- plot_ly(x = ~x, y = ~y, z = ~z, type = 'mesh3d') 
fig <- fig %>% layout(scene = list(xaxis=axx,yaxis=axy,zaxis=axz))

fig

Fixed Ratio Axes

library(plotly)

# custom grid style
axx <- list(
  gridcolor='rgb(255, 255, 255)',
  zerolinecolor='rgb(255, 255, 255)',
  showbackground=TRUE,
  backgroundcolor='rgb(230, 230,230)'
)

# individual plots
fig1 <- plot_ly(z = ~volcano, scene='scene1') 
fig1 <- fig1 %>% add_surface(showscale=FALSE)

fig2 <- plot_ly(z = ~volcano, scene='scene2') 
fig2 <- fig2 %>% add_surface(showscale=FALSE)

fig3 <- plot_ly(z = ~volcano, scene='scene3') 
fig3 <- fig3 %>% add_surface(showscale=FALSE)

fig4 <- plot_ly(z = ~volcano, scene='scene4') 
fig4 <- fig4 %>% add_surface(showscale=FALSE)

# subplot and define scene
fig <- subplot(fig1, fig2, fig3, fig4) 
fig <- fig %>% layout(title = "3D Subplots",
         scene = list(domain=list(x=c(0,0.5),y=c(0.5,1)),
                      xaxis=axx, yaxis=axx, zaxis=axx,

                      # select the type of aspectmode
                      aspectmode='cube'),
         scene2 = list(domain=list(x=c(0.5,1),y=c(0.5,1)),
                       xaxis=axx, yaxis=axx, zaxis=axx,
                       aspectmode='data'),
         scene3 = list(domain=list(x=c(0,0.5),y=c(0,0.5)),
                       xaxis=axx, yaxis=axx, zaxis=axx,
                       aspectmode='auto'),
         scene4 = list(domain=list(x=c(0.5,1),y=c(0,0.5)),
                       xaxis=axx, yaxis=axx, zaxis=axx,
                       aspectmode='manual',

                       # set your manual fixed aspect ratio
                       aspectratio = list(x=1, y=1, z=2)))

fig

Set Axes Title

library(plotly)

axx <- list(
  title = "X AXIS TITLE"
)

axy <- list(
  title = "Y AXIS TITLE"
)

axz <- list(
  title = "Z AXIS TITLE"
)

x <- 70*(runif(70, 0, 1))
y <- 55*(runif(70, 0, 1))
z <- 40*(runif(70, 0, 1))

fig <- plot_ly(x = ~x, y = ~y, z = ~z, type = 'mesh3d') 
fig <- fig %>% layout(scene = list(xaxis=axx,yaxis=axy,zaxis=axz))

fig

Ticks Formatting

library(plotly)

axx <- list(
  ticketmode = 'array',
  ticktext = c("Huey", "Dewey", "Louie"),
  tickvals = c(0,25,50),
  range = c(-25,75)
)

axy <- list(
  nticks = 4,
  range = c(-25,75)
)

axz <- list(
  nticks = 4,
  range = c(0,50)
)

x <- 70*(runif(70, 0, 1))
y <- 55*(runif(70, 0, 1))
z <- 40*(runif(70, 0, 1))

fig <- plot_ly(x = ~x, y = ~y, z = ~z, type = 'mesh3d') 
fig <- fig %>% layout(scene = list(xaxis=axx,yaxis=axy,zaxis=axz))

fig

Background and Grid Color

library(plotly)

axx <- list(
  backgroundcolor="rgb(200, 200, 230",
  gridcolor="rgb(255,255,255)",
  showbackground=TRUE,
  zerolinecolor="rgb(255,255,255"
)

axy <- list(
  backgroundcolor="rgb(230, 200,230)",
  gridcolor="rgb(255,255,255)",
  showbackground=TRUE,
  zerolinecolor="rgb(255,255,255"
)

axz <- list(
  backgroundcolor="rgb(230, 230,200)",
  gridcolor="rgb(255,255,255)",
  showbackground=TRUE,
  zerolinecolor="rgb(255,255,255"
)

x <- 70*(runif(70, 0, 1))
y <- 55*(runif(70, 0, 1))
z <- 40*(runif(70, 0, 1))

fig <- plot_ly(x = ~x, y = ~y, z = ~z, type = 'mesh3d') 
fig <- fig %>% layout(scene = list(xaxis=axx,yaxis=axy,zaxis=axz))

fig

Reference

See https://plotly.com/r/reference/#layout-scene-xaxis for more information and options!

What About Dash?

Dash for R is an open-source framework for building analytical applications, with no Javascript required, and it is tightly integrated with the Plotly graphing library.

Learn about how to install Dash for R at https://dashr.plot.ly/installation.

Everywhere in this page that you see fig, you can display the same figure in a Dash for R application by passing it to the figure argument of the Graph component from the built-in dashCoreComponents package like this:

library(plotly)

fig <- plot_ly() 
# fig <- fig %>% add_trace( ... )
# fig <- fig %>% layout( ... ) 

library(dash)
library(dashCoreComponents)
library(dashHtmlComponents)

app <- Dash$new()
app$layout(
    htmlDiv(
        list(
            dccGraph(figure=fig) 
        )
     )
)

app$run_server(debug=TRUE, dev_tools_hot_reload=FALSE)