About 3D scatterplots and 3D surface plots

Use a 3D scatterplot to explore the potential relationships among three variables. When you create a 3D scatterplot, you usually display predictor variables on the x-axis and the y-axis and the response variable on the z-axis. For example, you may want to examine how temperature and humidity affect the drying time of paint, or how horsepower and tire pressure affect a vehicle's fuel efficiency.

Use a 3D surface plot to examine the relationship between a response variable (Z) and two predictor variables (X and Y), by viewing a three-dimensional surface of the predicted response. You can choose to represent the predicted response as a smooth surface or a wireframe.

Choose data display elements

The following images show elements that you can display on a 3D graph. To select elements when you create the graph, click Data View.

To add or remove elements after you create the graph,
  1. Double-click the graph.
  2. Right-click the graph and choose Add > Data Display.
To apply the existing group attributes to a new element, select Apply same groups of current displays to added displays when you add the element.
Note

For information on adding or changing the grouping variables for an existing graph, go to Display groups on graphs.

3D surface plot with surface
3D surface plot with wireframe
3D scatterplot with symbols and project lines
Note

For more information on editing these graph features, including how to change a surface plot to a wireframe plot, go to the following topics.

Edit the 3D box

To edit the box in which the data appear, use the following steps:
  1. Double-click the graph.
  2. Right-click the graph and choose Graph Options.
Change the box appearance
On the Attributes tab, you can edit the fill type, fill color, line type, line color, and line size. For example, on the following 3D scatterplot, the 3D box is colored light yellow.
Display box faces
On the Box Options tab, select one of the following options:
None
Back faces only
All faces
Change the aspect ratio
On the Box Options tab, select a ratio. For example, the following 3D surface plots are all of the same data.
Default
Proportional to data ranges
Specified (this plot: 3 x 3 x 1)

Rotate a 3D graph

You can rotate a 3D graph to view them from different angles. This allows you to more thoroughly explore the relationships among the variables. Use the buttons on the toolbar in graph editing mode to rotate 3D graphs. These buttons appear when a 3D scatterplot or a 3D surface plot is active.

  1. Double-click the graph.
  2. Use the following buttons on the toolbar to rotate the graph. Click each button once to rotate the graph in small increments. Click and hold a button for continuous rotation.
    Toolbar item Action
    Rotate the graph clockwise or counterclockwise about the x-axis.
    Rotate the graph clockwise or counterclockwise about the y-axis.
    Rotate the graph clockwise or counterclockwise about the z-axis.
    Note

    When you click a button, a preview window pops up to show exactly how the graph will spin.

The following images show a 3D scatterplot before and after it is rotated.
Original 3D scatterplot
Rotated 3D scatterplot

Specify the surface type

You can select between a solid surface and a wireframe.

  1. Double-click the graph.
  2. Double-click the surface pattern.
  3. On the Attributes tab, select one of the following options:
    Surface
    Wireframe

Edit the surface pattern

You can specify the surface color, wire color, and wire size.

  1. Double-click the graph.
  2. Double-click the surface pattern.
  3. On the Attributes tab, you can specify the surface color for a 3D surface plot, or the surface color, wire color, and wire size for a wireframe plot.
Note

For information on how to change the appearance of the mesh of a surface plot by using different methods to interpolate between values, go to Mesh.

By using this site you agree to the use of cookies for analytics and personalized content.  Read our policy