# Re: [R] Using 'polygon' in a 3d plot

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Thu 05 Jan 2006 - 13:56:17 EST

On 1/4/2006 4:20 PM, Ted Freeman wrote:
> I'm new to R, after many years of using Matlab. I've found the R
> function 'polygon' to be nearly equivalent to the Matlab function
> 'patch'. For example, the R commands:
>
> plot(c(0, 5), c(0, 4), type = 'n', asp = 1, ann = FALSE)
> x <- c(1, 2, 2, 1.5, 1)
> z <- c(1, 1, 2, 1.7, 2)
> polygon(x, z, col = 'green')
>
> produce a plot with a small green shape exactly as I expect. A nearly
> identical plot can be made in Matlab with these commands:
>
> x = [1, 2, 2, 1.5, 1];
> z = [1, 1, 2, 1.7, 2];
> patch(x, z, 'g')
> axis([0, 5, 0, 4])
> box on
>
> In Matlab I am able to extend this quite easily to a three-dimensional
> plot by simply adding one more vector argument to 'patch'. I don't see
> how to do this in R using 'polygon'. (I've primarily looked at
> scatterplot3d.) Is there another function I can use?
>
> Since I expect that many of you do not use Matlab, I've put two
> graphics showing the example above (Plot 1) and a similar
> three-dimensional plot (Plot 2) on this page:
> http://staff.washington.edu/freeman/patch.html.
>
> It's Plot 2 that I'd like to be able to reproduce in R.

scatterplot3d returns xyz.convert, a function that can project 3d coordinates down to 2d for doing this sort of thing:

```xb <- c(0, 4, 4, 0, 0)
yb <- c(0, 3, 3, 0, 0)
zb <- c(0, 0, 4, 4, 0)
```

s <- scatterplot3d(xb,yb,zb, type='l')
```x = c(0.8, 1.6, 1.6, 1.2, 0.8)
y = c(0.6, 1.2, 1.2, 0.9, 0.6)
z = c(1, 1, 2, 1.7, 2)
```

polygon(s\$xyz.convert(x,y,z),col="green")

You have to be careful about hidden lines; things drawn later obscure things drawn earlier, even if they should really be behind. But in this case that doesn't matter, because the polygon doesn't need to be behind anything.

Another possibility is to use the rgl package, but it doesn't have the high level plot functions, so the axes are harder to draw.

Duncan Murdoch

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