meshc
Contour plot under mesh surface plot
Description
meshc(
creates a mesh plot with a contour plot underneath. A mesh plot is a
threedimensional surface that has solid edge colors and no face colors. The
function plots the values in matrix X
,Y
,Z
)Z
as heights above a grid
in the xy plane defined by
X
and Y
. The edge colors vary
according to the heights specified by Z
.
meshc(
creates a mesh and contour
plot and uses the column and row indices of the elements in
Z
)Z
as the x and
ycoordinates.
meshc(___,
specifies additional options for the Name,Value
)meshc
plot using one or
more namevalue pair arguments. Specify the options after all other input
arguments. For a list of properties, see Surface Properties.
meshc(
plots into
the axes specified by ax
,___)ax
instead of the current axes. Specify
the axes as the first input argument.
sc = meshc(___)
returns a graphics array that
includes the chart surface object and the contour object. Use
sc
to modify the mesh and contour plots after they are
created. For a list of properties, see Surface Properties and Contour Properties.
Examples
Display Contour Plot Under Mesh Plot
Create three matrices of the same size. Then plot them as a mesh plot with a contour plot underneath. The mesh plot uses Z
for both height and color.
[X,Y] = meshgrid(3:.125:3); Z = peaks(X,Y); meshc(X,Y,Z)
Specify Colormap Colors for Mesh and Contour Plot
Specify the colors for a mesh and contour plot by including a fourth matrix input, C
. The plots use Z
for height and C
for color. Specify the colors using a colormap, which uses single numbers to stand for colors on a spectrum. When you use a colormap, C
is the same size as Z
. Add a color bar to the graph to show how the data values in C
correspond to the colors in the colormap.
[X,Y] = meshgrid(3:.125:3); Z = peaks(X,Y); C = X.*Y; meshc(X,Y,Z,C) colorbar
Modify Appearance of Mesh and Contour Plots
Create a mesh plot with a contour plot underneath it. To allow further modifications, assign the graphics array containing the surface and contour objects to the variable sc
.
[X,Y] = meshgrid(5:.5:5); Z = Y.*sin(X)  X.*cos(Y); sc = meshc(X,Y,Z);
Index into sc
to access and modify properties of the mesh and contour plots after they are created. The mesh plot is accessible as sc(1)
and the contour plot as sc(2)
. For example, change the edge colors of the two plots by setting the EdgeColor
properties.
sc(1).EdgeColor = 'r'; sc(2).EdgeColor = 'b';
Change Location of Contour Lines
The contour lines appear at the minimum zlevel by default, but you can change the location by setting the ZLocation
property.
Display the peaks
data set as a mesh plot with the contours at the minimum zlevel. Specify a return argument when you call the meshc
function so that you can access the Contour
object.
Z = peaks; sc = meshc(Z);
Get the current axes and extend the upper limit of the zaxis to 15
. Then move the contours to the maximum zlevel.
ax = gca;
ax.ZLim(2) = 15;
sc(2).ZLocation = 'zmax';
Input Arguments
X
— xcoordinates
matrix  vector
xcoordinates, specified as a matrix the same size as
Z
, or as a vector with length n
,
where [m,n] = size(Z)
. If you do not specify values for
X
and Y
,
meshc
uses the vectors (1:n)
and
(1:m)
.
When X
is a matrix, the values must be strictly
increasing or decreasing along one dimension and remain constant along the
other dimension. The dimension that varies must be the opposite of the
dimension that varies in Y
. You can use the meshgrid
function to create
X
and Y
matrices.
When X
is a vector, the values must be strictly
increasing or decreasing.
The XData
properties of the surface and contour
objects store the xcoordinates.
Example: X = 1:10
Example: X = [1 2 3; 1 2 3; 1 2 3]
Example: [X,Y] = meshgrid(5:0.5:5)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 categorical
Y
— ycoordinates
matrix  vector
ycoordinates, specified as a matrix the same size as
Z
or as a vector with length m
,
where [m,n] = size(Z)
. If you do not specify values for
X
and Y
,
meshc
uses the vectors (1:n)
and
(1:m)
.
When Y
is a matrix, the values must be strictly
increasing or decreasing along one dimension and remain constant along the
other dimension. The dimension that varies must be the opposite of the
dimension that varies in X
. You can use the meshgrid
function to create
X
and Y
matrices.
When Y
is a vector, the values must be strictly
increasing or decreasing.
The YData
properties of the surface and contour
objects store the ycoordinates.
Example: Y = 1:10
Example: Y = [1 1 1; 2 2 2; 3 3 3]
Example: [X,Y] = meshgrid(5:0.5:5)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 categorical
Z
— zcoordinates
matrix
zcoordinates, specified as a matrix.
Z
must have at least two rows and two columns.
Z
specifies the height of the mesh plot at each
xycoordinate. If you do not
specify the colors, then Z
also specifies the mesh edge
colors.
The ZData
properties of the surface and contour
objects store the zcoordinates.
Example: Z = [1 2 3; 4 5 6]
Example: Z = sin(x) + cos(y)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 categorical
C
— Color array
matrix  m
byn
by3
array of RGB triplets
Color array, specified as an m
byn
matrix of colormap indices or as an
m
byn
by3
array of RGB triplets, where Z
is
m
byn
.
To use colormap colors, specify
C
as a matrix. For each grid point on the mesh surface,C
indicates a color in the colormap. TheCDataMapping
property of the surface object controls how the values inC
correspond to colors in the colormap.To use truecolor colors, specify
C
as an array of RGB triplets.
For more information, see Differences Between Colormaps and Truecolor.
The CData
property of the surface object stores the
color array. For additional control over the surface coloring, use the
FaceColor
and EdgeColor
properties.
ax
— Axes to plot in
axes object
Axes to plot in, specified as an axes
object. If you do
not specify the axes, then meshc
plots into the current
axes.
NameValue Arguments
Specify optional pairs of arguments as
Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN
, where Name
is
the argument name and Value
is the corresponding value.
Namevalue arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the
pairs does not matter.
Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose
Name
in quotes.
Example: meshc(X,Y,Z,'EdgeColor','red')
creates the mesh with
red lines.
Note
The properties listed here are only a subset. For a full list, see Surface Properties.
MeshStyle
— Edges to display
'both'
(default)  'row'
 'column'
Edges to display, specified as 'both'
, 'row'
,
or 'column'
.
EdgeColor
— Edge line color
[0 0 0]
(default)  'none'
 'flat'
 'interp'
 RGB triplet  hexadecimal color code  'r'
 'g'
 'b'
 ...
Edge line color, specified as one of the values listed here.
The default color of [0 0 0]
corresponds to black
edges.
Value  Description 

'none'  Do not draw the edges. 
'flat'  Use a different color for each edge based on the values
in the 
'interp' 
Use interpolated coloring for each edge based on the values in the

RGB triplet, hexadecimal color code, or color name 
Use the specified color for all the edges. This option does not use the color
values in the

RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.
An RGB triplet is a threeelement row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range
[0,1]
; for example,[0.4 0.6 0.7]
.A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (
#
) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from0
toF
. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes"#FF8800"
,"#ff8800"
,"#F80"
, and"#f80"
are equivalent.
Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.
Color Name  Short Name  RGB Triplet  Hexadecimal Color Code  Appearance 

"red"  "r"  [1 0 0]  "#FF0000"  
"green"  "g"  [0 1 0]  "#00FF00"  
"blue"  "b"  [0 0 1]  "#0000FF"  
"cyan"
 "c"  [0 1 1]  "#00FFFF"  
"magenta"  "m"  [1 0 1]  "#FF00FF"  
"yellow"  "y"  [1 1 0]  "#FFFF00"  
"black"  "k"  [0 0 0]  "#000000"  
"white"  "w"  [1 1 1]  "#FFFFFF" 
Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB^{®} uses in many types of plots.
RGB Triplet  Hexadecimal Color Code  Appearance 

[0 0.4470 0.7410]  "#0072BD"  
[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]  "#D95319"  
[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]  "#EDB120"  
[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]  "#7E2F8E"  
[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]  "#77AC30"  
[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]  "#4DBEEE"  
[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]  "#A2142F" 
FaceColor
— Face color
'flat'
(default)  'interp'
 'none'
 'texturemap'
 RGB triplet  hexadecimal color code  'r'
 'g'
 'b'
 ...
Face color, specified as one of the values in this table.
Value  Description 

'flat'  Use a different color for each face based on the values
in the 
'interp' 
Use interpolated coloring for each face based on the values in the

RGB triplet, hexadecimal color code, or color name 
Use the specified color for all the faces. This option does not use the color
values in the

'texturemap'  Transform the color data in CData so that
it conforms to the surface. 
'none'  Do not draw the faces. 
RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.
An RGB triplet is a threeelement row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range
[0,1]
; for example,[0.4 0.6 0.7]
.A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (
#
) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from0
toF
. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes"#FF8800"
,"#ff8800"
,"#F80"
, and"#f80"
are equivalent.
Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.
Color Name  Short Name  RGB Triplet  Hexadecimal Color Code  Appearance 

"red"  "r"  [1 0 0]  "#FF0000"  
"green"  "g"  [0 1 0]  "#00FF00"  
"blue"  "b"  [0 0 1]  "#0000FF"  
"cyan"
 "c"  [0 1 1]  "#00FFFF"  
"magenta"  "m"  [1 0 1]  "#FF00FF"  
"yellow"  "y"  [1 1 0]  "#FFFF00"  
"black"  "k"  [0 0 0]  "#000000"  
"white"  "w"  [1 1 1]  "#FFFFFF" 
Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.
RGB Triplet  Hexadecimal Color Code  Appearance 

[0 0.4470 0.7410]  "#0072BD"  
[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]  "#D95319"  
[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]  "#EDB120"  
[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]  "#7E2F8E"  
[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]  "#77AC30"  
[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]  "#4DBEEE"  
[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]  "#A2142F" 
EdgeAlpha
— Edge transparency
1 (default)  scalar value in range[0,1]
 'flat'
 'interp'
Edge transparency, specified as one of these values:
Scalar in range
[0,1]
— Use uniform transparency across all of the edges. A value of1
is fully opaque and0
is completely transparent. Values between0
and1
are semitransparent. This option does not use the transparency values in theAlphaData
property.'flat'
— Use a different transparency for each edge based on the values in theAlphaData
property. First you must specify theAlphaData
property as a matrix the same size as theZData
property. The transparency value at the first vertex determines the transparency for the entire edge. TheEdgeColor
property also must be set to'flat'
.'interp'
— Use interpolated transparency for each edge based on the values inAlphaData
property. First you must specify theAlphaData
property as a matrix the same size as theZData
property. The transparency varies across each edge by interpolating the values at the vertices. TheEdgeColor
property also must be set to'interp'
.
LineStyle
— Line style
""
(default)  ""
 ":"
 "."
 "none"
Line style, specified as one of the options listed in this table.
Line Style  Description  Resulting Line 

""  Solid line 

""  Dashed line 

":"  Dotted line 

"."  Dashdotted line 

"none"  No line  No line 
LineWidth
— Line width
0.5
(default)  positive value
Line width, specified as a positive value in points, where 1 point = 1/72 of an inch. If the line has markers, then the line width also affects the marker edges.
The line width cannot be thinner than the width of a pixel. If you set the line width to a value that is less than the width of a pixel on your system, the line displays as one pixel wide.
Tips
Extended Capabilities
GPU Arrays
Accelerate code by running on a graphics processing unit (GPU) using Parallel Computing Toolbox™.
The meshc
function
supports GPU array input with these usage notes and limitations:
This function accepts GPU arrays, but does not run on a GPU.
For more information, see Run MATLAB Functions on a GPU (Parallel Computing Toolbox).
Distributed Arrays
Partition large arrays across the combined memory of your cluster using Parallel Computing Toolbox™.
Usage notes and limitations:
This function operates on distributed arrays, but executes in the client MATLAB.
For more information, see Run MATLAB Functions with Distributed Arrays (Parallel Computing Toolbox).
Version History
Introduced before R2006a
See Also
Functions
Properties
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