# Smooth ParametricPlot3D with RegionFunction?

What's the preferred way to paint spots on a curved surface without getting raggedy edges? Using ParametricPlot3D with RegionFunction gets the shape I want but increasing PlotPoints slows things down considerably. Counterintuitively Reducing PlotPoints to 50 gives better looking results than 100:

With[{a = 0.8, b = 0.4, r = 5^0.5, l = 10, points = 50},
ParametricPlot3D[{{x, -Sqrt[r^2 - x^2], z}, {x, Sqrt[r^2 - x^2],
z}}, {x, -r, r}, {z, -l/2, l/2},
RegionFunction ->
Function[{x, y, z}, (x/a)^2 + (z/b)^2 < 1 && y > 0], Mesh -> None,
PerformanceGoal -> "Quality", PlotPoints -> points]]


First image has points =50, second image has points = 100.

• The problem is that you're asking Mathematica to draw a very large plot and then throw away most of it: i.stack.imgur.com/YSbcF.png Why not reduce the range of x and z? With ParametricPlot3D[..., {x, -a, a}, {z, -b, b}, ...] I get a very nice plot.
– user484
Oct 29, 2016 at 17:19
• MaxRecursion is more important here, set MaxRecursion -> 10 May 17, 2022 at 6:14

What's the preferred way to paint spots on a curved surface without getting raggedy edges?

Show[
ParametricPlot3D[
(1 + 0.05 Cos[u]) {Sin[u] Cos[v], Sin[u] Sin[v], 0} + {0, 0, 1.05 Cos[u]},
{u, 0, π}, {v, 0, 2 π},
(* mouth *)
MeshFunctions -> {Function[{x, y, z, u, v}, x + 0.5 (2 y^2 - 2 (z + 0.5))^2]},
Mesh -> {{-0.85, -0.82}},
(*****)
AxesLabel -> {"x", "y", "z"}, PlotPoints -> 100],
(* Eyes *)
ParametricPlot3D[
Sin[1.9 (u - 0.45)]^2 (0.36 + 0.8 (Sqrt[0.5 + 2 Abs[v]])) Cos[1.5 v] *
{-Sin[u] Cos[v], -Sin[u] Sin[v], Cos[u]},
{u, π/6, π/2}, {v, -π/6, π/6},
(* pupil & iris *)
MeshFunctions -> {Function[{x, y, z, u, v},
Sin[1.9 (u - 0.49)]^2 (0.36 + 0.8 (Sqrt[0.5 + 2 Abs[v]])) Cos[1.5 v]]},
Mesh -> {{1.06, 1.077}},
(*****)
AxesLabel -> {"x", "y", "z"}, PlotPoints -> 100],
(* Tongue *)
ParametricPlot3D[
{-u, 0, -u^2/4 - 0.15} + 0.15 Sqrt[Sqrt[(1.2 - u)]] *
(2 Cos[v] {0, 1, 0} + Sin[v] {-u/2, 0, 1 - 0.5 Sin[v]}/Sqrt[u^2 + 1]),
{u, 0.5, 1.2}, {v, 0, 2 π}, PlotStyle -> Red, Mesh -> None],
PlotRange -> All
] It has the advantage of having borders that meet each other exactly. (Pasting a surface patch on another surface usually requires a small gap between them, or rounding error in the GPU causes the image to shimmer.)

• +1 seems insufficient...beautiful use of mesh functions and mesh shading... Nov 1, 2016 at 2:57
• @"Michael E2" Nice. MeshFunctions makes more sense here than RegionFunction as I expect it defines the boundary before constructing the shape so probably reduces the calculation. I wish I had got to this before Halloween, the possibilities are endless :o) Also the comment about having the borders meet each other exactly is huge. I had needed to include a small gap just for that reason before. Your post should be part of the manual! Nov 2, 2016 at 21:08

Perhaps this can achieve the desired outcome (or at least a starting point):

r = ImplicitRegion[
x^2 + y^2 == 5 && (x/0.8)^2 + (z/0.4)^2 < 1, {{x, -5, 5}, {y, 0,
5}, {z, -5, 5}}]
dr = DiscretizeRegion[r, MeshCellStyle -> {1 -> Red, 2 -> Red},
Background -> Black];
rp = RegionPlot3D[dr, Background -> Black];
Row[{dr, rp}] • nice solution, with lots of new lessons in it for me! I found however that I was able to make the shapes smooth after searching more in stackexchange and coming across suggestions to use ContourPlot3D instead of ParametricPlot3D. This worked really well, but I'm glad I got your reply first as it illustrates some new techniques for me. Oct 21, 2016 at 6:57
• @DrBubbles glad you found what you needed :). MMA is very flexible and I learn a lot from the creativity of this community. Oct 21, 2016 at 7:00

Here's a solution using ContourPlot3D:

With[{a = 0.8, b = 0.4, r = 5^0.5, l = 10},
ContourPlot3D[
x^2/r^2 + y^2/r^2 == 1, {x, -r, r}, {y, -r, r}, {z, -l/2, l/2},
RegionFunction ->
Function[{x, y, z}, (x/a)^2 + (z/b)^2 < 1 && y > 0], Mesh -> None,
PerformanceGoal -> "Quality",
PlotRange -> {{-.9, .9}, {2, 2.5}, {-0.5, 0.5}}, PlotPoints -> 60]] Another way:

With[{a = 0.8, b = 0.4, r = 5^0.5, l = 10, points = 75},
ParametricPlot3D[{{0, r, 0}, {x, Sqrt[r^2 - x^2], z}},
{x, -r, r}, {z, -l/2, l/2},
MeshFunctions -> {Function[{x, y, z, s, t}, (x/a)^2 + (z/b)^2]},
Mesh -> {{1}}, MeshShading -> {Automatic, None},
PerformanceGoal -> "Quality", PlotPoints -> points,
PlotRange -> All]] 