I have the following simple Mathematica code:

x = Cos[t];
y = Sin[t];
L1 = ParametricPlot3D[{x, y, t}, {t, 0, 50}, 
   PlotStyle -> {Blue, Thickness[0.003]}, Axes -> True, 
   AxesLabel -> {"x", "y", "t"}, BoxRatios -> {1, 1, 1}, 
   AxesStyle -> Directive[Black, FontSize -> 17, FontFamily -> "Helvetica"], 
   PlotPoints -> 500, PlotRange -> All, ImageSize -> 500];
L2 = Graphics3D[{EdgeForm[None], Opacity[0.2], GrayLevel[0.1], 
Specularity[White, 20], Mesh -> None, Lighting -> None, 
Cuboid[{-1, -1, 38}, {1, 1, 50}]}];
P1 = Show[{L1, L2}, ViewPoint -> {1.3, -2.4, 1.5}] 

However, when I try to export this three-dimensional plot in eps format, all the part of function which is inside the cuboid, that is when z>38 does not appear. It seems that somehow during the export the options Opacity is overruled. Is there a way to export this plot correctly?

  • $\begingroup$ To fill all the space above the plane z=38 replace your L2 with L2 = Graphics3D[{Opacity[0.2], GrayLevel[0.1], Lighting -> None, Cuboid[{-1, -1, 38}, {1, 1, 50}]}]. $\endgroup$
    – VLC
    Jan 9, 2013 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @VLC Great! Using the Cuboid the issue regarding the dark output is solved. However, when I export the .eps file the part of the function inside the Cuboid (that is when z>38) is not shown as if there was no Opacity. Any ideas about that? $\endgroup$
    – Vaggelis_Z
    Jan 9, 2013 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the issue is related to the fact that EPS does not support true transparency (see here) $\endgroup$
    – VLC
    Jan 9, 2013 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @VLC Very illuminating piece of information. Does this mean that there is no way to export this plot correctly? Should I edit and rename my post here? $\endgroup$
    – Vaggelis_Z
    Jan 9, 2013 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ However, if you export to PDF, the transparency will be preserved. In many places where one wants EPS, e.g., for use in LaTeX, you can often use PDF just as well. $\endgroup$
    – murray
    Jan 9, 2013 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


If you want to make sure that all exported EPS will look fine even without explicitly rasterizing the plot every time, you can force the rasterization by this one-time command that you could put at the beginning before creating any of your plots:

    Prolog -> {{EdgeForm[], Texture[{{{0, 0, 0, 0}}}], 
       Polygon[#, VertexTextureCoordinates -> #] &[{{0, 0}, {1, 
          0}, {1, 1}}]}}] &, {Graphics3D, ContourPlot3D, 
   ListContourPlot3D, ListPlot3D, Plot3D, ListSurfacePlot3D, 
   ListVectorPlot3D, ParametricPlot3D, RegionPlot3D, RevolutionPlot3D,
    SphericalPlot3D, VectorPlot3D, BarChart3D}];

The trick is explained in this answer and the linked ones. You're asking about transparency in particular, so I guess it's not quite a duplicate question, but a duplicate answer...

The plots will be rasterized when exporting to PDF or EPS - the notebook internal plots are not rasterized.


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