I get the output that I need from

r = 100000000000;
ParametricPlot3D[r {Cos[ϕ]*Sin[θ], Sin[ϕ]*Sin[θ], Cos[θ]}, {ϕ, 0, 2 π}, {θ, 0, π}, 
  ColorFunction -> Function[{x, y, z}, Glow[GrayLevel[z]]],
  Lighting -> None, Axes -> False, Mesh -> None]

However if r = 1, then the sphere goes black.
Why does it do that, and how to get the correct color despite r = 1?

Output in V11.3 on windows with Intel(R) HD Graphics 5500: enter image description here I think it's a bug now, I tried V11.2 and it worked.

  • $\begingroup$ Hm, looks normal on my computer. What about values of r in between? $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2018 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ @GregoryRut Fewer zeros than r = 10000000000; makes it black. Do you use V11.3 on windows? $\endgroup$
    – MeMyselfI
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ 11.1.1 on Ubuntu. Have you tried to reset your kernel? Seems like there is a hidden constant that might affect your result. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2018 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @GregoryRut Yes it's restarted, but now I tried also V11.2 and got the correct output $\endgroup$
    – MeMyselfI
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Same black sphere on OSX with 11.3 $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


On MacOS 10.13.6 and Mathematica 11.3, I also observed this issue. I was able to fix it by going to the advanced options (Preferences), and setting

"3DRenderingMethod" $\rightarrow$ "BSPTree"

You can find this option by entering it in the search field.

I do think this should be tagged as a bug.

See also Weird behaviour of multiple transparent Raster3D objects in one Graphics3D


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