I am trying to combine various 3D objects for a composite image. But some of the objects just don't look very good. In the end, I want to have a publication-quality image.

For example, here I want to have a 3D object (using a sphere here as an example) with an arrow pointing at it.

sphere = Graphics3D[Sphere[{0, 0, 0}, 200]];
arrow = Graphics3D[{Red, Arrowheads[0.10], 
    Arrow[Tube[{{1500, 0, 0}, {500, 0, 0}}, 10]]}];
composite = Show[sphere, arrow, Boxed -> False, ImageSize -> 700, 
 ViewPoint -> {1.8, -2.6, 1.2}, ViewVertical -> {0.2, -0.7, 4.}];

Then I export the graphics with the command

Export["IR100.jpg", composite, ImageResolution -> 100];

enter image description here

The resulting image is of low quality. Mainly I dislike those jagged edges on the arrow, where it seems to approximate a diagonal edge with a series of vertical/horizontal lines in a step-like pattern. I have to bump the ImageResolution option up to 400 to get what looks reasonably good to me. enter image description here

But I don't want such a huge image in the end. Especially since the images I'm going to be working on are considerably more complex than this, exporting at such high ImageResolution is taxing on the machine.

Is there any way to improve the rendering of the arrow here?

  • $\begingroup$ If the figure is for print publication, then there's no way around using a high resolution. Using 300 dpi will give good quality in print, so make sure you export the image at the 300 times the physical size in inches. (This might not be the same as ImageResolution -> 300.) If it's for screen viewing, then create a high resolution version first, then downscale it to the desired size. This will create an "antialiased" image. Also, do not export to JPEG for pictures with sharp edges! In your first sample the JPEG compression artefacts bother me much more than the low resolution. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Oct 1, 2013 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Use PNG instead of JPEG. Take a look here too: mathematica.stackexchange.com/a/200/12 (possibly a duplicate). $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Oct 1, 2013 at 18:10


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