Now I'm trying to solve a PDE and the solving domain is not regular, suppose it is a map. I used the finite element method to solve it and every nodes' value have been got, and now I want to use ListPlot3D to plot them,but the ListPlot3D doesn't work well: the plot region is over the desired region, I used RegionFunction to specify it, but it doesn't work. How can I plot the proper region?

First I creat the mesh by using the function MeshRegion,

mesh = MeshRegion[trinode, Polygon@trielement];

The mesh is like this

enter image description here

and then I got every nodes' value by using the FEM and stored them in the variable triplotpoint in this way:


where the $x_n$ and $y_n$ are the coordinate of the nth node and the $z_n$ is the node's value.

Then I use the function ListPlot3D to plot them

plots = ListPlot3D[triplotpoint,PlotRange -> All,ColorFunction -> "Rainbow",RegionFunction -> Function[{x, y, z}, {x, y}\[Element] mesh]]

but I didn't get the result I want.

enter image description here

How can the figure shows only in the mesh region?

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    – Michael E2
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


Here's one way. Note NDSolve would have returned an ElementMeshInterpolation, so some of these steps should be unnecessary in your use-case.


cp = CountryData["China", "Polygon"];

mesh = DiscretizeGraphics@RegionPlot@cp; 
emesh = ToElementMesh@mesh;

cm = RegionCentroid[mesh];
values = EuclideanDistance[cm, #] & /@ emesh["Coordinates"];

ifn = ElementMeshInterpolation[{emesh}, values]

Plot3D[ifn[x, y], {x, y} ∈ emesh, ColorFunction -> "Rainbow"]

Mathematica graphics

NDSolve example:

ifn2 = NDSolveValue[
  {Laplacian[u[x, y], {x, y}] == 0,
   DirichletCondition[u[x, y] == EuclideanDistance[cm, {x, y}], True]},
  u, {x, y} ∈ emesh]

Plot3D[ifn2[x, y], {x, y} ∈ ifn2["ElementMesh"], ColorFunction -> "Rainbow"]

Mathematica graphics

Another way:

triplotpoints = Partition[Flatten@Transpose[{emesh["Coordinates"], values}], 3];

normals = Transpose[{
    -Derivative[1, 0][ifn] @@@ emesh["Coordinates"],
    -Derivative[0, 1][ifn] @@@ emesh["Coordinates"],
    ConstantArray[1., Length@emesh["Coordinates"]]

   emesh["MeshElements"] /. TriangleElement[p_] :> Polygon[p[[All, 1 ;; 3]]]},
  VertexColors -> (ColorData["Rainbow"] /@ Rescale[triplotpoints[[All, 3]]]),
  VertexNormals -> normals
 Axes -> True]

Mathematica graphics

The normals may be omitted for speed, if you do not care about the smooth rendering.

(Still not ListPlot3D. :( Note that ListPlot@InterpolatingFunction[..] works nicely for a 1D InterpolatingFunction, but the same functionality does not seem to exist for 2D functions.)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your detailed answer :) $\endgroup$
    – Ice0cean
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 2:54

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