# Seeking an efficient method for using 'scatter3' to create a 3D scatter plot of fixed receiver positions.

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Peter Beringer on 13 Jul 2021
Commented: Peter Beringer on 13 Jul 2021
Hi,
I wish to represent a 3D array of reciever positions as dots - see attached plot for the general idea (I won't share the shameful code used to generate it, haha). My intention is to then animate the plot by representing each position's signal amplitude by its corresponding dot's colour (each sample generates a new plot/frame). I've successfully animated plots of a 2D plane of receiever positions, with amplitude on Z-axis, so I'll cross any issues with that bridge once I've had a good attempt myself, but I welcome any quick tips or relevant docs people may have about sending the time dimension data to the figure's colour info.
My only question at this stage is actually about how to most effieciently plot a 3D "block" of dots (as below) according to specified dimensions - basically - in very broad terms - to input 3 x 3 x 3 and get something resembling the attached image (or any three dimensions for that matter). The solution is almost guaranteed to be embarassingly simple, but it has eluded me so far (I've been ill, so my concentration is totally shot, which hasn't helped).
Cheers!

Max Heiken on 13 Jul 2021
I think you are looking for meshgrid.
[y, x, z] = meshgrid(1:3, 1:3, 1:3);
scatter3(x(:), y(:), z(:), [], amplitude(:), 'o', 'filled');
Notice that it is [y, x, z] and not [x, y, z], it is a quirk of the meshgrid function.
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Peter Beringer on 13 Jul 2021
Thank you very much for such an elegant solution. The very obvious thing that was eluding me and causing puzzling errors was that I was not calling the output for 'z' as well as 'x' and 'y' when using 'meshgrid' ... oh, dear, stuck in Edwin Abbott's "Flatland". ;)
In reality, the recordings made at receiver positions will have time/amplitude in the first dimension, but that would only involve a simple permute. Measurements are going to be taken by a linear reciever array moving in lateral increments at each vertical increment, with the recording repeated at each position, so the data will also need concatenating into matrices.
Many thanks again for the help. It might make quite an interesting plot - not unlike early radio telescope array data. Haha.
Cheers!

Chunru on 13 Jul 2021
Try scatter3:
t = 0:pi/5:4*pi;
xt = sin(t);
yt = cos(t);
h = scatter3(xt,yt,t,40, t*30, 'MarkerFaceColor', 'b');
colormap(hsv(512))
colorbar
box on
grid on
caxis([0 512])
% Animation
for i=1:20
h.CData = rand(size(t)) * 512;
drawnow
pause(0.1);
end
Peter Beringer on 13 Jul 2021
This is another great solution. Might have to use 'tic'/'toc' and race the two. ;)
Many thanks.

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