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XYZ Surface

 
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iand



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: XYZ Surface Reply with quote

Hi,

Just using my registered copy of DPlot for the first time to generate XYZ Surface plots for a scientific paper from inside Excel. DPlot is a great programme overall and amazing value for the price. Being my first time, perhaps I have missed something but I did notice the following minor issues:

(i) I am using Excel 2007 and selected 3 columns (286 data points) and then XYZSurface on the DPlot addin. Excel was freezing and then crashing. I'm sure that some potential users would give up at this point and assume there was an incompatability issue. It took me several attempts to realise that the problem was the initial blank row in my data (blank row, then titles, then start of data). Please could you make it that initial blank rows are ignored in Excel.

(ii) I looked everywhere but unfortunately could not find an option to change the tick thickness and length on the axes. I prefer the line thickness on these types of graph to be 1 or 2mm and the very thin ticks stand out. Please could you add an option to change the tick properties (in the Options -> Exents menu item?) or else make it easier to find if it is already there.

(iii) I exported my graph to TIFF or BMP format at 300 dpi and then opened it in Photoshop. I noticed that in Photoshop every line thickness in the graph is consistently 1/2 or 1/3 that shown in DPlot. As the line thickness in DPlot is given in mm, could it be that the plot is being resized internally before being rendered? Please could you check if the line thickness are being exported correctly.

(iv) More of a suggestion than a bug but at the moment the contour lines are touching the contour line value labels. Please could you add an option to make more space either side of the label before the countour line starts.

(v) Another feature request, please could you add an option in the Contour Options screen to reverse the order of the colours, e.g., make white lowest instead of white highest for the grey scale. I have some graphs where most of the data values are low with only a few high values and it would look much better for the graph to be mainly white with small bit of black rather than the other way around. I'm sure it can be done using the cutom option but I feel that an idiot proof button would be better.

(vi) A final feature request, please could you change the curve fitting equation:

y=A+B*exp(Cx)

to

y=A+B*exp(Cx)^D

as that could be used to fit the Weibull equation which is a common equation used in many areas.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to consider my bugs/suggestions and thanks for writing DPlot which overall is a great piece of software.

Regards,

Ian
________
Toyota Corolla E120 history


Last edited by iand on Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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iand



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry,

I forgot to add that exporting the graph to TIFF or other formats at 300 dpi and 24 bit or 8 bit gives the following error message:

Insufficient memory for creating 3721w x 3338h cropped image. Saving full-sized 6000w x 3338h image.

Clicking OK saves the graph with a large amount of white space on the left and right.

Regards,

Ian
________
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Last edited by iand on Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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DPlotAdmin
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 2124
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
(i) I am using Excel 2007 and selected 3 columns (286 data points) and then XYZSurface on the DPlot addin. Excel was freezing and then crashing. I'm sure that some potential users would give up at this point and assume there was an incompatability issue. It took me several attempts to realise that the problem was the initial blank row in my data (blank row, then titles, then start of data). Please could you make it that initial blank rows are ignored in Excel.


Good point. That's fixed here and also in the similar XYZScatter function. Will be included in the next release.

Quote:
(ii) I looked everywhere but unfortunately could not find an option to change the tick thickness and length on the axes. I prefer the line thickness on these types of graph to be 1 or 2mm and the very thin ticks stand out. Please could you add an option to change the tick properties (in the Options -> Exents menu item?) or else make it easier to find if it is already there.


Strange that nobody has called me on this before and that I haven't noticed. I'll add the same Tick Marks dialog box you get with XY plots.

Quote:
(iii) I exported my graph to TIFF or BMP format at 300 dpi and then opened it in Photoshop. I noticed that in Photoshop every line thickness in the graph is consistently 1/2 or 1/3 that shown in DPlot. As the line thickness in DPlot is given in mm, could it be that the plot is being resized internally before being rendered? Please could you check if the line thickness are being exported correctly.


I'm reasonably sure this is Photoshop scaling down the picture to make it fit on the screen, not a mistake in the line widths. If you check, you'll notice that the image dimensions are quite large. If you want a bitmap image that is identical to what you see on the screen, use resolution=0.

Quote:
(iv) More of a suggestion than a bug but at the moment the contour lines are touching the contour line value labels. Please could you add an option to make more space either side of the label before the countour line starts.


Shouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the suggestion.

Quote:
(v) Another feature request, please could you add an option in the Contour Options screen to reverse the order of the colours, e.g., make white lowest instead of white highest for the grey scale. I have some graphs where most of the data values are low with only a few high values and it would look much better for the graph to be mainly white with small bit of black rather than the other way around. I'm sure it can be done using the cutom option but I feel that an idiot proof button would be better.


I'll add an option to the Custom colors dialog to flip whatever color scheme is currently in use.

Quote:
(vi) A final feature request, please could you change the curve fitting equation:

y=A+B*exp(Cx)

to

y=A+B*exp(Cx)^D

as that could be used to fit the Weibull equation which is a common equation used in many areas.


Just to be clear, I assume you mean
y=A+B*exp((Cx)^D), right?
If so, that's an easy enough addition, rather than replacement. Will do.
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DPlotAdmin
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I forgot to add that exporting the graph to TIFF or other formats at 300 dpi and 24 bit or 8 bit gives the following error message:

Insufficient memory for creating 3721w x 3338h cropped image. Saving full-sized 6000w x 3338h image.

Clicking OK saves the graph with a large amount of white space on the left and right.


This one has driven me nuts for a while, now. It seems to be a Windows limitation on the size of open GDI objects and not tied to how much physical memory you have. But I haven't been able to determine what that limit is or what to do about it. Yet. But thanks for the reminder.
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iand



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Many thanks for the prompt replies and action. It is rare to see an online company with such great customer service. In answer to your replies:

Quote:
I'm reasonably sure this is Photoshop scaling down the picture to make it fit on the screen, not a mistake in the line widths. If you check, you'll notice that the image dimensions are quite large. If you want a bitmap image that is identical to what you see on the screen, use resolution=0.


Yes, I tried setting resolution=0 but saw that it is essentially a screenshot. Unfortunately I need to submit my images at 300dpi so was looking for a method to keep the same image size (so the relative width of the lines doesn't change) but change the resolution - similar to what Adobe Illustrator does when exporting images. I'm not sure if I am missing something obvious that will allow me to do this.

Quote:
Just to be clear, I assume you mean
y=A+B*exp((Cx)^D), right?
If so, that's an easy enough addition, rather than replacement. Will do.


Yes, that's right - it's taking the exponential of the ((Cx)^D) term with C being negative and D being positive.

I used DPlot for several hours last night and noticed another potenttial minor issue with the XYZ Surface plot:

I have approximately 8 contour lines bunched up on the right side of my figure with contour labels every two lines - each label (due to its height) is covering 3 contour lines. Whilst 2 of the contour lines are hidden as expected, the 3rd contour line for each case shows a hairline running through the label where the contour line would be, i.e., the 3rd contour line has not completely disappeared. I can send you my graph is you would like to see an example.

Finally, I'm being really pedantic here (sorry) but in my figures the contour labels are not exactly centered vertically with the contour lines, i.e., the contour lines are running through approximately 60-70% the height of the labels. Would there be any way to have the lines running exactly through the vertical midpoint of the labels.

Thanks again.

Regards,

Ian
________
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Last edited by iand on Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resolution and line widths: The only way to get what I think you're trying to do is to multiply the line widths by 300/96 (96 dpi is the resolution of your display, or at least the resolution assumed by Windows).

Quote:
I have approximately 8 contour lines bunched up on the right side of my figure with contour labels every two lines - each label (due to its height) is covering 3 contour lines. Whilst 2 of the contour lines are hidden as expected, the 3rd contour line for each case shows a hairline running through the label where the contour line would be, i.e., the 3rd contour line has not completely disappeared. I can send you my graph is you would like to see an example.


No need. I know what you're talking about, but I don't see a good answer to this one. You might try transparent labels and black text, see if you like that any better.

Quote:
Finally, I'm being really pedantic here (sorry) but in my figures the contour labels are not exactly centered vertically with the contour lines, i.e., the contour lines are running through approximately 60-70% the height of the labels. Would there be any way to have the lines running exactly through the vertical midpoint of the labels.


FYI the character height, including space for ascenders (accents, superscripts, etc.) and descenders (g,p,y, etc.) is centered. But that space is rarely used for contour labels and it should be easy enough to figure out which dimension to use based on the number format. Thanks for the suggestion.
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iand



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear David,

Thanks for the reply. I will try out that suggestion for the line widths.

Something else to perhaps look for with the XYZ Surface plots:

I unchecked the "Black Text" option for the contour labels, then used the Font option to change the contour label text to white but it still remained black.

Also, changing the Transparent option for the contour labels didn't appear to do anything.

Regards,

Ian
________
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're probably using some option that hasn't occurred to me, for whatever reason. If you'll save your plot as a DPlot file and send it to me I'm sure that would be helpful.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I unchecked the "Black Text" option for the contour labels, then used the Font option to change the contour label text to white but it still remained black.


I didn't read this closely enough the first time. The contour labels will either be black (Black text checked) or the color associated with the contour line (Black text unchecked). I'm not sure what setting you used, but it apparently isn't labeled clearly enough and led to some confusion here. My guess is you set the color of the Legend font, expecting a change. The color of that font (in the case of contour plots) is ignored - I should definitely spell that out in the Help file.

Transparent, checked or unchecked, should definitely work as you expect, regardless of text color.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

y=A+B*exp((Cx)^D)

I have this plugged in to the "More Curve Fits" plugin now, and it will be available in the next release. It would be very helpful if you could provide sample input and the coefficients that you expect. The main reason for asking is that this form, dependent on input, takes hundreds of iterations to converge on "the answer". (Most of the equation forms converge in no more than 50 iterations, and for polynomials usually less than 10.) This is particularly true if the curve isn't especially "curvy". This is true even when fitting a curve that was generated with Y=f(X) and that equation form. The problem is... I think... that unless the slope changes significantly that there are an infinite number of coefficient sets that give "pretty good" answers. By way of example, the plugin generally comes up with a correlation coefficient of 0.9999 or higher regardless of the max number of iterations, but the coefficients are all over the place for input that isn't especially exponential-looking. This is fine for fitting the supplied input. (After all, a good fit is a good fit.) But if you then used that equation to extrapolate outside the extents of the input... well, then I have a problem with this.

One other thing that stands out from your previous answer: you mentioned negative C and positive D. For positive X that's a no-go, unless D is an integer. You can't raise a negative value to a non-integer power. IF the exponent can be expressed as one integer divided by another, then yeah, it can be done. But since the whole point of the curve fitting routine is to determine D (along with the other coefficients) I don't see how this information is especially useful in a curve-fitting algorithm.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I forgot to add that exporting the graph to TIFF or other formats at 300 dpi and 24 bit or 8 bit gives the following error message:

Insufficient memory for creating 3721w x 3338h cropped image. Saving full-sized 6000w x 3338h image.

Clicking OK saves the graph with a large amount of white space on the left and right.


You should get much better results with version 2.2.7.3, released today (Friday, Nov 6, 2009). This is a bit embarrassing to me, as I've been doing this long enough that I should have known by now what was going on. In my defense, MS's documentation on the subject is... well, there isn't any. No clue. The function that DPlot was previously using to grab a bitmap image used your video card's memory, not normal user-mode memory. On a system with plenty of RAM I'd get that error message and scratch my head trying to figure out why I had insufficient memory when I clearly had plenty, but didn't pursue the problem any farther. After 8 years in business, I figured it out Very Happy

You can get the latest with the Check for Updates command on the Help menu.
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