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How to link 2 3D subplots to sync zoom and pan?

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Jian Zhou
Jian Zhou on 4 Aug 2017
Edited: KAE on 6 Feb 2020 at 21:58
Hey every one,
I am trying to link two 3D subplots such that when I rotate, pan or zoom on one of the subplot, the other one will automatically sync to the changed new camera view and axis limits. I came across this solution for syncing camera view when rotating: https://de.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/12171-how-to-link-cameras-for-two-subplots-in-a-single-figure
Using the above solution, rotations can be synced. But when I try to zoom in on one of the subplots, the other subplot doesn't stay on the same position in the figure, it moves around. The same also happpens, when I try to pan one subplot. And when zooming in, the other subplot doesn't sync it's axes limits.
For 2D subplots, linkaxes seems to do the job. So what is the solution for the 3D case?
Below is a example code to illustrate the problem
ax1 = subplot(1, 2, 1);
[x,y,z] = peaks;
surf(x,y,z);
ax2 = subplot(1, 2, 2);
[x,y,z] = peaks(10);
surf(x,y,z);
Link = linkprop([ax1, ax2],{'CameraUpVector', 'CameraPosition', 'CameraTarget'});
setappdata(gcf, 'StoreTheLink', Link);
Any help will be appreciated.

  3 Comments

Adam
Adam on 4 Aug 2017
I would tend to linkprops on the XLim, YLim and ZLim properties of the axes instead (or as well), but I never mess with camera properties explicitly so I don't really know what they control, which is why I prefer the simpler controls!
Jian Zhou
Jian Zhou on 6 Aug 2017
The 2 plots consists of different information of points in 3d space. First one is a point cloud scatter3 plot. Since it is hard to visualize the surface of the 3d point cloud, i plotted its convex hull on the second one to help me judge the 3d point cloud better. Therefore, it is essential for both plots be share a common camera view angle. Thanks for your reply, I tried it, sadly, it doesn't solve the problem.
Adam
Adam on 7 Aug 2017
Try taking a look at both axes handles after you have rotated and see what is different between the two. I can't remember all the properties that affect cameras and view directions, but you ought to be able to see which settings are different. Also a screenshot might help someone suggest what might be going wrong.

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Accepted Answer

Christopher Creutzig
Christopher Creutzig on 7 Aug 2017
As Adam suggested in the comments, this seems to work:
ax1 = subplot(1, 2, 1);
[x,y,z] = peaks;
surf(x,y,z);
ax2 = subplot(1, 2, 2);
[x,y,z] = peaks(10);
surf(x,y,z);
Link = linkprop([ax1, ax2],{'CameraUpVector', 'CameraPosition', 'CameraTarget', 'XLim', 'YLim', 'ZLim'});
setappdata(gcf, 'StoreTheLink', Link);

  1 Comment

KAE
KAE on 6 Feb 2020 at 21:34
Here is a generalized version that will work with any number of axes,
function axList = connectaxes2(axList)
% C:\Users\KEdwards\OneDrive - datacolor\matlab_programs\graphics\
% connectaxes2.m
%
% DESCRIPTION
% Set different 3D axes to the same limits and view angle as you zoom and pan
% INPUT
% axList - List of handles to axes to connct
if nargin == 0 % Pick all open axes, if specific axes are not passed in
axList = findobj('type', 'axes');
end
Link = linkprop(axList,{'CameraUpVector', 'CameraPosition', ...
'CameraTarget', 'XLim', 'YLim', 'ZLim'});
setappdata(gcf, 'StoreTheLink', Link);

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