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Transparency not working on R2013a / Mac OSX 10.8.4?

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Joseph MacGregor
Joseph MacGregor on 21 Jun 2013
Answered: Joseph MacGregor on 3 Jan 2014
On Mac OSX 10.8.4 running R2013a, I would like to make a make a surf plot semi-transparent. My initial attempts using my data did not work, so I attempted even the simplest example suggested by
doc alpha
i.e.,
surf(peaks);
alpha(0.5)
This does not work for all three renderers. The OpenGL renderer produces a wire mesh surface and any additional call to shading results in a blank figure. zbuffers and painters are indistinguishable from
surf(peaks);
This test does result in a transparent surface on a Windows 7 machine running R2013a. In the past, I've been disappointed by the exporting of figures that used transparency, but now I can't even get it to work within MATLAB.
What am I missing? Thanks.

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Answers (2)

Douglas
Douglas on 3 Jan 2014
It's an issue with hardware rendering and OpenGL, and only an issue on Macs. It's ridiculous we pay thousands of dollars and Matlab can't do a simple thing like transparency. There is no workaround. My workaround is to use matplotlib in Python. It's free, and transparency works.

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Joseph MacGregor
Joseph MacGregor on 3 Jan 2014
All fair points. I just redid the rest I described initially and it is worth noting that now, in Mac OSX 10.9.1 and MATLAB R2013b, the test does work, i.e., it produces a semi-transparent surf(peaks) plot. I don't know whether it was the 10.9.1 upgrade or the R2013b upgrade that resolved the issue, but it's probably the latter.

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