Animated 3d chart with R and Image Magick

This post describes how to build a 3d chart .gif animation. It uses R to make several png files, and Image Magick to concatenated them in a gif.

Animation Section About line chart

This chart follows the previous basic animation with R and Image Magick. It uses those two tools to make an animated 3d chart. The process is:

  • Start by building 10 images with R
  • Use Image magick to concatenate them in a gif

Of course, Image Magick must be installed on your computer. See here to install it.

Note: : This example has been found on Mark Heckmann’s R you ready website.

# Library for 3D

# Initiate data
b0 <- 10
b1 <- .5
b2 <- .3
int12 <- .2
g <- expand.grid(x = 1:20, y = 1:20)
g$z <- b0 + b1*g$x + b2*g$y + int12*g$x*g$y

# Make several .png images
png(file="example%03d.png", width=480, heigh=480)
for (i in seq(0, 350 ,10)){
    print(wireframe(z ~ x * y, data = g,
              screen = list(z = i, x = -60),

# convert pdf to gif using ImageMagick
system("convert -delay 40 *.png animated_3D_plot.gif")

# cleaning up

Related chart types

Data art


This document is a work by Yan Holtz. Any feedback is highly encouraged. You can fill an issue on Github, drop me a message on Twitter, or send an email pasting with

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