Understanding 3D Data Visualization Features and Working

October 20, 2018 

Understanding 3D Data Visualization Features and Working

What is 3D Data Visualization?

3-D Dimensional data which provides the perception of depth, breadth, and height. Three-dimensional visualizations developed to provide both qualitative and quantitative information about an object.3D visualizations visualized with the three-phase process of scene, geometry, and rendering. Datasets increase in size, the need for analysis and visualization tools for the data also becomes essential. 3D visualization generation viewed from any angle. Analysis operations, like visualization operations, may be either scene-based or object-based and deal with methods of quantifying object information.

Some examples of 3D shapes are prisms, pyramids, spheres, cones, cubes, etc.

Key 3D Data Visualization Features

  • Renderers: Canvas (HTML 5), SVG and WebGL.
  • Cameras: Perspective and orthographic.
  • Lights: Ambient, direction, point, and spotlights.
  • Materials: Lambert, phong and more.
  • Shaders: Vertex and fragment.
  • Loaders: Binary, image, and JSON.

How 3D Visualization Works?

The following are elements that make up a 3D object Visualization -

  • Renderer
  • Scene
  • Camera
  • Mesh
  • Lighting
  • Animating

Before rendering any 3D object onto our screen, set up the scene, camera, and renderer. These three things will render javascript graphics on the HTML page. Below shows the basic structure of any 3D object.


The renderer is the place to put the result of the scene and set some fundamental properties of the scene. In 3-D, multiple and different objects are available. Set the background color, the size of the renderer, and the pixel aspect ratio for higher density displays. Create WebGLRenderer, we pass it the size of the window as a parameter and then append it to the DOM.


A scene is the container of all the objects rendered by programs. It contains the objects, lights, some characters and comprises a camera to capture for rendering.


The camera gives the properties which result in the viewport into our scene, position, the field of view, and perspective. Field of view, from the bottom to the top of the viewable area in degrees. Aspect ratio, the camera's viewable width divided by the visible height. Near and far to specify the closest and furthest point at which items clipped, or out of the camera's view.

The PerspectiveCamera takes four arguments. The Field of View, the aspect ratio, the near clip plane, the far clip plane.

Geometry, Material, and Mesh

Adding objects to the scene -

  • Create a Geometry
  • Create a Material
  • Create a Mesh
  • Add mesh to the scene


Geometry is the mathematical formula of an object. A Geometry gives us the vertices of the objects that we want to add to the scene. Different types of geometry types are -


A Material defined as the properties of an object and its behavior with the light sources of the scene. Different types of materials -


It is common to see lights around the area while watching any screen. They aid the visualized direction (animated models) or position and also the model visible.

Different Light types -

AmbientLight, PointLight, DirectionalLight, SpotLight and HemisphereLight.


For applying animation inside the render loop, change the properties. Mesh created, access to a group of features useful to apply animation effects.

Benefits of 3D Visualization

Effective Communication

3-D visualization gives the user the ability to understand the complexity of the data by seeing the object in a 3-D way from x, y, and z-axis.

Identify design flaws

3D visualization enables the users to see design flows and perform visualization of objects before building impacting time execution of the project.

Tools for 3D Visualization

Chart 3D

Charts 3D allows users to create 3D visualizations of the data without doing any code. After users import datasets, Charts 3D generates an interactive graphic, such as a, scatter plot, geospatial plot or line graph. Users can switch between 3D and 2D and can filter the data.

Charts 3D leverages the power of 3D create engaging and insightful visualizations.

Features -

Data Import – Import CSV or XLSX files.

Create Visualization – Select the chart type to be used for visualizing data among Scatter, Bar and Geospatial plot.

Chart Interaction – Allows to Rotate, Zoom, and Pan the graph to view from different perspectives.

3D View – Can switch between 2D and 3D view of the graph when presenting insights.

Export – Easily export and share visualizations


Three.js provides 3D visualizations; it comes with canvas, SVG renderers to render whatever we want to put on the screen, it also includes access to WebGL, no need to write too much code.

Three.js provides built-in lights for applying to materials MeshLambertMaterial and MeshPhongMaterial. These lights affect the elements in different ways depending on the type of light and their properties as well as the features of the materials themselves.

To render 3D graphics on a webpage, requires WebGL (Web Graphics Library), a Javascript API for rendering interactive 3D with any compatible web browser without the use of plugins. It accesses a computer’s specialized graphics hardware using JavaScript and renders the output to a webpage in HTML canvas element. Three.js works with WebGL, as it has many useful functions pre-written, which would otherwise require a lot of effort.