rgl (version 0.99.16)

rgl.open: 3D visualization device system


3D real-time rendering system.


# Low level rgl.* interface
rgl.open(useNULL = rgl.useNULL())     # open new device
rgl.close()    # close current device
rgl.cur()      # returns active device ID
rgl.dev.list() # returns all device IDs
rgl.set(which, silent = FALSE) # set device as active
rgl.quit()     # shutdown rgl device system
rgl.init(initValue = 0, onlyNULL = FALSE)     # re-initialize rgl



whether to open the “null” device


device ID


whether to suppress update of window titles


value for internal use only


only initialize the null (no display) device


rgl.open, rgl.close and rgl.set are called for their side effects and return no useful value. Similarly rgl.init and rgl.quit are not designed to return useful values; in fact, users shouldn't call them at all!

rgl.cur returns the currently active devices, or 0 if none is active; rgl.dev.list returns a vector of all open devices. Both functions name the items according to the type of device: null for a hidden null device, wgl for a Windows device, and glX for an X windows device.


The rgl device design is oriented towards the R device metaphor. If you send scene management instructions, and there's no device open, it will be opened automatically. Opened devices automatically get the current device focus. The focus may be changed by using rgl.set(). rgl.quit() shuts down the rgl subsystem and all open devices, detaches the package including the shared library and additional system libraries.

The rgl.open() function attempts to open a new RGL window. If the "rgl.antialias" option is set, it will be used to select the requested antialiasing. (See open3d for more description of antialiasing and an alternative way to set the value.)

If useNULL is TRUE, rgl will use a “null” device. This device records objects as they are plotted, but displays nothing. It is intended for use with writeWebGL and similar functions.

If rgl.open() fails (e.g. because X windows is not running, or its DISPLAY variable is not set properly), then you can retry the initialization by calling rgl.init(). Do not do this when windows have already been successfully opened: they will be orphaned, with no way to remove them other than closing R. In fact, it's probably a good idea not to do this at all: quitting R and restarting it is a better solution.

This package also includes a higher level interface which is described in the r3d help topic. That interface is designed to act more like classic 2D R graphics. We recommend that you avoid mixing rgl.* and *3d calls.

See the first example below to display the ChangeLog.

See Also

r3d, rgl.clear, rgl.pop, rgl.viewpoint, rgl.light, rgl.bg, rgl.bbox, rgl.points, rgl.lines, rgl.triangles, rgl.quads, rgl.texts, rgl.surface, rgl.spheres, rgl.sprites, rgl.snapshot, rgl.useNULL