RGL - 3D visualization device system for R using OpenGL
The RGL package is a visualization device system for R, using OpenGL or WebGL as the rendering backend. An OpenGL rgl device at its core is a real-time 3D engine written in C++. It provides an interactive viewpoint navigation facility (mouse + wheel support) and an R programming interface. WebGL, on the other hand, is rendered in a web browser; rgl produces the input file, and the browser shows the images.
pkgdown website is here:
The unreleased development version website is here:
details on producing your own
pkgdown website that includes
The currently active development site is here:
Most users will want to install the latest CRAN release. For Windows, macOS and some Linux platforms, installation can be easy, as CRAN distributes binary versions:
# Install latest release from CRAN install.packages("rgl")
To install the latest development version from Github, you’ll need to do a source install. Those aren’t easy! Try
# Install development version from Github remotes::install_github("dmurdoch/rgl")
If that fails, read the instructions below.
The software is released under the GNU Public License. See COPYING for details.
- portable R package using OpenGL (if available) on macOS, Win32 and X11
- can produce 3D graphics in web pages using WebGL
- R programming interface
- interactive viewpoint navigation
- automatic data focus
- geometry primitives: points, lines, triangles, quads, texts, point sprites
- high-level geometry: surface, spheres
- up to 8 light sources
- alpha-blending (transparency)
- side-dependent fill-mode rendering (dots, wired and filled)
- texture-mapping with mipmapping and environment mapping support
- environmental effects: fogging, background sphere
- bounding box with axis ticks marks
- undo operation: shapes and light-sources are managed on type stacks, where the top-most objects can be popped, or any item specified by an identifier can be removed
macOS Windows 7/10 Unix-derivatives
R recommended tools (gcc toolchain) On Windows, Rtools40 (or earlier versions for pre-R-4.0.0)
For OpenGL display:
Windowing System (unix/x11 or Windows)
OpenGL Utility Library (GLU)
For WebGL display:
A browser with WebGL enabled. See https://get.webgl.org.
Installing OpenGL support
Debian and variants including Ubuntu:
aptitude install libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev
yum install mesa-libGL-devel mesa-libGLU-devel libpng-devel
rgl should work with XQuartz 2.7.11 or newer, but it will probably
need rebuilding if the XQuartz version changes. XQuartz normally needs
re-installation whenever the macOS version changes.
Windows normally includes OpenGL support, but to get the appropriate include files etc., you will need the appropriate version of Rtools matched to your R version.
The libpng library version 1.2.9 or newer is needed for pixmap import/export support.
The freetype library is needed for resizable anti-aliased fonts.
Binary builds of
rgl are available for some platforms on CRAN.
For source builds, install the prerequisites as described above, download the tarball and at the command line run
R CMD INSTALL rgl_1.0.15.tar.gz
(with the appropriate version of the tarball). The build uses an
autoconf configure script; to see the options, expand the tarball and
Alternatively, in R run
to install from CRAN, or
to install the development version from Github.
Sometimes binary development versions are available for Windows and macOS using
install.packages("rgl", repos = "https://dmurdoch.github.io/drat", type = "binary")
but these are not always kept up to date.
BUILDING WITHOUT OPENGL
As of version 0.104.1, it is possible to build the package without OpenGL support on Unix-alikes (including macOS) with the configure option –disable-opengl For example,
R CMD INSTALL --configure-args="--disable-opengl" rgl_1.0.15.tar.gz
On Windows, OpenGL support cannot currently be disabled.
DOCUMENTATION and DEMOS:
library(rgl) browseVignettes("rgl") demo(rgl)
Daniel Adler firstname.lastname@example.org
Duncan Murdoch email@example.com
Oleg Nenadic firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Urbanek email@example.com
Ming Chen firstname.lastname@example.org
Albrecht Gebhardt email@example.com
Ben Bolker firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabor Csardi email@example.com
Adam Strzelecki firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Senger email@example.com
The R Core Team for some code from R.
Dirk Eddelbuettel firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors of Shiny for their private RNG code.
The authors of
knitr for their graphics inclusion code. Jeroen Ooms
Yohann Demont for Shiny code, suggestions, and testing.
Joshua Ulrich for a lot of help with the Github migration. Xavier Fernandez i Marin for help debugging the build.
George Helffrich for draping code.
Ivan Krylov for window_group code in X11.
Michael Sumner for as.mesh3d.default enhancement.
Tomas Kalibera for
David Hugh-Jones for documentation improvements.
Trevor Davis for a
snapshot3d patch. Mike Stein for pointer-handling