Building a rotating 3D graph and exporting it as a GIF

When dealing with complex datasets, having the possibility to show your data in a 3D environment can be really enhancing.

This recipe will show you how to create such a plot, animate it, and export your animation as a GIF.

Getting ready

This recipe will leverage the rgl package specifically developed for 3D visualizations in R:


We will also need to install ImageMagick in order to perform the export into the GIF format.

You can find instructions for software installation at

As an explicative dataset, we will use the iris dataset, which is a built-in dataset available with all base R installations.

The iris

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