[R] rgl_081.708: rgl.snapshot fails, causing persistent problems

Michael Friendly friendly at yorku.ca
Wed Oct 8 16:54:24 CEST 2008

*Summary*:  The latest Windows binary version of rgl_081.708 from 
R-Forge has some problem that
causes rgl.snapshot() to fail, at least on my system.
Thereafter, *all* rgl 3D graphics are rendered without any text labels.
The last problem remains even after (a) removing rgl and re-installing 
from CRAN, (b) re-starting
with a fresh installation of all of R 2.7.2.
*System*:  Win XP Pro

A vexing and persistent problem arose after I installed rgl_081.708 from 
R-Forge via

Everything worked fine until the *first* time I tried to take a 
rgl.snapshot() of the current
 > rgl.snapshot("test.png")
[1] "failed"

OK, I did :
to get rgl_081 from CRAN

However, after that, snapshot works, but all rgl.text -- axis labels, 
tick labels, plot
annotations, etc. do not appear.
E.g.: see
produced by:

col <-c("blue", "green", "red")[iris$Species]
plot3d(iris[,1:3], type="s", size=0.4, col=col, cex=2, box=FALSE, 
(There should be variable labels and tick labels for the axes.)

I've now tried everything I can think of, *both* with R 2.7.2 and R 2.7.1
- quitting and restarting R
- uninstalling R, and re-installing a fresh copy, with all my old 
libraries (rgl_081)
- reboot and power-down/restart

The problem persists, and I don't know what to look for to try to track 
this down
and fix it. Some questions:
What might cause this to persist, even after reinstalling R?
Could there be any interaction between rgl.dll and anything else on my 
Is anyone brave enough to see if this problem [with rgl_081.708] is 
If not reproducible, then it is something on my system.  If it is, could 
there be
a problem with the build process on R-Forge for building rgl with png 
I've contacted the package maintainer, but he has no suggestions.

R> sessionInfo()
R version 2.7.2 (2008-08-25)

LC_COLLATE=English_United States.1252;LC_CTYPE=English_United 
States.1252;LC_NUMERIC=C;LC_TIME=English_United States.1252

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base    

other attached packages:
[1] foreign_0.8-29 rgl_0.81       heplots_0.8-0  car_1.2-8    

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
[1] tools_2.7.2

Michael Friendly     Email: friendly AT yorku DOT ca 
Professor, Psychology Dept.
York University      Voice: 416 736-5115 x66249 Fax: 416 736-5814
4700 Keele Street    http://www.math.yorku.ca/SCS/friendly.html
Toronto, ONT  M3J 1P3 CANADA

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