I am not sure if this question is suitable for mo, it is more about visualization than math. Anyway, here it is:

What is the best way to visualize a 2-surface in Euclidean space with high quality?

Of course Maple or Matlab produce some grapical output but if one is interested in high quality figures, these methods are insufficient.

I am currently using the following procedure (POV-Ray is a free rendering software based on C):

- produce the surface with Matlab (or C) and store the surface as a triangle mesh.
- write out the triangle mesh to a Povray file.
- produce parameter curves with Matlab (or C)
- write out the parameter curves (as a union of cylinders) to a Povray file.

This produces very nice figures but suffers from a lack of interactivity. For instance the camera position has to be specified a-priori in Povray.

My question: what do you use? Is there a better method?