Matplotlib is a plotting library for Python which may be used interactively or embedded in stand-alone GUIs
MayaVi is a data visualization library written for use with Python.
Stuff past performance
"Anyway if you re willing to do advanced 3d stuff mayavi is way better than matplotlib"
from question "How do I plot the surface of a 4D plot?"
"Personally i ve used mayavi in the past and found the performance much better than matplotlib for 3d scatter plotting though the python bindings are somewhat in question moving forward i think"
from question "Matplotlib Slow 3D scatter rotation"
"Mayavi makes it easier to visualize the data but matplotlib looks more professional"
from question "Any easy way to plot a 3d scatter in Python that I can rotate around?"
"Mayavi has more options for moving the camera than matplotlib but it doesn t seem to have a way to rotate around the y axis so i m guessing i ll need to perform some complex calculations on the azimuth and elevation to achieve the same result - but i m at a loss as to where to start i m new to working in 3d space and my brain doesn t think that way yet"
from question "Mayavi: rotate around y axis"