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3D Maths


Can anyone point me towards a book or document where I can learn some basic 3d maths. Enough to be able to plot a point (x, y, z) onto a 2d screen. I’m sure my brain will try to explode when I try to comprehend. I’m basically trying to draw a 3d primitive wire-frame object on the Spider, like a cube etc.

Or does a library already exist somewhere to do this kind of thing.




I’m sure with google, you’ll find a lot of information and code.
Once you have the 3D data (x,y,z coordinates), you might want to transform them using 3x3 transformation matrices. So you’ll need to implement a matrix multiplication function. (search transformation matrix, rotation matrix, etc)

Showing a 3d model on a 2d screeen is essentially:
Defining a viewport (== defining center, scale, perspective, etc).
Drawing stuff at the x,y coördinates, and use the z value for ordering. You can keep all coördinates ordered by its z value in an array. And drawing happens from the back to the front.
You also need the z value to apply perspective view. The closer an object is to the viewer, the wider x/y coördinates are apart from the center. So you simply multiply x and y coördinates with a fraction of the z value.


The Graphics Gems series are good books. Game programming sites usually have tons of articles and examples as well.


Here is a very simple tutorial … written for a basic programmer, but not hard to decipher.

It will get you drawing a cube at least.

It is pretty hard to find to tutorials that don’t assume DirectX or OpenGL being available.



Found this set of presentations. Check Viewing, Projecting and Picking.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll try to have a read through at the weekend when I can switch brain over from work to play.

@ Eric, that has been my problem, everything assumes that you are using some graphic language. (Which as far as I know do not exist in the .nmf world :wink: )



Hi, what you are trying to accomplish can be done with “ray tracing” and the book CUDA BY EXAMPLE has an easy example(surprise!!) of it using spheres.



Here are some books that I used for my MS project a “few” years ago:

An Introduction to Ray Tracing, Xerox PARC, published by Academic Press/Harcourt Brace Jovanich
Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, Alan Watt and Mark Watt, published by Addison-Wesley
Fundamentals of Three-Dimensional Computer Graphics, Alan Watt, published by Addison-Wesley
and the Graphics Gems series…



Thanks for the advice. I’ve jumped back to XNA for a while to try and understand and create a simple 3d engine on my windows phone.

For anyone else interested in this kind of thing. Some kind soul has posted a course on XNA 3.1 which works just as well for 4.

This is where I’ve started from: