Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Lots to talk about. I haven't been posting here as often as I'd like, but I have managed to get quite a bit of work done.

Let's see, last time, I had a triangle on the screen. And I wanted to make it interactive. The first thing I did was create a few methods in my entity object that would modify the entity's frame of reference.The frame of reference describes the position and orientation of something in space, and helps translate between local and global coordinates.

Local coordinates are coordinates from the object's point of view, while global coordinates are the coordinate system of the world the object is in. For ease of reading, I'll denote local coordinates as (x,y,z)l, and global coordinates as (x,y,z)g.

From the object's perspective (meaning in local coordinates), all points are static. It's center is always at (0,0,0)l, and the axis are always (1,0,0)l,(0,1,0)l and (0,0,1)l. A point at (1,1,1)l is always at (1,1,1)l.

The same point in global coordinates, however, depends on the position and orientation of the object in the world. When the object sits still at the global origin, both coordinate systems match up. If the object moves 1 unit forward, so the local origin now sits at (1,0,0)g, then the point that is (1,1,1)l is actually (2,1,1)g.  

We can define a frame of reference as an origin (the position in global coordinates), a forward vector (in global coordinates) and an up vector (in global coordinates). From the cross product of these two vectors I can get the right vector, and these three determine the orientation of the local coordinate axis.

That's the difficult part out of the way, then.

I started with translation, which was easy enough. In order to advance 'forwards', I need to advance along the object's forward vector. To do this, I simply add the forward vector times a speed factor to the object's origin, and tie this to a key input. I can do the same with the up and right vectors, and the result is that the object will move around the screen when you press a key.

Quite surprisingly, I did it, and it worked! I was on a roll, so I even modified the shader so it would accept the color of a given point and shade the resulting triangle with the value of each point.

I'll put up a few screenshots later. I'm also thinking I'll put the demo here just in case. If I can work out how to do it.

And I did, thanks to google. Now you too can get Framework 0.0.1r! You only need 7zip to uncompress it, and it comes ready to run.

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