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  • 10/23/19 09:19 AM

    Inverse Lerp - a super useful yet often overlooked function

    General and Gameplay Programming
       (1 review)

    Lerp( a, b, t ) = value
    InvLerp( a, b, value ) = t


    • lerp returns a blend between a and b, based on a fraction t
    • inverse lerp returns a fraction t, based on a value between a and b




    Use case! 🔊

    Say you want to control audio source volume based on distance

    • at 10 meters, you want volume 1
    • at 20 meters, you want volume 0

    Then the volume is then given by

    volume = InvLerp( 20, 10, distance )




    If you've ever used photoshop's levels tool, then you've used both lerp and inverse lerp! 🎨

    The input values use inverse lerp, the output values use lerp!



    When used with images, inverse lerp can be used to increase value contrast! for example, here's a selfie before and after an inverse lerp💖

    4.png 4-2.png


    Also, note that some Lerp/InvLerp functions also extrapolate (such as in shaders), while others clamp the values within your given range (such as Unity's Mathf.Lerp/InverseLerp functions) 

    Make sure you clamp unless you want to extrapolate 📈


    Here's an interesting use case!

    An inv lerp where a and b are colors and the value parameter is the depth of this water, you can achieve hue-shifting for a color elimination effect by depth🌊



    Addendum - another useful function is Remap!

    Remap takes a value within a given input range into a given output range, which is basically a combined inverse lerp and lerp!

    Here's the code for all three!

    (Also, none of these are clamped - they can all extrapolate)



    Enjoyed this quick lesson?  Check out Freya's work via the following social platforms:

    💖 Patreon ❱ https://patreon.com/acegikmo
    📺 Twitch ❱ https://twitch.tv/acegikmo
    🎥 YouTube ❱ https://youtube.com/c/acegikmo
    🐦 Twitter ❱ https://twitter.com/FreyaHolmer
    💬 Discord ❱ https://discord.gg/v5VWuga
    🌸 Instagram ❱ https://instagram.com/freya_holmer


    Want to read more about Lerp?  Freya posted a thread here:


    Adapted from the original Twitter thread with kind permission of the original author.

    Further reading on GameDev.net: A Brief Introduction to Lerp, by Matt DesLauriers

      Report Article

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