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WMCoolmon

Magic of Matrices

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Does anyone know of a good link that explains Vectors, Matrices, and related terms like normalizing, dot product, etc? I know what vectors are (store x,y,z components) but all I know about matrices is that they involve trig functions, and store an object's rotation(?). I've googled and found a couple links, but they either started at too much of an advanced level, or didn't go into enough depth.

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Does anyone know of a good link that explains Vectors, Matrices, and related terms like normalizing, dot product, etc? I know what vectors are (store x,y,z components) but all I know about matrices is that they involve trig functions, and store an object's rotation(?).
'3D Math Primer' is a good introduction to math for games and graphics. You'll find this out eventually, but storing rotations is only one of countless functions that matrices can perform. In graphics, we're usually concerned with mapping vectors from one space to another. For example, you might want to transform the local-space vertices of a game model into world space for collision detection purposes, and then from there to camera space for display on the screen. Each such transformation can be represented in matrix form; multiplying a vector by the matrix produces the corresponding transformed vector. Furthermore, matrix multiplication is associative, so you can combine multiple transformations into one matrix and apply them to a vector all at once. Anyway, there's lots more to it, but a good introductory text such as the aforementioned book will take you through it all step by step.

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Just to give you a more general definition for what a 'matrix' is (this seems to be lacking in a lot of sources).

A matrix is ultimately just a way of simplifying algebra...sort of 'putting it in one place' so-to-speak. A matrix that performs rotations is just one of many types of matrices.

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