Transform point using localToSceneTransform

Pavel Safrata pavel.safrata at
Wed Jul 25 13:49:28 PDT 2012

I think the main point is that even though both vector and point consist 
of three doubles, they are different kinds of animals. Point contains 
coordinates, Vector contains magnitudes/distances. We will probably want 
to provide methods for computing angle between vectors or vector length. 
Having angle between points or point length doesn't make any natural 
sense. If we provide those methods on Point3D, they will look weird, and 
javadoc will have to explain that in this case we treat the point as 
"relative distance vector" (taken from J2D that has to do that). Also 
transforming a point in space results in another point in space whereas 
transforming a vector is a different operation that results in a vector. 
With both guys represented as a single class we need to provide two 
different transform methods, one of them for treating a "point" as 
point, the second one for treating a "point" as vector (named 
deltaTransform). J2D does that (has a single "point" and needs to 
explain in javadoc how it is treated, but it doesn't have the 
convenience "vector algerbra" methods so the problems are smaller), J3D 
doesn't (distinguishes point and vector as different things).

Unfortunately I haven't been involved in the past discussions so I 
probably don't have enough insight. I don't really want to question 
already made decisions but when we've already got to this point it would 
be great if somebody could sum up the reasons for the decision to 
represent both things by Point.


On 25.7.2012 17:54, Richard Bair wrote:
> Haha, you're going to make me read the thread :-)
> Generally speaking I'd prefer to just use Point3D vs. adding a Vector, primarily because we already made this decision several releases ago. Without having to read the whole thread, can you give a short summary of the impact using Point3D has vs. a class named Vector3D?
> Richard
> On Jul 25, 2012, at 6:54 AM, Pavel Safrata wrote:
>> I think that if we define Vector*D as the class that represents magnitudes without position, and we use it for our magnitudes without position, we don't need any deltaTransforms, do we?
>> Richard, what do you think about introducing Vector2D and Vector3D? I think the classes would be nice (to distinguish between specific points in space and magnitudes without position) but we would have to deprecate methods in Rotate that use Point3D as rotation axis and introduce different ones that use Vector3D, we would also need to deprecate the static axes defined in this class and define vector ones with different names..
>> Thanks,
>> Pavel
>> On 25.7.2012 1:34, Pedro Duque Vieira wrote:
>>> Hi Jim,
>>> Maybe we're talking about two different ways of performing the same
>>> calculations,  probably we come from different backgrounds.
>>> What I meant with Vector3d is a 4x1 matrix with the last element as 0
>>> (homogeneous coordinates). We can then have methods on the Vector3d class
>>> to give us things we expect to retrieve from vectors: like angle,
>>> magnitude, doing the cross product of two vectors, calculating the angle
>>> between two vectors.
>>> As a reference one can look at the java3d implementation of Vector3d:
>>> Thanks, best regards,
>>> On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 12:06 AM, Jim Graham <james.graham at>wrote:
>>>> Hi Pedro,
>>>> delta transform is transform without translation.  It is primarily used to
>>>> transform magnitudes that have no position so you only modify them with the
>>>> scale, shear, and rotation aspects of the matrix (i.e. everything but the
>>>> translate components).
>>>> For some reason I got the impression that Vector was only used to
>>>> represent magnitude because people were bringing up delta transforms in the
>>>> context of talking about it.  If it is a 1x4 vector then it is just
>>>> Point3D+perspective-w-element, [x,y,z,w] no?  Point3D can participate in
>>>> 4x4 transforms, supplying an implicit w=1 component, though it can't store
>>>> the resulting w component if the matrix doesn't have 0,0,0,1 for the last 4
>>>> elements (i.e. in perspective camera matrices)...
>>>>                          ...jim
>>>> On 7/24/2012 3:55 PM, Pedro Duque Vieira wrote:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>   I've already commented on this in the matrix algebra thread, but I
>>>>>> wanted to throw into this discussion the following point:
>>>>>> I'm neutral on whether or not we need Vector - I'll leave that to the
>>>>>> people with extensive 3D experience to comment.  But, if transformation
>>>>>> of vectors makes better sense to do a delta transform, and if we are
>>>>>> adding deltaTransform() methods for other types (which I think we should
>>>>>> do), then I think the "transform" method that does a "delta transform"
>>>>>> on a Vector should actually be named "deltaTransform" for consistency,
>>>>>> even if it is obvious that a vector should only be transformed that
>>>>>> way...
>>>>> I don't know what a delta transform is (never used it on my 3d work
>>>>> background), so I cannot comment on that part.
>>>>> All I can say is that I did use transform a vector by a given matrix
>>>>> transform and it makes sense. It's basically a multiplication of a 4x4
>>>>> matrix transform with a 1x4 matrix, just like what happens when you
>>>>> transform a point3d.
>>>>> So I think:
>>>>> - void transform(Vector3d)
>>>>> Should be present on the transform3d class.
>>>>> Just my 2 cents,

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