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Trouble getting absolute vector from a Transform3D

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3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2013-04-21

I am having difficulty getting a true translation vector from a transform.

	BranchGroup bg1 = new BranchGroup();
BranchGroup bg11 = new BranchGroup();
TransformGroup tg1 = new TransformGroup();
TransformGroup tg11 = new TransformGroup();
Transform3D trans1 = new Transform3D();
Transform3D trans11 = new Transform3D();

Vector3f v1 = new Vector3f(0.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f);

v1.set(0.0f, -1.0f, 0.0f);

So far so good. I omit any geometry because I don't believe it really matters. Here is where I get an issue...

	BranchGroup bg2 = new BranchGroup();
TransformGroup tg2 = new TransformGroup();
Transform3D trans2 = new Transform3D();

tg2.addChild(bg1);  // attaching previous BranchGroup to this TransformGroup


// Now let's try to get that translation out

Transform3D t3d = new Transform3D();
t3d.mul(trans1, trans2);
Vector3f v = new Vector3f();


That will output: (0.0, 1.0, 0.0)

Strictly speaking, that isn't what I'm looking for. The object that I attach to tg1 will have swapped places with the object attached to tg11. Of course, it will rotated 180degrees from it's starting axis.

What I want is to be able to get the new vector on it's location (in this case, I was looking for an output of: (0.0, -1.0, 0.0)

Is that possible? Thanks in advance for any help.

(I apologize if any of the code is off, this is not the actual code I'm working on. The actual code is a little too obfuscated to easily show what I'm looking for. This is merely an example of what I'm trying for.)

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Joined: 2006-06-07

Transform3D represents a transformation as a 4x4 matrix.

t3d.mul(trans1, trans2) is aquivalent to t3d = trans1 * trans2.

The rotation trans2 doesn't effect the translation trans1 according to the rules of 4x4 matrix multiplication. t3d is a concatenation of both and first rotates and secondly translates a point.

If trans1 and trans2 are reversed then rotation trans2 effects the translation trans1 ( => (0.0, -1.0, 0.0) ) and again t3d first applies its rotation and secondly its translation to a point.

In this case these two approaches lead to different results. Matrix multiplication is not in general commutative.

Apply the transformation t3d to the origin to determine how t3d 'moves' a point:

Point3d origin = new Point3d(0, 0, 0);

t3d = trans1 * trans2 => origion = (0.0, 1.0, 0.0)
t3d = trans2 * trans1 => origion = (0.0, -1.0, 0.0)


Joined: 2013-04-21

It occurred to me last night that trans2 was just a rotation and that my problem was that the object I was rotating was a combined mass of the two objects. Does Java3D figure out a "center of mass" as a origin? (ie. if I had chosen locations 0, -1, 0 and 0, 1, 2 for my objects, would 0, 0, 1 have been the origin of rotation for trans2? )

Thanks a TON for the solution. This should work for what I need (the added question was purely for future reference).

Joined: 2006-06-07

Rotation always takes place around the origin (0, 0, 0). To rotate around an arbitrary point (px, py, pz) apply first a center translation (-px, -py, -pz), then the rotation, and finally the reverse center translation (px, py, pz).