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Modifying Vectors with Matrices

 ·   ·  ☕ 2 min read

Matrices are an extremely powerful tool when working with vectors. They’re the magic that makes a lot of the code in our shaders work, but they also work in a lot of handy other places. For this video we’re going to look into using a matrix to rotate a ring of vectors around a single point. This will allow us to simulate an asteroid ring or something else as we want.

To do this we’ll generate a list of vectors (using some sin and cosine stuff to make them a circle). Once we have that list of vectors we can multiply them by a rotation matrix every frame to slowly rotate the points in a circle. That’s really it. It’s not a complex project, but it’s a handy experiment. The goal here is to be able to create a large scale asteroid belt by using these matrices as a force on the asteroids instead of manually applying force to each individual asteroid.

It’s also a fun way to play with matrices 😁

The way we’re using Matrices in this example is effectively how a parented GameObject works in Unity by applying it’s own matrix (it’s transform) to its children. The main difference is that our solution does not require additional GameObjects or other Unity specific features. It’s just math.

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Sam Wronski
WRITTEN BY
Sam Wronski
Maker of things, currently helping build cloud things @ Google. World of Zero is a personal project disconnected from my professional work. Lets make something awesome together!