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Understanding Vectors

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Revision as of 06:05, 9 May 2007; view current revision
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Vectors are very important to understand if you want to use them in your daily manipulations of computer graphics. They are one of the most fundamental building blocks of computational geometry and this will be the first of a few short articles about vectors where I will try to explain them in easy to understand terms. The articles will be about the the following:-

  1. The difference between Points and Vectors and why we need them?
  2. The components that make up a Vector
  3. How we use them and where to next?

These articles won't be going into the nitty-gritty of the mathematics of vectors, that will come later. Like most things which are new to us, I think a simple explanation can go a long way to understanding what you're trying to achieve without getting too bogged down or lost in the math!

Part 1 - Points and Vectors

Points

Most of us are familiar with Points, in 2d (2 dimensions of space) we have a pair of coordinates usually written p(5,12) where 5 = 5 units along the x axis and 12 = 12 units along the y axis, all simple stuff I know but have a look at figure 1 and I'll get to the point shortly (pun intended!).


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